Federal and International, Law and Order

Leader of Armed Robbery Crew Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison

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“The scales of justice” by James Cridland is licensed under CC BY 2.0 CC BY 2.0

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago man to 30 years in prison for leading an armed robbery crew that targeted stores on the city’s North and Northwest Sides.

ROBERT L. BERRIOS, 51, committed 24 armed robberies or attempted armed robberies in 2012.  His crew mainly struck at cellular telephone stores, often terrorizing store employees by wearing masks and brandishing firearms.  In some of the heists, the robbers physically restrained store employees with zip ties.  The robberies netted the crew $115,063.60 in cash.

A jury in 2017 convicted Berrios on robbery, firearm, and conspiracy charges.  In addition to the 30-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly on Tuesday ordered Berrios to pay $115,063.60 in restitution to the victim stores.  Judge Kennelly made findings that Berrios was the leader of the robbery crew and that he obstructed justice by committing perjury during his trial.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The Chicago Police Department provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angel M. Krull and Georgia Alexakis.

Three other members of the robbery crew were previously sentenced to prison terms.  DAVID REVIS, of Chicago, was sentenced to 15 years; JULIO RODRIGUEZ, of Chicago, was sentenced to nine years; and LUIS DIAZ, of Chicago, was sentenced to three years.

Evidence at Berrios’s trial revealed that the crew worked together to gather intelligence about possible targets, including store hours and the number of employees working at a given time.  The crew communicated with one another to plan the robberies and procure the necessary tools, including masks, zip ties, firearms, and getaway vehicles.

The jury convicted Berrios of leading the conspiracy to commit all 24 robberies or attempted robberies, and specifically made findings of guilt for nine robberies:

  • July 1, 2012: Walgreens store, 5935 W. Addison St., Chicago.
  • July 28, 2012: Currency Exchange, 2753 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago.
  • Aug. 15, 2012: Currency Exchange, 2814 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago.
  • Sept. 19, 2012: T-Mobile store, 1552 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago.
  • Sept. 28, 2012: T-Mobile store, 1958 W. Irving Park Rd., Chicago.
  • Oct. 2, 2012: T-Mobile store, 4000 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago.
  • Oct. 13, 2012: T-Mobile store, 3951 N. Kimball Ave., Chicago.
  • Oct. 16, 2012: Cricket store, 3200 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago.
  • Oct. 22, 2012: AT&T store, 3955 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago.

This is from a release from the United States Department of Justice.