Criminal Justice News

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bank Robber Sentenced to Federal Prison

HOUSTON—Cedric Tyrone Walker, 30, has been handed a more than 13-year sentence for his role in a Houston-area bank robbery and for brandishing a weapon during the course of the robbery, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Walker pleaded guilty March 20, 2012, admitting to having robbed the Wells Fargo Bank at 11725 Sam Houston Parkway East in August 2010 and to committing the offense by brandishing and discharging a firearm in the bank and demanding money from frightened tellers.

Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller heard additional evidence including the defendant’s acceptance of responsibility for which the court granted him credit. Judge Miller then handed Walker a sentence of 77 months for the bank robbery in addition to 84 months on the firearms charge, which will be served consecutively for a total sentence of 161 months. He was also ordered to serve a three-year-term of supervised release and to pay restitution.

According to court records, the teller area of the bank is protected by what is commonly known as a “Bandit Barrier,” which separates the tellers from the customers. On August 26, 2010, the bank manager observed Walker stop and approach another employee who was seated assisting a customer, order him to stand and put his hands in the air. Walker placed the gun next to the employee’s ribs and stated, “Get up. You’re being robbed. Take me to the teller line and open the door.” As they approached the teller area, Walker then stuck the revolver in the middle of the employee’s back. Once in the teller area, Walker demanded money from two bank tellers. After obtaining a bag of money, he demanded more. Walker, apparently becoming upset when learning there was no more money, then discharged one round from the revolver he was carrying into the floor in the teller area. He then demanded to know where the bank’s vault was located. Fearing for their lives, the employees directed Walker to the vault. Walker then directed the employees, at gunpoint, to open the vault, remove money and place it in a purse Walker had retrieved.

As Walker left the bank through the back door, another employee was arriving at work. Walker approached her, holding a gun in his hand and yelled, “Get out of the car. Give me your keys.” Fearing Walker would shoot her, she got out and gave Walker the keys to her vehicle. Walker then drove away in it with the bank’s money.

Walker was later identified as being the person who robbed the bank, and a black Wells Fargo money bag and torn money straps were found in the vehicle stolen from the employee. Walker was arrested September 2, 2012, while driving a different vehicle. Inside, a backpack was recovered and in it, a chrome/silver .38 caliber revolver pistol with three live rounds.

Walker has been in custody since his arrest, where he will remain pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The charges are the result of an Investigation conducted by officers and FBI agents with the Houston Area Bank Robbery Task Force—a federal, state, and local task force to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who rob banks in the Houston area.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joe Porto and Jennie Basile.

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