A man faces up to life in prison after a jury convicted him on federal charges for robbing three banks, including one in Gurnee, with an AK-47 rifle, prosecutors said.
James D. Williams, 46, of Bartlett, was found guilty of three counts of bank robbery, three counts of using a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and conspiracy to transfer a firearm to a felon.
Williams and Alexis T. Handelman, 25, of Bartlett, robbed three banks from May 11 to May 31, 2018, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The robberies occurred at Second National Bank in Ottawa on May 11, 2018; Norstates Bank in Gurnee on May 21, 2018; and Aurora Bank and Trust located in Aurora on May 31, 2018.
Williams had obtained an AK-47-style firearm, which he used in each of the three robberies, prosecutors said.
A day after the second robbery, Williams’ wife, Jessica Sweeney Williams, purchased a handgun.
James Williams used that handgun, as well as the rifle, in the third robbery.
James Williams fired one of the guns during the third robbery but no one was struck by the bullet, prosecutors said.
James Williams and Handelman used disguises during each robbery and traveled in vehicles that were either rented or borrowed, prosecutors said.
A sentencing hearing before U.S. District Court Judge John Robert Blakey has not been scheduled yet.
James Williams faces a minimum sentence of 24 years in federal prison and a maximum of up to life.
Handelman has pleaded guilty to committing the bank robberies and is awaiting sentencing.
Jessica Williams pleaded guilty to providing a firearm to her husband and was sentenced to two years in prison.