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Former Police officer sentenced to 19 years for Banco Popular robbery

By on October 19, 2018

SAN JUAN – U.S. District Court Senior Judge Daniel R. Domínguez sentenced José Padilla-Galarza, a former police officer who masterminded a bank robbery, to a 19-year term of imprisonment and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez announced Friday.

Codefendant Jomar Hernández-Román was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison, and three years of supervised release. Both defendants were found guilty by a jury on Feb. 26.

During the trial in February , Padilla-Galarza faced two conspiracy counts, two robbery counts, and a weapons count. The Justice Department said that the evidence at trial showed that Padilla recruited others to commit an armed bank robbery at the Banco Popular branch in Rexville Town Center on Nov. 29, 2014. “On that date, three individuals disguised in construction outfits entered the Banco Popular brandishing weapons at the customers and employees inside, and stole over $64,000.

“Padilla had recruited these individuals, and obtained the disguises for the robbery to facilitate the robbery and divert the attention of first responders. , Padilla schemed with one of his co-conspirators to place decoy explosives near ATM machines in Lomas Verdes and Bayamón, respectively.”

Following three weeks of trial, the jury returned a guilty verdict as to all counts.

Four other codefendants also plead guilty to offenses stemming from the robbery and were sentenced as follows, as per Justice’s release:

  • Samuel Figueroa plead guilty on July 10, 2017 and was sentenced on June 7, 2018 to eight years and four months in prison, and three years of supervised release.
  • Jorge Camacho-Gordils plead guilty on December 1, 2016 and was sentenced on March 24, 2017 to nine years and six months of imprisonment and five years of supervised release.
  • Johan Dávila-Rivera plead guilty on April 10, 2017 and was sentenced on March 19, 2018 to three years of imprisonment, and five years of supervised release.
  • Miguel Torres plead guilty on April 26, 2017 and was sentenced on March 28, 2018 to five years of probation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Alum and Daynelle M. Álvarez-Lora. The FBI and Puerto Rico Police Department were in charge of the investigation.

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