Rock Island Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Two Armed Bank Robberies
Rock Island, Ill. –Deangelo Dixon, 28, of Rock Island, Ill., was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for committing two armed bank robberies, as announced by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Central District of Illinois. A jury convicted Dixon in March 2014, for the violent armed robberies of Union Federal Savings & Loan in Viola, Ill., and the 1st Community Bank in Sherrard, Ill. Today, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Darrow found, based on Dixon’s two prior robbery convictions in Illinois courts, that Dixon was a recidivist violent offender as defined in the federal 3-Strikes law, and accordingly, a term of life imprisonment was mandated.
At pre-trial hearings and at trial, the government presented evidence that when Dixon entered Union Federal Savings & Loan in Viola, on Nov. 8, 2012, he had been on parole for fewer than two weeks from the Illinois Department of Corrections for aggravated robbery. When Dixon entered the bank, he was dressed in black and his head was covered with a mask. He grabbed a teller by the collar, put a round hard object against her neck, demanded money, and threatened to shoot the teller. Dixon made continuous threats to force tellers to open the bank vault and took $30,994 before fleeing.
The government presented further evidence that on Dec. 10, 2012, Dixon entered the 1st Community Bank in Sherrard, again dressed in black and wearing a mask. He pointed a firearm-like object, which was later determined to be a butane lighter, at tellers, announcing that he wanted money or he would shoot. While yelling continuous threats, Dixon grabbed a teller and forced her to remove $5,710 from teller drawers. As Dixon fled the bank and approached his getaway car, he encountered another teller who had run from the bank as the robbery was underway. Dixon grabbed the teller, tried to force her into his car, and when he was unsuccessful, punched her in the face.
Evidence further established that a Rock Island police officer, who had investigated Dixon in connection with his prior robbery offenses, recognized Dixon’s signature robbery technique and his car after seeing a bulletin circulated by the FBI and police to area law enforcement agencies. FBI agents, police officers, and parole officers of the Illinois Department of Corrections subsequently recovered physical evidence, including clothing and the car, linking Dixon to both robberies. Evidence was also presented that Dixon, unemployed and recently released from prison, spent large sums of money after the robberies.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Allegro and Kirk Schuler prosecuted the case. The charges were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office, the Viola Police Department, the Rock Island Police Department, and the Illinois Department of Corrections.
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