Suspect was among three who were about to rob an Associated Bank branch, officials said. Natalie Martinez reports.
Two men whose accomplice was shot dead by an FBI agent in northwest suburban Richmond on Friday were subsequently charged in connection with a string of armed robberies in the Chicago area, authorities said.
Aaron Russell, 40, and Roberto Favela, 34, were charged late Friday following their arrested outside an Associated Bank location, on the 10000 block of North Main Street, in Richmond.
FBI officials said they'd been investigating Russell, of the 9200 block of Hunter Drive in Orland Hills, and Favela, of the 5500 block of South California in Chicago, for their suspected roles in a number of armed robberies of Chicago-area jewelry stores, as well as a suburban bank robbery.
According to a federal criminal complaint filed late Friday in U.S. District Court in Rockford, law enforcement observed Favela, 34, driving a Chevrolet Tahoe and Tony Starnes, 45, of the 7800 block of South Marquette, driving a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen to Chicago Police Department late last year.
A license plate observed on the Honda Civic had also been reported stolen, the complaint said.
The complaint states that the two vehicles were seen traveling from the Chicago area to a location just across the Illinois-Wisconsin border. At that location, Russell was seen getting out of the Tahoe driven by Favela and getting into the back seat of the Honda Civic driven by Starnes. The two vehicles were then seen driving to Richmond and ultimately to a parking lot in front of the Associated Bank.
Shortly after the Honda Civic pulled into the parking lot, it was surrounded by FBI agents who identified themselves as law enforcement, according to a release from the FBI. The Honda Civic then rammed an FBI agent’s vehicle, and that agent then shot and killed the driver, Starnes.
Russell, allegedly wearing gloves and a face mask around his neck, was removed from the back seat of the Honda Civic and taken into custody. Favela, who was still in the driver’s seat of the Tahoe in another area of the parking lot, was arrested at the same time.
Russell and Favela appeared Saturday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael T. Mason, at which time they were formally charged and ordered held pending their next court appearance, scheduled to take place next Tuesday at 11 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Rockford.
Russell and Favela were each charged with one count of attempted bank robbery. If convicted of the charges filed against them, they each face a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.
This report was originally published on May 11, 2013.