A federal judge in Seattle has ruled there is probable cause to hold for trial four men and a woman arrested in December on suspicion of three highly planned, takeover-style bank robberies late last year in Kirkland, Lakewood and Seattle.
Two more suspects remain at large, and KING 5 news reports federal prosecutors say they are all members of one of the oldest streets gangs in Los Angeles, the Four Tre Crips. (See the KING 5 story here).
The five who were the subject of the court hearing Thursday remain in custody at a federal detention center in SeaTac, said Ayn S. Dietrich, a spokeswoman for the FBI.
Charging documents say the gang is known to send members around the country to rob banks with sophisticated planning and precision.
“These people are really pretty much the most sophisticated level of bank robber there is,” Asst. U.S. Attorney Michael Dion was quoted by KING5 as saying. “They have carefully thought through and planned every aspect of the operation from what bank they are going to target, to how they are going to carry it out, what they are doing inside the bank and how they’re going to make their getaway.”
According to a federal criminal complaint, the seven individuals conspired to rob at least three banks in Washington late last year: on Sept. 6 at a U.S, Bank branch in Lakewood; on Oct. 22, 2012 at a a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Seattle; and on Dec. 20 at the Bridle Trails Wells Fargo branch in Kirkland.
Five of the suspects were arrested in Olympia while preparing to board a Greyhound bus for L.A., allegedly carrying $128,000. They are: Anthony V. Mosley, 46, of Tacoma; and four residents of Los Angeles: Kevin L. Brown, 38; Curtis W. Smith, 22; Douglas L. Smith, 22; and Jeannie M. Daniels, 32.
The FBI is still pursuing the other two suspects, both from L.A.: Charles A. Williams, 39, and Janalisa Estrada, 33.
Anyone with information that can help lead investigators to their arrest is asked to call the FBI at 206-622-0460 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
The case is being investigated by the FBI South Sound Gang Task Force in partnership with the Lakewood Police Department’s Gang Unit and the FBI Seattle Safe Streets Task Force. FBI entities nationwide collaborated in the investigation, including the Ann Arbor, Toledo, and Los Angeles offices.
For previous Kirkland Patch coverage of the robberies, click here and here.