A Willowbrook man pleaded guilty today to federal criminal charges for robbing three banks during a six-day crime spree while he was on supervised release for bank robbery convictions over a decade ago.
Rickey Lewis, 53, pleaded guilty to three counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery.
According to his plea agreement, from January 22 to January 28, 2019, Lewis stole a total of $4,035 in cash by robbing two JPMorgan Chase bank branches in Gardena and an International City Bank branch in Long Beach. Lewis also attempted to rob a Bank of America branch in Downey.
During the robberies, Lewis threatened to shoot bank tellers – though it was not apparent that he was carrying a firearm – and he had clear tape on his fingers. In fear for their lives, the bank tellers handed over the cash.
According to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case, law enforcement recovered a partial palm print recovered from the Long Beach bank robbery that matched Lewis’ palm print.
While he committed the January 2019 bank robbery spree, Lewis was on supervised release for bank robbery convictions he sustained after he pleaded guilty in February 2006 to a month-long spree in which he robbed six banks in South Los Angeles and Inglewood.
United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder scheduled a January 23, 2023 sentencing hearing, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each count.
The FBI investigated this matter with the assistance of the Long Beach Police Department, the Downey Police Department, the Gardena Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick Castañeda of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering Section and Kevin J. Butler of the Violent and Organized Crime Section are prosecuting this case.