LUBBOCK, Texas — A Guatemalan man pled guilty before a federal judge earlier today to bank robbery through the threatened use of a pipe bomb, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas.
44-year-old Eddie Estuardo Galindo-Mendez, a Guatemalan citizen, now faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing. He has been in custody since his arrest in March 2018.
On November 20, 2017, according to a plea agreement factual resume filed in the case, Galindo-Mendez entered the Happy State Bank at 4402 19th Street in Lubbock Texas around 3 p.m. There, according to the resume, Galindo-Mendez handed a note to the teller and placed what appeared to be a pipe bomb next to the teller's computer.
The note, according to the resume, stated, in part, “There is a bomb. It is activated. Don’t push the button. No bait money. No ink.”
The pipe bomb was constructed of galvanized pipe which was capped at both ends and had duct tape and wires connecting to a cell phone.
"Based upon Galindo-Mendez’s demands, the teller surrendered the money," stated the release.
Galindo-Mendez fled the bank on a bicycle and the pipe bomb was later determine to be inert.
Prior to the robbery, at approximately 1:46 p.m., police were called to a report of a pipe bomb hanging from an open gas tank lid of a Ford F-150 which was parked at Texas Tech University's Talkington Hall at 1803 Boston Avenue in Lubbock. The incident prompted a large law enforcement response and evacuations to surrounding buildings. This device to, described in the same as the bank pipe bomb, was also determined to be 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.