Source: US State of California
SAN FRANCISCO – Jorge Lopez, aka “Cowboy,” was sentenced to 104 months in prison today for robbing and conspiring to rob five San Francisco Bay Area banks, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, United States District Judge.
According to court documents, Lopez, 32, of Salinas, was a registered gang member and pleaded guilty plea to the bank robbery on December 18, 2017. According to the plea agreement, Lopez also admitted robbing Bay Area banks on five occasions between November of 2011 and March of 2012.
“This office is fully committed to the Salinas community to stop criminals and dismantle gangs wreaking havoc in and around the area,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tse. “Today’s sentence sends the clear message that we will work hard to bring these gangs to justice.”
“The FBI is committed to combating the threat of gang violence that plagues the community of Salinas,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bennett. “Today’s sentencing highlights our continued work with our state and local partners to identify and investigate those who engage in gang related crimes in order to ensure the safety of our citizens.”
Lopez admitted that on November 9, 2011, together with others, he robbed a bank in Pacific Grove, Calif. Lopez admitted that he brandished a firearm during the robbery and used it to threaten, frighten, and intimidate the bank employees so that they would hand over the money. On that occasion, Lopez and his fellow robbers stole approximately $18,383.00 from the bank. Further, on December 2, 2011, Lopez, together with others, robbed a bank in Seaside, Calif., during which one of the robbers brandished a gun. Lopez and his fellow robbers stole approximately $12,158.00 from the bank. Similarly, on January 5, 2012 Lopez, together with others, robbed a bank in San Jose, Calif. Lopez acknowledged that on that occasion, he brandished a firearm during the robbery. Lopez and his fellow robbers stole approximately $16,000.00 from the bank on that occasion. On January 19, 2012, Lopez, together with others, robbed a bank in Salinas, Calif. Lopez acknowledged that on that occasion, he brandished a firearm during the robbery. Lopez and his fellow robbers stole approximately $6,313.00 from the bank on that occasion. Finally, on March 20, 2012, Lopez, together with others, robbed a bank in San Jose, Calif. On that occasion, Lopez and his fellow robbers stole approximately $20,000.00 from the bank.
On December 11, 2017, Lopez was charged by superseding information with one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2113(a) and (d), and 371; one count of armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 2113(a) and (2) and 2; and one count of use or possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § § 924(c)(1)(A) and 2. Pursuant to his plea agreement, Lopez pleaded guilty to all counts in the superseding information. Lopez was originally indicted on some of these charges on November 8, 2016. On January 5, 2018, Lopez’s co-defendant Francisco Javier Marmolejo, aka “Blindy,” pleaded guilty to the same charges. On May 9, 2018, Judge Koh sentenced Marmolejo to over nine years in prison.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh also ordered Lopez to pay restitution in the amount of $52,854.00 and to serve five years of supervised release to begin after his prison term. Lopez is currently in state custody serving a 16-year prison sentence, part of which will be credited to his federal term. Upon his release from state custody on or around August 25, 2027, Lopez will have approximately 84 months remaining on his federal sentence.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Claudia A. Quiroz with the assistance of Jessica Meegan and Lance Libatique. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI.