Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami–Dade Counties in Florida have been prey to a group of bank robbers known as the “Sundown Bandits.” These robbers have already hit at least six banks over the broad metropolitan area.
The FBI is now involved and is looking to make arrests. Given the nature of the charges and the fact that the offense span three counties, there is no doubt that these bandits, if captured, will be facing very serious Federal charges. In fact, the FBI is offering a $40,000 reward for information that leads to their capture.
Given the intense amount of heat that they are now facing, it would be prudent for the bandits to lay low and cease from any additional robberies. As a member of the public, it isn’t the bank’s money that I am concerned about. It is the possibility of getting shot during a gun fight between law enforcement and the bandits.
Frankly, if they are caught, they will be facing very stiff sentenced in Federal prison. For that reason, it would behoove these individuals to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
According to the FBI, the bandits are comprised of two men between the ages of 25 and 30. The men supposedly enter a bank armed with guns wearing baseball caps and vary their clothing, depending on the robbery, to include long sleeve shirts and even neckties.
It is incomprehensible why two people would choose to rob banks without even covering their faces. The actions of these men show that they are impulsive and have no regard for consequences… including getting caught or killed.
If arrested, these men will also be facing an enhanced penalty for using firearms in the course of their crimes. This will serve to enhance any penalty they are facing.
Insofar as a defense is concerned, identification will always be an issue. Even though the bandits failed to conceal their faces, prosecutors will need to obtain eye witnesses who can positively identify the men who get charged as the bandits who robbed the banks. In lieu of eye witness testimony, prosecutors may also rely on surveillance video imagery, assuming it is clear and positively shows the identity of the bandits.
Since trial does not appear to be an option, these defendants will need to plea early, build a case for mitigation, and put themselves on the mercy of the court. Otherwise, they may risk serious prison sentences that they are unable to tolerate.
To build a case for mitigation, I would first want to have the defendants analyzed by a forensic psychologist to determine if they suffer from any mental illness or organic brain problems. In essence, a case based on mitigation would be premised on presenting the court with a compelling reason to explain the outrageous conduct exhibited in this case.
Before any strategic legal decision can be made, the bandits’ defense lawyer will need to thoroughly review every detail of this case. Especially before a decision to plea is made, the duo’s defense attorney will need to positively rule out the idea of going to trial.
Hopefully this case will resolve itself without anybody being killed or seriously injured.