Phoenix, Arizona - On June 5, 2012, Walter David Garcia, 31, a Mexican national living in Phoenix, Arizona, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of bank robbery, three counts of armed bank robbery, and one count of use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to charging documents, Garcia allegedly used demand notes to commit four West Valley bank robberies in August and September 2011. In addition, Garcia allegedly used guns to commit three more bank robberies in February and April 2012. During the armed robberies, Garcia allegedly ordered everyone in the bank down to the floor at gunpoint, vaulted the teller counter, and demanded money from the tellers. Charging documents allege that Garcia normally wore a sports team hat or clothing during the robberies, which is why he was dubbed the “Home Team Bandit.”
A conviction for bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for armed bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conviction for use of a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Wake, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its Bank Robbery Task Force. The Bank Robbery Task Force is a partnership of the FBI, the Phoenix Police Department, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, the Mesa Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, whose focus is to investigate and apprehend bank robbers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Additional assistance has been provided by the Surprise Police Department. More information on the Bank Robbery Task Force can be found at www.bandittrackerarizona.com. The prosecution is being handled by Alison Bachus, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.