The FBI in Seattle revealed details about a highly skilled bank robbery team that it believes struck several banks in Western Washington.
Testifying at a hearing Thursday, Agent Todd Bakken said the five defendants who appeared in court have ties to one of Los Angeles oldest street gangs the Four-Tre Crips.
Charging documents say the Four-Tres are known to send gang members across the country robbing banks. By the time the group hit the Wells Fargo in Kirkland last December, they had accumulated $128,000 in loot.
Federal prosecutors say the Fou-Tres are known for their precision, take-over style robberies.
These people are really pretty much the most sophisticated level of bank robber there is, said Asst. US Attorney Michael Dion. 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.
It was the getaway that tripped the gang up.
When the FBI realized Four-Tre was likely hitting Washington banks, they knew the gang members preferred method of travel was by Greyhound bus.
Agents staked out Greyhound bus terminals and nabbed five of the seven suspects when they attempted to board a bus in Olympia bound for Los Angeles. They are still searching for two more suspects: Charles Williams, 39, and Janalisa Estrada, 33.
All of the defendants are from Los Angeles except for Anthony V. Mosley who lives in Tacoma.
At the end of Thursday s hearing, a federal judge ruled the government has probable cause to proceed to trial on bank robbery charges.
Anyone with information leading to the arrest to the suspects is asked to contact FBI at 206-622-0460 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).