Canadian prisoner sentenced for 1992 California bank holdup
EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A man in a Canadian prison has pleaded guilty to robbing a Southern California bank more than three decades ago.
Iridian Mishael Grenada, 56, was behind bars when he entered a plea to armed bank robbery in a San Diego federal court by video on Wednesday, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
He was sentenced to more than seven years in prison but the judge gave him credit for time he served for a second-degree murder conviction in Canada.
Prosecutors said that three days before Christmas Day in 1992, Grenada — then known as Gregory Hanson — used a handgun and a briefcase containing a fake bomb to rob a Union Bank branch in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon.
He fled with more than $39,000. He left behind the briefcase, which contained a replica explosive device made of batteries, wires and road flares.
Grenada has been imprisoned in Canada since 1993, except for three months when he was at large after a 1994 prison break. He has a criminal history dating back to 1984 that includes bank heists and the killing of an accomplice to robberies he committed while on the lam.
His attorneys argued that Grenada has changed his life over the nearly three decades that he’s been imprisoned.
In addition to a prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Cathy Bencivengo ordered Grenada to repay the money from the 1992 holdup, although she quipped that given the time lapse, “I don’t think Union Bank is holding its breath,” the Union-Tribune reported.
“I do wish you the best of luck,” the judge said. “I hope you’ll be able to get paroled at some point.”