DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The man the FBI dubbed as the “Mesh Mask Bandit” has pleaded guilty to five bank robbery charges over a three year period.
Luis de la Garza, 59, of Farmers Branch, Texas, entered the guilty pleas in federal court on Tuesday morning. According to court documents, de la Garza also admitted to 13 other bank robberies and two additional bank robbery attempts in various North Texas cities from April 2010 through May 2013.
De la Garza has plead guilty to the robberies at the following banks on the following dates:
- Chase Bank, 6300 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, Texas (March 18, 2013)
- Grand Prairie State Bank, 2317 South Belt Line Rd., Grand Prairie, Texas (April 5, 2013)
- Wells Fargo Bank, 13297 Josey Lane, Farmers Branch, Texas (April 22, 2013)
- Capital One Bank, 200 North Mesquite Street, Suite 121, Arlington, Texas (April 29, 2013)
- Chase Bank, 111 South Garland Ave., Suite 150, Garland, Texas (May 15, 2013)
Authorities say de la Garza wore a mask in each of the robberies, which led to law enforcement naming him the “Mesh Mask Bandit.” He also wore long-sleeves, a cap and gloves to disguise his identity. He carried a gun during each of the robberies as well, which was ultimately identified as a CO2 BB gun. De la Garza left the gun behind during the last robbery on May 15, 2013, after hitting a bank customer in the head with it.
De la Garza was an outspoken North Texas immigration rights activist, and news of his arrest in June 2013 stunned those he worked closely with. De la Garza will be sentenced for the robberies in February. He is facing a maximum 25 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for each robbery count. As a term of his guilty plea, de la Garza will also pay nearly $150,000 in restitution.
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