Home Chicago Press Releases 2012 California Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Robbery of BMO Harris Bank in Rockford

California Man Sentenced to Eight Years in Federal Prison for Robbery of BMO Harris Bank in Rockford

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 19, 2012
  • Northern District of Illinois (312) 353-5300

ROCKFORD, IL—A California man was sentenced today in federal court for bank robbery. The defendant, William Joseph Farrell, 38, was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard to eight years in federal prison for the robbery of BMO Harris Bank, 3202 McFarland Rd. in Rockford, Illinois, on March 2, 2012. Farrell was ordered to first return to California to serve the remainder of a term of imprisonment imposed in that state. Following his release from California state prison, he will be taken into federal custody to serve his federal sentence. Judge Reinhard ordered that the first year of his federal sentence be served concurrently with the California sentence, but that the remaining seven years of his sentence of imprisonment be served consecutive to his state court prison sentence. In addition, the court also ordered Farrell to pay restitution of $4,000 to BMO Harris Bank.

Farrell pled guilty to the charge on September 7, 2012. According to the written plea agreement, Farrell stole a white panel van in Algonquin, Illinois. during the early morning hours of February 29, 2012. On March 2, 2012, Farrell drove the van to Rockford and parked in a grocery store parking lot near the BMO Harris Bank branch on McFarland Road. Farrell admitted he entered the bank and handed a note to a teller that stated “I have a Gun. U R Being Robbed. Give Me $100-$50-$20-$10. Thank you.” The teller complied with the note, took $4,000 of the bank’s money from the teller drawer, and handed the money to Farrell, who then fled from the bank in the stolen van. Farrell has been in federal custody since his arrest in California on April 20, 2012.

The sentencing was announced by Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Thomas R. Trautmann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of Federal Bureau of Investigation; Chet Epperson, Chief of the Rockford Police Department; and Russell Laine, Chief of the Algonquin Police Department.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney John G. McKenzie.