In a classic case of recidivism, Rickey Lewis, 53, of Willowbrook in Los Angeles County, pleaded guilty to a bank robbery spree while he was out on parole for a previous conviction for bank robbery.
On Sept.19, Lewis pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted robbery, according to a report from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California.
His plea agreement states that he robbed two J.P. Morgan Chase bank branches in Gardena and an International City Bank branch in Long Beach. In total, he stole $4,035. The robberies occurred between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, 2019. He failed in an attempt to rob a Bank of American branch in Downey during that same time.
During the robberies, Lewis threatened to shoot the bank tellers “though it was not apparent he was carrying a firearm,” the USAO said. Nevertheless, the tellers handed over the cash “in fear for their lives.”
According to an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint, Lewis had clear tape on his fingers to avoid leaving fingerprints. Law enforcement, however, recovered a partial palm that matched Lewis's palm.
Lewis was on “supervised release” (parole) when he committed the January 2019 holdups, the USAO reported. He had been convicted in 2006 of a six-bank robbery spree of banks in Inglewood and South Los Angeles banks.
The USAO did not reveal the sentence for his 2006 conviction or when Lewis was paroled.
New Year, New Sentence
The FBI led the investigation of Lewis' second crime spree with the assistance of the police departments of Downey, Gardena, and Long Beach, as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Assistant U.S. attorneys from the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section and the Violent and Organized Crime Section are prosecuting the case
A sentencing hearing for Lewis is scheduled for Jan. 23. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each of the four counts of bank robbery.
Exercise Your Rights
Federal prosecutors do not have the best interests of the defendant in mind. That's why anyone facing federal charges needs aggressive legal counsel on their side. Call the Sigal Law Group at 818-325-0570 for a free consultation.