Bartlett man guilty of robbing 3 banks with 'AK-47 style' rifle

A suburban Chicago man has been found guilty of committing three armed bank robberies in 2018.

James D. Williams, 46, of Bartlett, was found guilty Monday in federal court of bank robbery, using a firearm during a crime of violence, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and conspiracy to transfer a firearm to a felon, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.

His co-conspirator, Alexis T. Handelman, pled guilty to the robberies and is awaiting sentencing.

Williams and Handelman robbed three banks between May 11 and May 31, 2018: Second National Bank at 323 East Norris Drive in Ottawa, Norstates Bank at 5384 Grand Avenue in Gurnee and Aurora Bank and Trust at 2287 West Galena Boulevard in Aurora, prosecutors said.


In each of the robberies, Williams used an AK-47-style rifle, which he obtained prior to robbing Second National Bank on May 11, according to prosecutors.

After the second robbery, Williams' wife, Jessica Sweeney Williams, purchased a handgun that he used in the third robbery along with the rifle. It was during that robbery that Williams fired one of the guns, but nobody was injured.

Both Williams and Handelman disguised themselves during each robbery, and used vehicles that were either rented or borrowed, prosecutors said.

Sentencing for Williams, who faces between 24 years to life in federal prison, has not yet been set, prosecutors said.

Sweeney Williams pled guilty to providing her husband with the handgun, and has been sentenced to two years in prison.