EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Three U.S. citizens who allegedly walked over from Mexico to rob a bank in Nogales, Arizona, are facing federal felony charges.
A complaint filed Wednesday on U.S. District Court in Arizona accuses Stephen Bacon, Mark Smith and Francisco Javier Romo of taking part in a violent Sept. 13 robbery at Nogales’ First Convenience Bank.
A suspect later identified as Romo allegedly approached the teller at the financial institution inside the Walmart on West White Park Drive and placed an empty suitcase on the counter, federal court records show.
The suspect demanded $45,000 from the teller and said he would shoot her if she did not give him the money. The man reached with one of his hands behind his back implying he had a gun in his waistband, the complaint alleges.
The teller complied and gave the suspect all the cash in her drawer; she watched him walk away after placing the money in the suitcase.
Witnesses later told investigators a man driving a white Nissan Xterra picked up the bank robber; security cameras at the Grand Avenue international port of entry 10 minutes later captured video of the alleged robber walking into Mexico, court records show.
According to information provided to the court by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, additional video showed the suspect and two other men coming from Mexico into Nogales approximately 20 minutes before the robbery.
The two other men, identified as Bacon and Smith, were detained later on Sept. 13 after Nogales police initiated a traffic stop and the Nissan Xterra failed to stop, court records show.
U.S. authorities asked Mexico for help in locating the third suspect. Mexican authorities detained a man identified as Romo in Nogales, Mexico, and handed the U.S. citizen over to their American counterparts on Sept. 15 at the Mariposa port of entry in Nogales, Arizona.
In a post-Miranda rights interview, Romo told the FBI that Smith and Bacon convinced him to rob the bank, took half of the money each and dropped him off at the Mexican border, promising to hook up with him in Mexico later, court records show.
The three men are now facing bank robbery charges under subsection 2113 of U.S. Code Title 18.