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Immigration rights activist is alleged "Mesh Mask Bandit" in Texas

Last Updated Jun 25, 2013 1:06 PM EDT

Authorities in North Texas say the person seen above robbing a bank, and who is known to them as the "Mesh Mask Bandit," is immigration rights activist Luis Delagarza, who is suspected in 19 bank robberies.
CBS DFW
(CBS) DALLAS - Authorities in North Texas say the man known to them as the "Mesh Mask Bandit" who is believed to be responsible for 19 bank robberies since New Year's Eve is better known as a prominent immigration rights activist, Luis Delagarza.

CBS DFW reported that Delagarza was arrested for the April robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank, but an FBI Task Force also identified him as the "Mesh Mask Bandit," whose targets have mostly been in North Dallas and nearby communities.

Delagarza was an organizer of protests and marches for immigration rights.

"..He did some amazing things as a community leader, as a businessman, and all of that was just poisoned by him becoming a serial bank robber," said fellow activist Carlos Quintanilla.

Quintanilla claims Delagarza has a gambling addiction.

"I think the casinos got the best of him," he told CBS DFW. I think he became very indebted. I think he became so indebted that he had to do this."

Educator and politician Rene Martinez told the station any alleged criminal actions are those of an individual, not Hispanic rights supporters.

Quintanilla agreed with that assessment.

"I think what Luis Delagarza did, he did as an individual and not as a representative of our community," he said.

Delagarza is in federal custody and is due in court on Tuesday.

  • Barry Leibowitz

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