Man faces 3 counts of bank robbery

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Already facing charges for robbing two Kilgore-area banks at gunpoint, Hector Camargo is now under federal indictment for a third incident in Longview.

Camargo, 48, was arrested April 21 following an armed robbery at First National Bank of Hughes Springs in Liberty City. He was soon linked to a similar incident in Kilgore four months earlier, the Dec. 16 robbery of Citizens National Bank on North Kilgore Street.

Last month, authorities added another, earlier incident to Camargo’s list, tying him to the Nov. 14 robbery of Citizens National Bank in downtown Longview.

“Everybody knew that he had robbed all three banks when we arrested him initially,” said Kilgore Police Department Det. Trae Portwood said. KPD coordinated with Longview PD, the Gregg County Sheriff’s Department in the investigation, and “It’s been something that’s been worked between all three agencies since the get-go.

“It’s taken some time to get it in the system. It’s going to be a federal issue at this point.”

In a federal indictment filed May 17 in Tyler in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Camargo faces three counts of bank robbery and two more for being armed during two of the incidents, in Kilgore and Liberty City.

Each robbery charge carries a penalty of imprisonment of up to 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to five years. According to the indictment, for the additional two counts of ‘use, carrying and possession of firearms and ammunition during and in furtherance of a violent crime,’ the Dudley Road resident faces up to seven years in jail (consecutive to any other prison term) for one charge and not less than 25 years if convicted of the second, in addition to fines up to $250,000 for each count.

The indictment notes Camargo took approximately $5,574 from Citizen’s National Bank in Longview in November, $4,218 from Kilgore’s CNB in December and $7,802 from the Liberty City branch in April.

A tip led law enforcement to the suspect in Longview April 21, within hours of the robbery in Liberty City, and he was initially charged with driving while intoxicated and expired registration.

At the time, per the May 17 indictment, Camargo had a .380 Browning pistol and ammunition for the weapon plus $6,953 in U.S currency. He’s in Gregg County Jail on bonds totaling $205,000 – on June 7, after Camargo waived his rights to a detention hearing, Judge John D. Love ordered the man be detained pending trial.

Scouring security footage from the CNB incident in Kilgore, “We had that photograph and asked for tips for months,” Portwood said. “He lives down the road on Dudley Road and we never heard a word. Even though he was local, he was not somebody who was standing out to folks.

“He finally did one too many and he got caught.”

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