A federal jury has convicted a Rockford man of robbing banks in Rockford and Belvidere last year.

Demontrion Dehsan Phillips, 28, stole $5,930 in a robbery of Midland States Back, 1700 N. Alpine Rd in Rockford, on Apr. 7 2021, and $4,409 in a robbery of Midland States Bank, 600 S. State St. in Belvidere, on May 3, 2021.

After a four-day trial in federal court in Rockford, the jury on Thursday found Phillips guilty of both counts of bank robbery. Phillips faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison and a total fine of up to $500,000, plus restitution. U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston set sentencing for March 16, 2023, at 1:30 PM.

The conviction was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United State Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; John S. Morales, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FVI; Carla Redd, Chief of the Rockford Police Department; and Shane Woody, Chief of the Belvidere Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Talia Bucci and Vincenza L. Tomlinson.

Evidence at trial showed that Phillips entered the banks posing as a legitimate customer. After handling a deposit slip to the teller, Phillips announced a robbery and demanded money. In the Belvidere robbery, Phillips threatened a teller by saying, "Don't make me come over the counter," after the teller did not give Phillips as much money as he demanded.

Three days after the Rockford robbery, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Phillip's residence in Rockford and found $5, 090 in cash hidden in a sock. The cash included numerous bills that were identified by serial numbers as having been stolen from the banks during the two heists.

Phillips committed the robberies while on court-supervised release following a prior federal conviction for robbing two banks in Rockford in 2017.

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