Fresno, California - Fausto Arthur Cruz Hernandez, 44, resident of Mexico, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to over 15 years in prison for bank robbery and for violating a previously imposed term of federal supervised release, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, on July 22, 2014, the defendant robbed the Bank of the West at 7062 N. First Street in Fresno. The defendant presented a note to a teller that said, “I want $50,000,” and “This is a robbery.” The defendant demanded, “hundreds only.” The teller gave him the hundred dollar bills in her drawer, and he asked what else she had. She said she had nothing else and attempted to push the alarm button. The defendant saw what she was doing and said, “don’t push the button, put your hands up.” The defendant showed her what the teller recognized as a black handgun, and told all of the tellers to “get on the floor.” They did and the defendant left the bank.
Due to prior felony convictions, the defendant qualified as a career criminal, which results in enhanced penalties under federal law. In sentencing the defendant, Judge O’Neill recognized the need to protect the community from the defendant’s violent behavior.
“We are thankful for the Fresno Police Department’s collaborative efforts and for the assistance that was received from the public. Together, we ensured an armed and dangerous criminal faced justice,” said Supervisory Special Agent Jacqueline Neumann of the Sacramento FBI’s Fresno Resident Agency. “The public is not powerless and can fight crime by providing information to identify individuals who put their communities at significant risk.”
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kimberly A. Sanchez prosecuted the case. The case is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative which is a coordinated effort between federal, state and local law enforcement authorities aiming to make our community safer by targeting firearm offenses.
The defendant is currently in custody and will remain there throughout the remainder of his sentence.