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A transgender woman who has been accused of robbing several banks throughout the South over the past two decades has pleaded guilty to robbing a bank in Mississippi in 2019, allegedly using the money to help pay for surgery.
Iconic Facce, a 37-year-old transgender woman from Ashford, Alabama, was arrested on a charges of robbery in 2019 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, following a trip to Mexico for what was believed to be facial surgery.
At the time of her arrest, her was was swollen and the area around her nose and cheeks were covered in white bandages, and her skin appeared to have ben lightened, the Biloxi Sun-Herald reported at the time.
Facce was slated to go to trial later this summer on two robbery charges for allegedly stealing money from the BancorpSouth in Gulfport, Mississippi, on March 22, 2019. But Facce’s lawyer informed the court on Wednesday that Facce wished to plead guilty to the charges instead of moving forward with a trial, reports NBC affiliate WALA.
According to police, Facce reportedly handed the teller at BancorpSouth a handwritten note reading: “You have 1 min. to give the money. Do not be wrong or die.” No weapon was seen or shown during the robbery. Witnesses later reported that the suspect appeared to have swollen facial features consistent with recent cosmetic surgery.
Following Facce’s guilty plea, Mississippi 2nd District Circuit Judge Randi Perescih Mueller sentenced Facce to a total of 30 years in prison, with 15 years to serve.
Facce was previously found guilty in 2009 of another robbery that occurred on Nov. 9, 2007 in Decatur, Alabama, in which she allegedly absconded with at least $9,000 in cash. At the time of the robbery, she had been released on bond for charges stemming from a June 2007 robbery that occurred in Cleveland, Tennessee. She was ultimately sentenced to four years in prison.
Facce was also previously charged in other bank robberies in Southern states, including two robberies in Dalton, Georgia, and Plano, Texas, in December 2007, although she was never convicted in those cases.
Throughout the years, police say Facce employed different aliases, including Destinee J. Lewis and Christy Nicole Lewis, according to information in federal and state court records.
In the robberies in question, she is accused of donning a wig, walking into a bank, and demanding cash, often threatening to harm victims if bank employees don’t comply with her demands. Police believe she used or intended to use money gained from the robberies to help pay for surgery.
District Attorney W. Crosby Parker celebrated Facce’s guilty plea and thanked police for their efforts in closing the case, according to Magnolia State Live.
“We commend the Gulfport Police Department and their steadfast work in identifying , locating, and apprehending this defendant,” Parker said “Their work is evidenced by this defendant requesting to plead guilty prior to the trial date. The sentence handed down by the the Court holds the defendant accountable for her actions and assists in providing closure to the victims of this crime.”
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