Eddie Estuardo Galindo-Mendez, age 44, a Guatemalan citizen, pleaded guilty on Friday before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant, Jr., to bank robbery through the threatened use of a pipe bomb, announced Erin Nealy Cox, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Galindo-Mendez has been in custody since his arrest in March and will remain in federal custody. Galindo-Mendez faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will be set by Senior United States District Judge Sam R. Cummings at a later date reports the Justice Department.
According to the plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, on November 20, 2017, about 3:00 p.m., Galindo-Mendez entered the Happy State Bank in Lubbock, Texas and handed a note to a teller. The note contained words to the effect of: “There is a bomb. It is activated. Don’t push the button. No bait money. No ink.” Galindo-Mendez then placed an item that appeared to be a pipe bomb next to the teller’s computer. The device was made of capped galvanized pipes, duct tape, and wires connecting the device to a cell phone. Based upon Galindo-Mendez’s demands, the teller surrendered the money reports the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas.
Surveillance videos later revealed the suspect fled the scene on a bicycle. Later review of the purported pipe bomb left at the bank determined it was inert.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office, the Lubbock Police Department, and Texas Tech University Police Department investigated the case. “Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey R. Haag is in charge of the prosecution,” says the Justice Department.