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Press Release

Two Defendants Indicted In Alleged Bank Robbery Attempt In Richmond, Ill., During Which Third Suspect Was Fatally Shot

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

CHICAGO – Two defendants who were arrested in May after they allegedly attempted to rob a bank in Richmond, Ill., during which a third suspect was fatally shot, will be arraigned on federal charges tomorrow in U.S. District in Chicago. The defendants, AARON RUSSELL and ROBERTO FAVELA, who were initially charged in Federal Court in Rockford, were indicted last week by a federal grand jury in Chicago, moving the case to the Federal Court in Chicago.

Russell, 40, of Orland Hills, and Favela, 34, of Chicago, are scheduled to be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan. They were indicted last Thursday on one count each of attempted bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and using firearms during a violent crime. Russell alone was also indicted for illegally possessing firearms as a previously convicted felon.

On May 10, Russell, Favela, and Tony Starnes, 45, of Chicago, allegedly traveled from Chicago to Richmond, where they planned to and attempted to rob the Associated Bank on Main Street in the McHenry County village near the Wisconsin border. FBI agents confronted the men when they arrived in the bank’s parking lot in two vehicles, and Starnes, who was driving one of the cars, was shot and killed after he drove his car into an agent’s vehicle. Russell and Favela were arrested at that time.

Between them, Russell and Favela allegedly possessed four loaded guns, and Russell was charged with being a felon-in-possession of three of the firearms.

The charges were announced by Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Various local police departments and county sheriff’s departments assisted in the investigation and apprehension of the defendants. The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Stetler and Marc Krickbaum.

Attempted bank robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison; conspiracy to commit bank robbery carries a maximum of 5 years in prison; and carrying firearms during a crime of violence carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of 5 years and a maximum of life in prison, and each count carries a $250,000 maximum fine. The felon-in-possession of firearms count against Russell carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt against each defendant.


Updated July 27, 2015