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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced To More Than 15 Years In Federal Prison For 20 Armed Robberies Of Stores In Chicago And Suburbs In 2010

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

CHICAGO ― A Chicago man who committed 20 armed robberies of stores and businesses during a five-month period in 2010, was sentenced today to more than 15 years in federal prison. The defendant, CARLOS OCHOA, had admitted committing 15 robberies in Chicago, three in Berwyn, and one each in Aurora and Indian Head Park, sometimes for as little as $25, between July and November 2010.

Ochoa, 50, pleaded guilty last September to three counts of interstate robbery and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime. In pleading guilty, he admitted committing 17 additional armed robberies. U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle sentenced Ochoa to 130 months in prison for the robberies, consecutive to 60 months for using a gun, for a total of 190 months in prison. Ochoa was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $21,847 representing the net proceeds from all 20 robberies.

Three victims of Ochoa’s robberies testified about the lasting impact of the trauma they experienced before Judge Norgle imposed the sentence.

“For five months, [Ochoa] and his co-defendant went on a crime spree terrorizing individuals at their places of employment by pointing a gun, racking the slide of the gun, and making it clear to the victims that they would shoot them if they did not comply with their demands,” Assistant United States Attorneys Maribel Fernandez-Harvath, argued at sentencing.

Ochoa’s co-defendant, Juan Sanchez, who briefly escaped from state custody in late 2011, died of natural causes in January 2012 after he was indicted in the case.

Ochoa admitted that he and Sanchez conspired to rob various retail stores and businesses in Chicago and its suburbs. They identified stores to rob with a firearm, wore sunglasses and hats, and conducted surveillance inside the stores and businesses before the robberies.

The sentence was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Carl Vasilko, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Chicago, Aurora, Berwyn, and Indian Head Park police departments, as well as the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, also participated in the investigation.

Updated July 23, 2015