Fullerton's Caught Red Handed Bank Bandit Faces Punishment
A homeless man, who robbed a Fullerton bank in March 2012 and literally got caught red handed, is scheduled to be punished today in Orange County's federal courthouse.
Fullerton police officers caught Jason Eugene Archuleta just feet away from the front door of Opus Bank, but not just because the electrician with a history of mental issues didn't have a vehicle to aid his escape.
Moments after he left the bank with the loot, a red dye pack exploded on the currency and his hand.
The dye spoiled any possible mystery or manhunt for police detectives.
Federal probation officials have recommended a sentence of 30 months because they believe Archuleta made a death threat to the teller, but Assistant United States Attorney Jeannie M. Joseph has taken a different view.
According to Joseph, the unarmed robber--who'd been eating out of public trash cans--told the clerk, "Give me the money," placed his hand on his hip and then said, "I have a gun."
The veteran prosecutor contrasts those statements as less offensive than if the 48-year-old bandit had said, "Give me the money or I will kill you" or "Give me the money or I will shoot you" or had "drawn a hand across his throat in a slashing motion."
Given the circumstances, Joseph believes a sentence of 24 months is more appropriate.
The final decision rests with U.S. District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
Update: On the afternoon of June 5, Judge Guilford sentenced the bank robber to a prison term of 24 months and ordered him to undergo supervised probation for three years upon his release back into society.
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