Stephanie Schwab, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Alexandria to one count of bank robbery, one count of transporting a stolen vehicle and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Federal authorities had already been investigating the heroin ring Schwab was part of before her November 2011 violent crime spree, defense attorney Alfred Robertson said after the hearing.
In court, Schwab said that she and her friends made trips to New York, the District and Maryland to buy heroin between 2009 and 2011. They then sold the drugs to "anyone who called," she said.
Schwab was arrested in November after a police chase on the Capital Beltway following an attempted bank robbery in Fairfax County. At the time, she had been wanted for two weeks in connection with other bank heists in Prince William and Fairfax and carjackings in Fairfax and Baltimore.
Schwab has ties to the MS-13 gang and testified in a 2005 murder trial involving gang members.
She could receive up to 70 years behind bars at a July sentencing, but Robertson said guidelines call for about 10 years in prison. Robertson said Schwab is "relieved" that the case is nearing an end.
Authorities say Schwab's string of crimes began on Nov. 18, when she held up a Virginia Commerce Bank in Manassas and made off with $1,368.
The next day, she carjacked a woman in the Neiman Marcus parking lot at the Tysons Corner Center by claiming that she had run out of gas, then pulling a knife and forcing the woman out of the car, court documents say.
Then, on Nov. 22, she robbed a BB&T Bank in Springfield of $1,830. In Baltimore County, Schwab carjacked a woman at knifepoint on Nov. 24.
The final crime in her spree was the one that led to her arrest: She fled after trying to rob another BB&T branch in McLean on Nov. 30. A chase began after dispatchers linked the assailant's description to Schwab. She was taken into custody after crashing her getaway car on Old Georgetown Road.