DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — A serial bank robber dubbed the ‘Mesh Mask Bandit’ has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.
Luis de la Garza, 59, of Farmers Branch, was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Dallas.
De la Garza pleaded guilty in November to committing five bank robberies in Dallas, Grand Prairie, Farmers Branch, Arlington and Garland.
According to plea documents, he also admitted to committing 13 bank robberies and an additional two attempted bank robberies in the DFW area between April 2010 and May 2013.
In each of the robberies, de la Garza wore long-sleeved clothing, a mesh mask, and a cap and gloves to conceal his identity. He also brandished and used a BB pistol.
In his most recent robbery attempt in May 2013, a bank customer grabbed de la Garza’s pistol and struck him in the head. A struggle ensued, prompting de la Garza to flea the bank, leaving his pistol behind. Garland Police were able to determine that the weapon was a CO2 BB gun.
The FBI assisted a number of local police departments in the investigation.
Pre-sentence investigators suggested de la Garza be sentenced to no more than 10-years in federal prison. But prosecutors pushed for a harsher sentence, suggesting that de la Garza was planning additional robberies.
De la Garza is a one-time community and immigration rights activist.
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