CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–March 21, 2014. A Lake County man is now facing federal charges for allegedly committing eight armed robberies, which netted more than $1,700, over 10 days last August of retail stores across Lake County and northern Cook County. In one of the robberies, shots were fired from the getaway car, but no one was injured. The defendant, LEROY REGAN, initially faced state charges filed in Lake County following his arrest last summer, but he was indicted on federal charges this week after the case was adopted from the state under the umbrella of Project Safe Neighborhoods. A second defendant, JEFFREY VALENTINE, was charged with committing the last of the eight robberies with Regan.
Regan, also known as “Outlaw,” 38, of Grayslake, was charged with eight counts of robbery and eight counts of brandishing or discharging a firearm in a 16-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday. Regan, who is federal custody without bond, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly, who set trial for Oct. 20. If convicted of a single gun count, Regan faces a maximum of life imprisonment.
Valentine, aka “Goldie,” 31, of Chicago, who is currently in state custody, was charged with one count of robbery. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 3 in U.S. District Court.
“I am pleased with the cooperative teamwork of state and federal investigators and prosecutors that resulted in this federal indictment. We are all working toward the same goal of justice and will continue to coordinate so that, in appropriate cases, a state investigation may turn into a federal prosecution,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim.
According to court records, in each of the robberies, the suspect entered the store wearing a hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled up over his head and brandishing a handgun. After taking money from the cash register, the robber fled the store.
The indictment alleges that Regan committed the following robberies in August 2013:
Aug. 5 ― Dollar General store, 1917 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., North Chicago;
Aug. 6 ― Family Dollar store, 1701 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., North Chicago, approximately $131 stolen;
Aug. 8 ― Citgo gas station, 2135 Green Bay Rd., Waukegan, approximately $300;
Aug. 8 ― Taco Bell restaurant, 3200 North Lewis Ave., Waukegan, approximately $180. Two customers were shot at from a fleeing vehicle as they attempted to get the license plate of the auto;
Aug. 11 ― 7-11 store, 37763 North Green bay Rd., Beach Park, approximately $422;
Aug. 12 ― Thornton’s gas station, 55 Skokie Valley Rd., Highland Park, approximately $145;
Aug. 14 ― Family Dollar store, 1106 Washington St., Waukegan, approximately $398; and
Aug. 15 ― 7-11 store, 500 Skokie Blvd., Wilmette, approximately $160 and six to eight cartons of cigarettes. Valentine was charged with this robbery alone.
Regan was arrested in Waukegan on Aug. 17, 2013, following an intensive investigation by the Waukegan and Wilmette police departments. The Highland Park Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in the investigation, which was joined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, leading to the federal charges.
Each count of robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of brandishing a firearm carries a consecutive, mandatory minimum of seven years (10 years on the charge of discharging a firearm) in prison and a maximum of life on any one count, and conviction on one or more subsequent gun counts carries a mandatory minimum of 25 years consecutive to any other sentence imposed. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The indictment was announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Carl Vasilko, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Thompson.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.