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Press Release

Two Twin Cities Men Sentenced to Prison for Their Roles in an Armed Bank Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two Twin Cities men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the armed robbery of a Deerwood Bank, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.

On March 15, 2022, U.S. District Judge Eric C. Tostrud sentenced John Thomas Paciorek II, 52, of Minneapolis, to 90 months in prison. Co-defendant James Richard Ardito, Jr, 52, of Fridley, was sentenced on August 3, 2021, to 58 months in prison.

According to court records, Paciorek and Ardito together devised a plan to rob the Deerwood Bank in Garrison, Minnesota. On July 24, 2020, Paciorek and Ardito drove to the bank; Paciorek waited in the car while Ardito hid in the bushes outside of the bank until an employee arrived to open the business. Ardito emerged from the bushes, pointed a replica firearm at the employee, and demanded that they open the bank and disable the security system. Ardito then demanded money from the bank teller drawers. The employee complied, giving Ardito $402 in cash. Ardito took the money and fled the scene in the getaway car, driven by Paciorek.

The robbery was caught on the bank’s surveillance camera and law enforcement was able to easily identify Ardito. After his apprehension, Ardito confessed to his and Paciorek’s involvement in the bank robbery. Additionally, law enforcement learned Paciorek was the owner of the getaway vehicle and location data from Paciorek’s cellphone placed him at the scene of the bank robbery.

On October 21, 2021, Paciorek pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery, and on January 20, 2021, Ardito pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan B. Gilead prosecuted the case.

Updated March 16, 2022

Violent Crime