URBANA — A Champaign man pleaded innocent in federal court Thursday to charges of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.
Corey L. Williams, 23, whose last known address was in the 400 block of East Eureka Street, had previously been charged in state court with armed robbery in connection with the July 29 holdup of the Busey Bank in Savoy.
Those charges were dismissed Thursday in the wake of a federal grand jury indictment charging Williams with bank robbery. If convicted in federal court, Williams faces up to 25 years on the bank robbery charge and an additional seven years to life in prison on the brandishing a firearm.
The maximum sentence for armed robbery with a firearm in state court is 21 to 45 years.
Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Curt Apperson said Williams was indicted for one bank robbery but is a suspect in other holdups. There were five bank robberies in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy between July and late September.
In October, when the Champaign County state's attorney's office filed the armed robbery charge against Williams, officials said a fingerprint on a white theater-like mask that was found not far from the Busey Bank at 108 Arbours Drive matched Williams.
In that holdup, the robber came in wearing the mask and dark clothing, jumped over the counter and pointed the gun at the teller. He made off with about $21,000 in cash.
Williams was indicted for the July 29 bank robbery on Feb. 8. He appeared in U.S. District Court in Urbana Thursday and was advised of the charges and possible penalties. He was ordered temporarily detained until another hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
Williams is represented by Champaign attorney Brian King. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronda Coleman is prosecuting him.