Duo Plead Guilty to Alameda Bank Heist

Two men entered a guilty plea for armed bank robbery in federal court in Oakland last Thursday, Jan. 9.

In their plea agreement, Calvin Earl Odom, Jr., 25, and Craig Goatley, 27, admitted to robbing the Citibank at 1526 Webster St. on Aug. 2, 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Lillian ArauzHaase.

According to the plea agreement, Odom, of Berkeley, entered the bank first, pretending to be a customer and interacting with a bank employee in the customer area. Goatley, of Oakland, entered the bank next and stood in the teller line. When the teller called Goatley to come forward, he brandished what appeared to be a handgun, but was actually a pellet gun, and demanded money. The teller and the neighboring teller handed money over to Goatley.

While Goatley was robbing the tellers, Odom pulled out what appeared to be a black handgun, but was also a pellet gun, and told the bank employee with whom he had been interacting with that this was a robbery and not to move. The two men fled the scene with $8,869, according to plea documents.

The two men were arrested on separate charges after a high-speed chase in a stolen car driven by Goatley on Aug. 14. Witnesses identified both suspects and Goatley was in possession of a cell phone with messages on it potentially referring to the robbery and photos taken of stacks of dollar bills, the complaint said.

Odom was identified as a suspect in the robbery after he left a note at the scene with his fingerprints on it. Odom was also indicted for the June 3 attempted robbery of a Mechanics Bank branch in Berkeley, but did not plead to that robbery last Thursday.

The two men were indicted on Oct. 10. Goatley and Odom will be sentenced on April 10 before U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. The maximum penalty for armed bank robbery is 25 years in prison and because they will go to a federal prison they will serve the entirety of their sentence with no chance of parole.

A joint investigation by the Alameda Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations led to the arrests and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian C. Lewis prosecuted over the case with assistance from Janice Pagsanjan.