Man guilty in connection with business robberies
From Illinois Business Journal news services
EAST ST. LOUIS – A 24-year-old Godfrey man pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to multiple, local robberies.
Joseph E. Schwank pleaded to one count of bank robbery and two counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act Robbery), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Schwank is scheduled for sentencing on Sept. 16, at which time he faces a potential sentence for each count of up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000, up to three years of supervised release after his prison term, a mandatory special assessment of $100, and restitution.
Court proceedings revealed that on March 2 of this year, Schwank entered a U.S. Bank branch facility in Alton, wearing a hunter’s hat and large white sunglasses. He approached a teller and handed her a note which read, “don’t be a hero put all of the money in your cash register on the counter for me robbery.” A teller removed cash in the amount of $1,613 from a drawer and placed it in a bag. Schwank picked up the cash and then exited the bank.
On Feb. 23, 2015, Schwank entered a Pizza Hut restaurant in Alton, wearing a disguise, walked to the counter, handed a bag to an employee, and stated, “Put the money in the bag.”
Schwank showed the employee a black airsoft gun he had in his waistband upon making this demand. The employee then provided Schwank with approximately $475 in cash. Schwank then fled from the restaurant.
In a third robbery, Schwank entered Domino’s Pizza on March 3, in Bethalto, wearing a disguise, and yelled, “This is a robbery. Give me all the money you have.” After being handed approximately $53 in cash by an employee, Schwank fled.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T. Kapsak for prosecution.