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Press Release

San Antonio Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Federal Prison for String of Bank Robberies Along I-35

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas

In Austin today, 34-year-old Willie James Cleveland was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for committing nine bank robberies earlier this year along the Interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr. and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.

In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Lee Yeakel ordered that Cleveland pay a total of $39,702 restitution to the financial institutions and be placed on supervised release for a period of five years after completing his prison term.

On July 2, 2015, Cleveland pleaded guilty to two counts of bank robbery with a dangerous weapon.  By pleading guilty, Cleveland admitted he robbed nine banks between February 2015 and the end of April 2015.  According to court records, Cleveland is responsible for the following bank robberies:

  • February 12, 2015 – Woodforest National Bank – 1500 block of N. Loop 1604 East in San Antonio;
  • February 18, 2015 – Woodforest National Bank – 9300 block of IH-35 South in Austin;
  • February 26, 2015 – Wells Fargo Bank – 1000 block of Texas Highway 80 in San Marcos;
  • March 14, 2015 – Wells Fargo Bank – 1200 block IH-35 South in New Braunfels;
  • March 16, 2015 – Chase Bank – 5400 block of IH-35 North in Austin;
  • March 26, 2015 and April 7, 2015 – Air Force Credit Union – 3100 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio;
  • April 16, 2015 – BBVA Compass Bank – 7500 block of Wurzbach in San Antonio; and,
  • April 18, 2015 – BBVA Compass Bank – 5700 block of Cameron Road in Austin.

Cleveland has remained in federal custody since his arrest by San Antonio Police Department Robbery detectives on April 20, 2015.

The case resulted from a joint investigation by the FBI, San Antonio Police Department, Austin Police Department, San Marcos Police Department and the New Braunfels Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Galdo and Grant Sparks.

Updated October 14, 2015

Violent Crime