LAREDO, TX—Asael Cruz, 29, of Laredo, Texas, has been arrested by the FBI and the Laredo Police Department (LPD) in connection with the armed bank robbery of the Laredo Federal Credit Union last Friday evening, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the San Antonio Division of the FBI, whose territory includes Laredo, Texas, and LPD Chief Carlos Maldonado. Cruz was arrested without incident Tuesday afternoon and made an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Laredo federal court this morning.
Cruz, a former employee of the credit union, was identified through the investigation conducted by the FBI and LPD.
According to the criminal complaint filed this morning, on Jan. 6, 2012, at approximately 7:08 p.m., an employee of Laredo Federal Credit Union at 1119 Corpus Christi Street exited from the rear door of the bank building where he was confronted by a Hispanic male armed with a handgun. The armed individual allegedly threatened to kill the employee if he called the police, bound his wrists and ankles, taped his mouth shut, and was later left in a storage room.
The robber then guided a female employee to the vault and told her to begin filling the money into a plastic bank bag, according to the complaint. He also allegedly threatened to kill her as well if she did anything stupid. She was later left taped to a chair and the suspect fled with the money. Cruz allegedly left in a truck not belonging to him which was later located in the 800 block of Guatemozin Street, along with a two stacks of U.S. currency bound in Laredo Federal Credit Union bands.
The Laredo Federal Credit Union is a federally insured financial institution.
Nelson and Maldonado wish to thank the Laredo community for their support and cooperation during this investigation.
The case was investigated by the FBI and LPD and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Pimentel.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.