“Freedom Fighter Bandit” arrested and charged with bank robbery

Staff Reports • Feb 5, 2018 at 6:13 PM

A woman wanted by the FBI and dubbed by the media as the “Freedom Fighter Bandit” was arrested in Nashville on Saturday.

Nilsa Marie Urnea, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa., was charged with bank robbery Sunday after being arrested near the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Nashville on Saturday following an earlier robbery of the Upper Cumberland Credit Union in Crossville.

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, a woman entered the Upper Cumberland Federal Credit Union on Saturday and handed a teller a note which read, “Bomb[;] 20 minutes [;] no cops [;] Allah.”

The teller gave the robber $1,000 in $100 bills, after which she left the bank and walked toward a nearby apartment complex, where another bank employee saw her changing clothes.

During the investigation by responding officers from the Crossville Police Department and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, officers determined that a suspect matching the description of the robber was seen entering a vehicle at a nearby grocery store. The investigation led officers to an address where the vehicle was registered, where they learned the vehicle’s owner operated a car service and was currently taking a client to Nashville.

Officers called the owner of the vehicle and warned him of the possibility he was driving a bank robbery suspect. They discovered that the rider’s destination was the Greyhound Bus Terminal in Nashville and the driver continued to send text message updates to the officers with the destination and estimated time of arrival.

The complaint alleges that after the suspect was dropped off at the Greyhound Terminal, she was taken into custody at a market across the street by officers from the Nashville Metropolitan Police Departmemt.

The complaint also alleges that Urena was being sought by the FBI for her involvement in multiple bank robberies in Georgia and had been dubbed by the media as the “Freedom Fighter Bandit.” There was also an active warrant for Urena charging her with one with one of those robberies in Douglas County, Georgia.

If convicted, Urena faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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