Feds sentence man to 20 years for armed robbery of Hoyleton bank

EAST ST. LOUIS — A 33-year-old man has been sentenced to more than 20 years in federal prison on a six-count indictment connected with the armed robbery of a Hoyleton bank. Bank-Robbery

Donald Ridley was sentenced to 246 months in prison for bank robbery; carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; making a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer; and obstruction of justice.

Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced that following Ridley’s prison sentence, he will be on federal supervised release for 5 years.

Ridley was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $115,098, as well as a $500 special assessment. The sentencing hearing follows a four-day jury trial in federal court in East St. Louis, where Ridley was found guilty on all counts.

Ridley and a co-defendant entered Farmers & Merchants Bank both armed with firearms, masked, and wearing gloves.

They ordered the employees and a customer to the ground and Ridley emptied the tellers’ drawers and the bank vault while co-defendant Johnson pointed a firearm at the employees and customer inside the bank.

The robbers left the bank in a stolen truck carrying a plastic bag containing $115,098 of Federally Insured Deposits (bank money). Unbeknownst to the robbers, Ridley had also taken dye packs when he emptied the bank teller drawers. The dye packs exploded while the robbers were in route to their getaway vehicle and the tear gas caused Ridley to spit out the truck’s driver side window.

This same truck had been seen by two Washington County farmers the day before. The farmers also noticed a white Mitsubishi parked in the same place the truck was parked on the day of the robbery.

The farmers were highly suspicious and recorded the license plate of the car. The farmers called the police when they saw that the truck had been returned and the white Mitsubishi was speeding away.

The robbery truck was processed by a crime scene technician and saliva was found on the driver’s side weather strip.

This stain was the sputum of defendant Ridley and contained his DNA. The bank robbery proceeds were never recovered and both robbers have been ordered to pay restitution.

At Ridley’s sentencing hearing, the District Judge stated that armed robberies are one of the most serious federal offenses and victims of bank robberies have psychological scars that last well beyond the day of the robbery.

The judge determined that a maximum guideline sentence of 246 months (20.5 years) was needed to protect the public from Ridley and to provide deterrence to others.

Wigginton noted that the crime would not have been solved without the quick thinking of the local farmers in remembering the license plate of the car and reporting the location of the robbery truck.

This case was investigated by the Washington County Sherriff’s Department, the Illinois State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deirdre A. Durborow.