You have heard of Bonnie and Clyde? Micky and Mallory Knox? Thelma and Louise? Well, get ready for Violet Greco and Glenesha Currie, the interracial lesbian couple who knocked over five Chicago banks before leading authorities on a high-speed chase into Indiana. What they did not realize was that the FBI had bugged their getaway vehicle.
When the pair attempted to rob the PNC Bank, authorities were on them in a hurry. The couple fled, leading authorities on a 100mph chase that ended in Indiana after their car ran out of gas.
Federal Charges Filed Against the Defendants
The FBI says that Violet Greco was the getaway driver and the brains behind the organization. The actual robberies were carried out by her partner. Authorities say that Glenesha Currie would hand the bank teller a note saying, “Smile. I have a gun, give me all the money.” Each robbery would net about $600 in cash, although, at one bank, nearly $8,000 was taken.
Federal Bank Robbery Charges
Federal statute 18 U.S. Code § 2113 makes it a crime to rob banks using force or intimidation. The presence of a weapon, injury, or death during the commission of the robbery, and the amount of money taken are all factors that can lengthen the sentence. The maximum sentence for bank robbery charges with no other aggravating factors involved is 20 years for these women based on the amount of money stolen. The federal government will also likely charge the women for each bank robbery, meaning that each robbery will carry its own sentence. In fact, the way the federal statute is worded, even if the robbery is unsuccessful, the defendants can be charged under the statute merely for intending to rob the bank.
The question of whether these sentences will have 20-year maximums or 10-year maximums will depend on whether handing a note to someone constitutes the “use of force.” In fact, it does. You do not actually need to have a weapon on you. You only need to intimate the teller by saying you have a gun to qualify for the 20-year maximum. Other crimes, such as conspiracy can be added to the charges.
The Situation is Bad for These Ladies
Federal sentencing guidelines often work on a point system. While mandatory minimums are always in effect, the point system determines how much time the defendant will spend behind bars. Since federal robbery charges alone have 20 points, the two women will be facing a minimum of 33 months for each bank they stole money from. Since they can be charged for each crime individually, they each face 16.5 years behind bars, and that is at the low end of the sentencing guidelines. The manner in which they were caught will make it difficult to negotiate a decent plea. However, prosecutors will still be interested in incentivizing a plea because it avoids the expense of trial.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
If you and your lover enjoy knocking over banks in your free time, then you definitely need a Chicago criminal defense attorney who can handle federal charges. Call David Freidberg today at (312) 560-7100 and learn more about how we can help.