'FedEx Bandit' gets 34 years
by The Penisula Beacon Editor
Aug 17, 2006 | 1428 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A 34-year prison term was handed down Friday, Aug. 11, to the "FedEx Bank Bandit," who robbed 32 banks in Point Loma, Pacific Beach and elsewhere. Ernest Lozano, 41, was given the nickname by the FBI because he used large Federal Express envelopes to cart away the loot.

Lozano was ordered to repay all the banks a sum of $124,894.10 from whatever meager wages he could earn in prison.

San Diego Superior Court Judge David Danielsen fined Lozano $10,000, and gave him credit for serving 366 days in jail, including time off for good behavior.

Deputy District Attorney George Bennett asked for the 34-year term, a culmunation of consecutive sentences on almost every count.

Defense attorney Greg Maizlish sought a term of eight years or less and urged that concurrent sentences be imposed.

"Each count is a separate criminal act," Danielsen said. "The [counts] are similar but

Independent from one another. This is not a single period of aberrant behavior."

Maizlish argued that Lozano was not a violent person and did not display a gun during any of the robberies, which began April 2004 and ended August 2005.

Lozano's motive was to get money for his opium and heroin addiction, Maizlish said in court papers.

Lozano's downfall came after he accidentally left his cell phone on a bank counter, which led to the contact information of a man who had purchased Lozano's car. The individual told police that Lozano had mentioned receiving three parking tickets. Police pulled their records and found Lozano's photo and driver's license number, and subsequently issued a warrant for his arrest.

Lozano canceled his cell phone service, but continued to rob banks using taxicabs to flee the scene. He escaped to Mexico, but was arrested Sept. 26, 2005, after trying to cross the border with a phony identification card.

Lozano pleaded guilty on May 17 to all 32 counts of bank robbery for a maximum sentence of 36 years.

Lozano robbed a Washington Mutual bank on Midway Drive Nov. 15, 2004, and a Wells Fargo bank on Rosecrans Street Dec. 20, 2004.

He held up nine banks on Balboa Avenue, two in Del Mar, at least five in East County, among other areas.

Lozano is from Iran and originally came to the United States on a student visa 25 years ago. His birth name is Farzad Farhbaksh, but he changed it to Ernest Lozano after the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.
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