Alleged Mastermind Of Fake Bomb Bank Robbery Appears In Court

CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES ( — The man accused of masterminding a bank robbery by strapping a fake explosive device to his girlfriend, a bank employee, pleaded not guilty in federal court Monday.

Reyes “Ray” Vega, a 34-year-old former firearms instructor, is accused of orchestrating the September robbery at Bank of America in East Los Angeles.

The incident brought the bomb squad to the scene after Vega’s girlfriend, who worked as an assistant branch manager, appeared to be strapped with an explosive device.

Vega and two co-defendants, Richard Menchaca and Bryan Perez, were indicted on federal charges of bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and aiding and abetting each other by force, violence and intimidation.

Prosecutors allege that Vega arranged for the woman, whose name was not released, to wear a fake explosive device so that she would be seen as a hostage in the heist.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin…

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