Suspects in Kimball Junction bank robbery charged with federal crimes
Federal prosecutors have indicted three people on charges of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime for their alleged roles in the Friday robbery of Wells Fargo Bank in Kimball Junction.
The two-count complaint filed on Monday in federal court in Salt Lake City charges Matthew Anthony Fanelli, 30, of New Mexico; Jose Lopez Jovel, 31, of El Salvador; and Cynthia Sena, 18, of New Mexico.
According to a release from the U.S. attorney’s office in Salt Lake City, the potential maximum penalty for armed bank robbery is 25 years in federal prison. The firearm count carries a seven-year minimum mandatory sentence.
Prosecutors say Fanelli approached a teller at the Wells Fargo Bank on Friday and pulled cash out of his pocket, placed it on the counter and then pulled out a gun while Jovel stood nearby. Court documents allege Fanelli told the teller he wanted all of the cash and was subsequently given approximately $2,000.
An employee of the bank later told authorities that Sena was seen in the lobby before the robbery, walking around and talking to an employee about a lost purse, the complaint states.
Prosecutors say Fanelli and Jovel left the Wells Fargo Bank in a vehicle that authorities later discovered had been stolen from Denver during a fatal carjacking. The three were also connected to another shooting at a club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, an armed robbery in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and other violent crimes in Oregon.
Oregon authorities arrested Jovel Saturday after they were called to respond to an attempted carjacking at a Red Robin restaurant in Roseburg, Oregon, according to a release from the Oregon State Police.
Officers apprehended Jovel for a fugitive warrant out of Utah after he was left behind at the scene, the release states. Fanelli fled in the original vehicle. Fanelli led law enforcement on a vehicle pursuit, allegedly firing several gunshots at passing vehicles, according to authorities. One bullet struck a commercial vehicle, hitting a car seat and narrowly missing a child, the release states. Another bullet hit an Oregon State Police vehicle.
Fanelli later attempted to steal another vehicle from a man and a woman in Josephine County, Oregon, the release states. He allegedly shot a man and assaulted a woman during the attempted carjacking. The shooting victim was critically injured.
Authorities were later able to locate Fanelli take him into custody.
The indictment alleges Sena separated from Fanelli and Jovel in Oregon before she was arrested. Prosecutors say FBI agents interviewed Sena, who admitted to being present for the crimes in Park City, Denver and Cheyenne. It is unclear when Sena was taken into custody.
Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said on Sunday that the Sheriff’s Office was working closely with the FBI, as well as authorities in Wyoming, Oregon and Colorado in relation to the alleged multi-state crime spree.
Prosecutors say that Sena and Jovel aided and abetted Fanelli because they knew he was carrying a gun and they had the “apparent opportunity to not participate in the bank robbery.”
The U.S. attorney’s office in Salt Lake City is working with authorities in Colorado, Oregon and Wyoming to determine whether the defendants will be brought back to Utah to appear on the charges.
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.