Federal Grand Jury Indicts Evanston Man on Robbery and Gun Charges in Connection with North Suburban Gas Station Heists
CHICAGO — A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted an Evanston man on robbery and firearm charges in connection with three violent gas station heists in the north suburbs.
MARIO BANKS JR., 24, is charged with three counts of robbery and three counts of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The indictment accuses Banks of robbing three gas stations at gunpoint:
- Nov. 4, 2018: Bucky’s Express Mobil, 6400 block of North Cicero Avenue, Lincolnwood.
- Feb. 16, 2019: Shell Oil, 3300 block of Howard Street, Skokie.
- Feb. 19, 2019: Bucky’s Express Mobil, 6400 block of North Cicero Avenue, Lincolnwood.
The indictment was returned June 20, 2019, in federal court in Chicago. Banks has pleaded not guilty to the charges and he remains detained in federal custody. A status hearing is set for Sept. 12, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Demitrous Cook, Chief the Evanston Police Department; Jay Parrott, Chief of the Lincolnwood Police Department; Anthony F. Scarpelli, Chief of the Skokie Police Department; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric S. Pruitt.
The firearm counts each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life, while each robbery count is punishable by up to 20 years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.