ABILENE, Texas - An Abilene deputy helped Florida authorities track down a couple known as the "Bonnie and Clyde Bandits."
The following is a Friday press release from the Taylor County Sheriff's Office detailing the investigation:
"A Taylor County deputy sheriff received word this morning that his assistance with a bank robbery investigation in Florida helped lead to the arrests of a Tampa couple, dubbed the "Bonnie & Clyde Bandits" . On November 8th, Acting US Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced in a press release that Immanuel Lee Williams, and Cara Lee Williams, both 28 years old, were arrested and charged with "Conspiracy to Obstruct, Delay, or Affect Commerce by Robbery" and with "Conspiracy to Commit Bank Robbery." If convicted, the pair faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in a federal prison.
The deputy, a member of the sheriff's office Narcotics Division, was contacted by a Tampa FBI agent (who was previously stationed in Abilene) last September, and shown photos taken from a Davenport Florida store parking lot surveillance video. The FBI agent was trying to determine a vehicle make and model, from the grainy images. The deputy, who is known for his knowledge of automobiles, provided the agent with two possible vehicle makes. The agents had a partial license plate, and by searching a database were able to match a complete plate to a vehicle type mentioned by the deputy, which showed to be registered to Cara Williams.
The US Attorney's release said that according to the criminal complaint filed by investigators, "from December 5, 2012 to date (11/8), Immanuel Lee Williams and Cara Lee Williams conspired to rob 13 federall insured banks in the Middle District of Florida and two federally insured banks in Alabama. To carry out the robberies, both are alleged to have worn disguises and used notes demanding money from the banks." The two made their initial appearances in Tampa on November 8th, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli. A bond hearing was set for November 14th, for the female, while Immanuel Williams was being held without bail. The case was investigated by the FBI, Tampa Police, Polk County Fla. Sheriff's Office, Hillsborough County Fla. Sheriff's Office, Auburndale Fla. Police Department, Lee County Fla. Sheriff's Office, Sumter County Fla. Sheriff's Office, Orange County Fla. Sheriff's Office, and Ocala Fla. Police Department."