The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado has charged three individuals from Pueblo for their involvement in a string of bank robberies in the Denver-Boulder area. Leo Elias Benavidez, Ashley Raeanne Cooper, and Britne Bree Schneider have all been accused of various roles in the robberies, which occurred over the course of May and June 2023. Benavidez and Cooper are facing multiple counts of bank robbery, while Schneider is charged with accessory after the fact. The investigation, led by the FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force, involved multiple law enforcement agencies.
Defendants Charged in Bank Robberies
Charges Filed Against Pueblo Residents
Three defendants from Pueblo, Colorado have been charged with federal complaints in connection to a series of bank robberies in the Denver-Boulder area. The defendants are Leo Elias Benavidez (34 years old), Ashley Raeanne Cooper (33 years old), and Britne Bree Schneider (25 years old). Benavidez is facing four counts of bank robbery and aiding and abetting those robberies. Cooper is also facing four counts of bank robbery and aiding and abetting, while Schneider has been charged with a single count of accessory after the fact.
Defendants’ Alleged Roles in the Robberies
According to the criminal complaints, Benavidez and Cooper are suspected of robbing four banks in the Denver-Boulder metro area and attempting to rob a fifth bank. Schneider allegedly acted as the getaway driver following three of the robberies.
Initial Appearance Before Magistrate Judge
The defendants had their initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Crews on June 21, 2023.
Investigation and Agencies Involved
FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force
The FBI Rocky Mountain Safe Streets Task Force is one of the agencies involved in the investigation of the bank robberies.
Brighton Police Department
The Brighton Police Department is another agency that has been involved in the investigation.
Denver Police Department
The Denver Police Department has also played a role in the investigation of the bank robberies.
Arvada Police Department
The Arvada Police Department has been assisting in the investigation as well.
Westminster Police Department
The Westminster Police Department has been involved in the investigation of the bank robberies.
Boulder Police Department
The Boulder Police Department has also been assisting in the investigation.
Lafayette Police Department
The Lafayette Police Department is another agency that has been involved in the investigation of the bank robberies.
Prosecution and Handling of the Case
Assistant United States Attorney Brian Dunn
Assistant United States Attorney Brian Dunn is responsible for handling the prosecution of the case against the defendants.
Presumption of Innocence
It is important to note that the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The charges in the complaints are allegations at this stage of the legal process.
The case numbers for the charges against the defendants are as follows: 23-mj-00108-NRN for Schneider, 23-mj-00109-NRN for Cooper, and 23-mj-00110-NRN for Benavidez.
Pueblo Man Sentenced for Possessing Firearm and Distributing Drugs
In another recent case, Leonard Cordova, a 44-year-old man from Pueblo, was sentenced to 151 months in federal prison for possessing a firearm and distributing drugs. This case is unrelated to the bank robberies.
Denver Man Sentenced for 10 Armed Bank Robberies
Jerome Bravo, a 39-year-old man from Denver, has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for committing 10 armed bank robberies. This case is also unrelated to the current bank robbery charges.
Accessory to Zambia Safari Murder Sentenced
Lori Milliron, a 65-year-old woman formerly from Paradise Valley, Arizona, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for being an accessory to a murder that occurred during a safari in Zambia. This case is not connected to the bank robberies.
District of Colorado Main Office
The main office for the District of Colorado can be reached at the following address: 1801 California Street Suite 1600, Denver, CO 80202.
For media inquiries, please contact the District of Colorado Public Affairs Office by email at email@example.com
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Overview of Bank Robbery Charges
Number of Defendants Charged
Three defendants from Pueblo, Colorado have been charged in connection with the bank robberies.
Dates and Locations of Robberies
The bank robberies occurred during the months of May and June 2023 in the Denver-Boulder metro area.
In addition to the four successful bank robberies, the defendants attempted to rob a fifth bank.
Accessories to the Crimes
Schneider has been charged as an accessory after the fact, as she allegedly drove the getaway car following three of the robberies.
Details of Defendants’ Alleged Roles
Leo Elias Benavidez
Leo Elias Benavidez has been charged with four counts of bank robbery and aiding and abetting those robberies.
Ashley Raeanne Cooper
Ashley Raeanne Cooper is facing four counts of bank robbery and aiding and abetting the same.
Britne Bree Schneider
Britne Bree Schneider has been charged with a single count of accessory after the fact for her alleged involvement in the bank robberies.
Accomplice in Getaway Car
Schneider is suspected of being the getaway driver following three of the bank robberies.
Presumption of Innocence and Burden of Proof
Allegations in the Complaints
It is important to remember that the charges in the complaints against the defendants are allegations at this stage of the legal process.
Proven Guilty Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The burden of proof in criminal cases lies with the prosecution, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.