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Not guilty pleas entered in Richmond bank robbery attempt

CHICAGO – The two men accused of trying to rob a Richmond bank have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against them.

Aaron Russell, 40, of Orland Hills and Roberto Favela, 34, of Chicago were charged with one count each of attempted bank robbery, conspiracy to commit bank robbery and using firearms during a violent crime. Russell, a convicted felon, also was charged with illegally possessing firearms.

The men were arraigned Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan. Initially charged in federal court in Rockford, last week the pair were indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago.

On May 10, Russell, Favela and a third man traveled from Chicago to Richmond, where they planned to rob the local Associated Bank, authorities said.

The third man, Tony Starnes, 45, of Chicago, was shot by FBI agents in the parking lot of the bank

Attempted bank robbery carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years; conspiracy to commit bank robbery has a maximum of five years; and carrying firearms during a crime of violence carries a mandatory consecutive sentence of five years to a maximum of life in prison.

Both remain in federal custody without bond and are represented by federal public defenders. Their next court date is Aug. 13.

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