The final defendant of a violent bank robbery team pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. In all, seven defendants have entered guilty pleas to their roles in the string of bank robberies. JEANINE M. DANIELS, 32, of Los Angeles, California, pleaded guilty today. The other defendants are: CHARLES A. WILLIAMS, 40, KEVIN L. BROWN, 38; CURTIS W. SMITH, 22; and DOUGLAS L. SMITH, 22, all of Los Angeles, California; JANALISA ESTRADA, 33, Hollywood, California; and ANTHONY V. MOSLEY, 46, of Tacoma, Washington. All have entered guilty pleas and will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones over the next few months.
According to records filed in the case, various members of the seven member ring participated in one or more of a string of takeover-style bank robberies in Washington, Ohio, Michigan and Colorado. During the robberies, subjects entered the banks in groups, covered head to toe in loose clothing and gloves, and demanded money while jumping over teller counters. The four robberies in Washington were: the May 25, 2012 robbery of a Wells Fargo branch on Pacific Avenue South in Tacoma; the September 6, 2012, robbery of a U.S. Bank Branch on Bridgeport Way in Lakewood; the October 22, 2012, robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch on Lake City Way in Seattle; and the December 20, 2012, robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch on 132nd Avenue NE in Kirkland. In their plea agreements, various members of the gang pleaded guilty to different robberies in Saline, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Temperance, and Jackson, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio. DANIELS was initially contacted by law enforcement following a bank robbery in Denver, Colorado.
“The FBI is pleased that Ms. Daniels and her partners are ultimately taking responsibility for their actions,” said FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Laura M. Laughlin. “The harm they inflicted extends beyond the financial, to include the fear and trauma experienced by bank employees and customers, and the pain levied on their own families. While these seven subjects have accepted responsibility for robberies in Washington, Michigan, and Ohio, the South Sound Gang Task Force remains committed to investigating additional subjects and associated bank robberies. The task force combats gang violence in all its forms, and is dedicated to bringing criminals to face justice.”
The South Sound Gang Task Force (SSGTF) in Washington arrested five of the subjects on December 22, 2012 on state bank robbery charges. The SSGTF arrested the subjects as they prepared to board a Greyhound bus to Los Angeles, California. Investigators were waiting at the bus station, based upon information that the group frequently traveled to Los Angeles by Greyhound bus within days of a bank robbery.
The Tacoma, Washington-based SSGTF investigated the robberies in Washington state in partnership with the Lakewood Police Department’s Gang Unit and the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. The SSGTF is composed of members of the FBI Seattle Division, Lakewood and Tacoma Police Departments, the Washington State Patrol, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). FBI entities nationwide collaborated in the investigation, including the Los Angeles Field Office and the Ann Arbor, Denver, and Toledo Resident Agencies.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Dion and Kate Crisham