HOMELESS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK ROBBERY CHARGES
John L. Neal, Jr., 51, pled guilty on April 27, 2011, in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Ill.-, to an Indictment charging four counts of bank robbery, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Neal is currently scheduled to be sentenced on August 12, 2011. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and not more than 3 years of supervised release upon release from imprisonment, on each count.
According to court documents, on December 7, 2010, Neal entered the U.S. Bank located at 3303 Nameoki Road in Granite City. He purported to be a customer and approached a teller at the counter. He then passed her a handwritten note demanding cash. The teller removed $2,450.00 in United States currency from her drawer and handed it to Neal, after which he fled on foot.
On January 5, 2011, Neal entered Guardian Savings Bank, located at 3800 Nameoki Road in Granite City. Again, he pretended to be a customer, approached a teller, and demanded cash. The teller then removed $8,750.00 in United States currency from her drawer and gave it to him. Neal fled the bank on foot.
On January 14, 2011, Neal entered the Granite City Steel Federal Credit Union located at 1833 Third Street in Madison. He purported to be a customer and approached a teller demanding cash. He then put his hand in his pocket to gesture as if he had a gun. The teller subsequently removed $10,080.00 in United States currency from her drawer and handed it to Neal, after which he fled on foot.
On January 25, 2011, Neal entered the Bank of Edwardsville, located at 3502 Maryville Road in Granite City. He pretended to be a customer and approached a teller demanding cash. The teller removed $4,000.00 in United States currency from her drawer and handed it to Neal, after which he fled on foot.
Detectives from the Granite City Police Department identified Neal first through an anonymous tip, and then by positive identification by witnesses of the defendant in a photo lineup. Detectives located Neal at a “crack house” in Venice, Illinois, and transported him to the police station for an interview. During the interview, Neal confessed to the bank robberies. He explained that he needed the money to finance his drug addiction. He also told the officers that he would burn some of the clothing he wore during the robberies, but some was recovered in the investigation. In total, only $1,480.00 of the stolen money was recovered, stashed in a suitcase.
The case is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Deirdre A. Durborow for prosecution. The case was investigated by the Granite City Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.