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Leader In “Takeover” Robberies Sentensed To Life In Prison - Guns and Violence Used to Take More Than $400,000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2007

Urbana, Ill. – The central figure in a group responsible for a string of violent armed robberies of financial institutions and businesses in Kankakee, Peotone and Rantoul, Illinois was ordered today to spend the rest of his natural life with no parole in federal prison. Brad O. Williams, age 28,of Kankakee, Illinois was sentenced to natural life in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey. Williams was also ordered to pay restitution in the total amount of $421,052 with co-defendants in the case.

Three co-defendants in the case were also sentenced today to lengthy prison terms. Judge McCuskey sentenced Seville Williams, age 24, to 45½ years (546 months) in prison and ordered that Williams pay restitution in the amount of $317,892. Clinton Williams, age 34, was sentenced to 46 years (552 months) in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $416,714. Rory Tucker, age 21, was sentenced to more than 18 years imprisonment (221 months;) no restitution was ordered.

U.S. Attorney Heaton stated, “Justice was served today. Thanks to the tireless commitment of federal, state and local law enforcement, and the courageous testimony of those directly victimized by these acts, these defendants will spend decades in prison because they chose to engage in these violent acts.”

A jury convicted the four Kankakee men in November 2006, for conspiring together from November 2005 through April 24, 2006, to commit at least five violent armed robberies resulting in more than $400,000 stolen from the financial institutions and businesses.

Four other defendants in the case: Marion Jefferson III, 20; Bobby L. Riley, 19; Ahshun T. Collins, 27; and Tyron Thomas, 21, pled guilty to their participation in the conspiracy and are scheduled for sentencing tomorrow, March 13, 2007.

The government presented evidence at trial that Brad Williams played a central role in each of the robberies. In addition to the charge of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, Williams was convicted of four counts of armed robbery and four counts of carrying a firearm during a crime of violence, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Characterized by violent “takeovers,” evidence was presented at trial that the defendants committed the armed robberies as follows:

January 3, 2006 - Brad and Seville Williams, armed with handguns, stole approximately $2,700 from a Kankakee Walgreen’s store. The defendants attempted to thwart law enforcement’s response to the scene by causing a fictitious 911 call regarding a home invasion on the opposite side of town;

January 11, 2006 - Brad and Seville Williams, armed with handguns, entered the Commonwealth Credit Union in Kankakee, threatened an employee and stole approximately $313,000. Clinton Williams, Brad Williams’ brother, drove Brad and Seville Williams from the credit union;

March 28, 2006 - Brad Williams acted as a lookout while Thomas and Jefferson, both armed with handguns, entered Heights Finance in Kankakee, threatened employees and demanded money. Jefferson struck an employee in the head with the gun, causing the gun to discharge. Approximately $200 was taken in the robbery;

April 7, 2006 - Thomas and Jefferson entered the First Community Bank and Trust in Peotone, Illinois, and stole approximately $100,000. Brad and Clinton Williams acted as lookouts and getaway drivers. Jefferson was armed with a handgun; and, April 24, 2006 - Brad Williams, Thomas, Jefferson, and Collins, at least three of whom were armed with handguns, entered Community Plus Federal Credit Union in Rantoul, Illinois and stole approximately $3,600. During the robbery, two employees were struck in the head by handguns. Clinton Williams, Tucker, and Riley acted as getaway drivers and lookouts. An observant citizen notified Rantoul police of the suspicious activity, and five of the defendants were arrested as they tried to flee the area. The sixth defendant was arrested two days later in Kankakee.

The charges were the result of a cooperative task force including the following participating agencies: Kankakee Police Department; Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s Office; Rantoul Police Department; United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department; Illinois State Police; Bradley Police Department; Bourbonnais Police Department; Grant Park Police Department; Herscher Police Department; Peotone Police Department; and, Manteno Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass, Central District of Illinois.

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