UPDATE: Charges Filed in Connection with Poplar Grove Bank Robbery

UPDATE: BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Gary S. Shapiro, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, announced the filing of charges against two individuals involved in an incident that led to the fatal shooting of a third individual.

Aaron Russel, 40, of Orland Hills, Illinois, and Roberto Favela, 34, of Chicago, were charged in a criminal complaint filed late yesterday in U.S. District Court in Rockford with one count of attempted bank robbery, a felony offense.

According to the complaint, FBI special agents have been investigating Russell and others in connection with a number of armed robberies of Chicago-area jewelry stores as well as the armed robbery of a bank that occurred February 2, 2013, in Poplar Grove, Illinois. The complaint alleges that yesterday morning, law enforcement observed Favela driving a Chevy Tahoe and Tony Starnes, 45, of 7836 South Marquette Avenue, Chicago, 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 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, Illinois, and ultimately to a parking lot in front of the Associated Bank at 10910 North Main Street in Richmond, Illinois.

The complaint alleges that shortly after the Honda Civic pulled into the parking lot, it was surrounded by special agents who identified themselves as law enforcement. The complaint further alleges that the Honda Civic then rammed an agent’s vehicle and that law enforcement 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 by law enforcement at the same time. Both men appeared this 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 11:00 a.m. in U.S. District Court in Rockford.

In announcing the charges today, Mr. Nelson acknowledged the many law enforcement partners who lent resources and provided invaluable assistance during the course of the investigation and especially following yesterday’s events. He thanked the Chicago, Richmond, and Spring Grove (Illinois) Police Departments; the Richmond Fire Department; and the McHenry County, Will County, and Boone County Sheriff’s Offices.

If convicted of the charges filed against them, Russell and Favela each face a possible maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.


BOONE COUNTY (WIFR) -- The FBI is helping search for two men who robbed a local bank at gun point this morning.

Witnesses say the suspects ordered employees to the ground while they stole money from the Poplar Grove State Bank on Route 76. Police tell 23 News the men were last seen wearing ski masks and black clothing. Three local police departments are working on the case.


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