MODESTO — A Ceres man pleaded guilty in a Fresno courtroom Wednesday on four counts of armed bank robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced in a news release. The crimes occurred in Modesto and Turlock in 2010 and 2011.
Michael Torres pleaded guilty to robbing these banks:
U.S. Bank, 3501 Tully Road, Modesto, on May 27, 2010
Rabobank, 2190 W. Monte Vista Ave., Turlock, on Sept. 23, 2010
Oak Valley Community Bank, 2001 Geer Road, Turlock, on Jan. 28, 2011
Farmers and Merchants Bank, 1700 McHenry Ave., Modesto, on May 27, 2011.
During the four robberies, Torres wore a hat, sunglasses and a bandage on his left cheek, and carried a backpack. He entered each bank, brandished a firearm, corralled the employees and fled with cash.
Torres' sentencing is set for April 8. In each armed bank robbery, he faces up to 25 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. He could receive a consecutive sentence for brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. He will be required to pay restitution for each of the robberies he has pleaded guilty to.
This case involved an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Modesto and Turlock police departments. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melanie L. Alsworth, Yasin Mohammad and Dawrence W. Rice prosecuted.