Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A former armored truck driver for Loomis was sentenced Tuesday to almost five years in federal prison for orchestrating the theft of more than $1 million in cash, part of a shipment he was transporting for Bank of America in Los Angeles last year.

Cesar Yanez, 38, of Fontana, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy and bank larceny charges in connection with the robbery on June 27, 2014.

U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II said that since only $115,000 of the stolen $1 million has been recovered, Yanez is “likely aware of the whereabouts” of the remaining cash.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Yanez was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $970,000 in restitution.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Rhoades, Yanez and fellow Loomis driver Aldo Vega, 28, of Pomona were transporting a multimillion-dollar shipment of cash for Bank of America when they stopped in a parking lot on West Adams Boulevard.

Vega electronically opened the rear doors of the armored car, which allowed Yanez to access the cash storage area of the vehicle, Rhoades said.

Yanez then took about $1 million in cash from the armored car and placed it into a trash can that had allegedly been left in the parking by his wife, Leticia Yanez, who picked up the can afterwards and recovered the stolen money, federal prosecutors stated.

Later, family friend Jovita Guzman, 40, of San Bernardino delivered some of the stolen money to Vega, Rhoades said.

During search warrants executed at the Yanez home and elsewhere, agents found about $115,000 in cash, the prosecutor said.

Vega pleaded guilty to his part in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.

Leticia Yanez and Guzman are scheduled to stand trial in October.

According to Rhoades, the FBI received a tip, leading to an undercover operation that resulted in the arrests last November.

Quoting from a probation report, Wright said that Cesar Yanez grew up in Compton with 11 brothers and sisters. He has been married for almost 18 years and the couple have three children.

The judge said that the wife is currently receiving unemployment and food stamps and is “struggling” to make ends meet.

Officials said the investigation into the missing cash is continuing.

—City News Service

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