DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Federal prosecutors want a convicted bank robber, once dubbed by the FBI as the “Mesh Mask Bandit,” to spend twice as much time in prison than has been recommended.
Luis de la Garza, 59, pleaded guilty in November to five bank robberies in November, and later admitted to committing at least 15 more. Prosecutors say 19 of the robberies took place over a six month period.
Pre-sentence investigators suggested de la Garza be sentenced to no more than 10-years in federal prison.
However, the government now says that’s too low, and the minimum penalty should be at least one year for each robbery or 20 years.
Former U-S Attorney Richard Roper says there’s also the argument of keeping de la Garza off the streets.
“They could make a pretty good argument..a guy commits 20 robberies isn’t suddenly gonna….like a leopard changing his spots….going to quit robbing,” he said.
Prosecutors say when they went to arrest de la Garza he was making plans to rob more banks.
De la Garza is a one-time community and immigration rights activist from Farmers Branch, who wore a mesh mask over his face and used a BB gun to hold up the banks.
His sentencing is scheduled for next week.
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