A man from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who pleaded guilty to armed bank robbery in Abilene, Texas, has been sentenced to prison.
As announced by the office of the U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Texas, 35-year-old Fernando Enriquez, who admittedly carried out a bank robbery in Abilene, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Wesley Hendrix to 10 years in federal prison on Thursday.
Enriquez has also been linked to a series of other robberies across five states, according to the press release.
Plea papers show that Enriquez confessed to walking into a Chase Bank in Abilene, Texas, on March 29, 2022, where he approached a teller and demanded cash, threatening the teller with a firearm.
The teller and another employee both activated silent alarms during the robbery. By the time authorities arrived, Enriquez had already fled the scene. However, an eyewitness came forward with a cell phone video of the suspect fleeing the bank in a white Chevrolet Suburban with Mississippi license plates.
Within a short period of time, Texas Department of Public Safety and Abilene police officers in Merkel, Texas, pulled over a vehicle matching that description, with Enriquez and his girlfriend inside. During a search of the vehicle, police found a large sum of cash, a firearm, and a hoodie matching the one worn by the suspect in the video.
Police immediately took the man and his girlfriend, identified as Crystal Quispe, into custody at the Abilene police station, as The Dallas Express previously reported.
While the suspect was in detention, the FBI showed Quispe two photos of a suspect from similar robberies, whom she identified as Enriquez. She cooperated fully with law enforcement and provided information that would eventually implicate Enrique in a series of similar bank robberies committed across Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, and California.
She revealed that she and her boyfriend had lived briefly in those states over the past 14 months. Quispe also said that even though the suspect could barely find work most of the time, he never ran out of cash.
The girlfriend told authorities that her boyfriend, who had left her and the kids alone in the motel to get gas, returned to the motel looking unsettled and rushed to pack their bags and leave. She told officers his driving was erratic and faster than usual.
In light of the evidence found, Enrique pleaded guilty in July to one count of aggravated bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI Phoenix and Dallas Field Offices, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Abilene Police Department, and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.
Enriquez has also been indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Arizona with four counts of bank robbery and four counts of wielding a firearm during a violent crime in that state. After his sentencing in Texas, Enriquez was transported to the District of Arizona to face those charges.