The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on August 18, 2011 released the following:
“Three Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Indicted for Foiled Armed Bank Robbery
PHOENIX— Ryan J. Ferraro, 20; Matthew J. Gattis, 22; and Nestor D. Astorga-Villegas, 20; all of Phoenix, were indicted this week on charges of conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence and aiding and abetting. All three are members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Astorga-Villegas has been detained pending trial; the remaining two defendants will appear for a detention hearing at 2:00 p.m. today in federal court.
The indictment alleges that the trio devised a detailed plan to carry out an armed bank robbery, including securing firearms to be used in the robbery, maps of the bank, and creating disguises. Trial in this case is set for October 4, 2011 before U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone.
A conviction for conspiracy to commit armed bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. A conspiracy to commit use of a firearm during a crime of violence carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Martone will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
An indictment is simply a 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 established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI’s Bank Robbery Task Force, which includes the FBI, Phoenix Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Mesa Police Department. The prosecution is being handled by Alison S. Bachus, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.
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