Leader of armed robbery crew sentenced to 30 years in prison

A federal judge sentenced a Chicago man to 30 years in federal prison Wednesday for his role in leading a crew of robbers that committed or attempted to commit 24 robberies in 2012 on the North and Northwest Sides.

Robert L. Berrios, 51, was convicted in 2017 on robbery, firearm and conspiracy charges, according to a statement released from the U.S Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Illinois. The jury found him guilty of conspiracy to commit all 24 robberies and attempted robberies, but he was found guilty of actually committing just nine of the 24 robberies. He was also ordered to pay $115,063.60 — the amount stolen in cash — in restitution to the stores he robbed.

U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly determined Berrios was the leader of a crew of armed robbers, federal prosecutors said. His crew mainly targeted cell phone stores, often wearing masks and brandishing firearms. In some of the incidents, the robbers tied up employees.

Evidence presented at Berrios’ trial showed crew members gathered information on their targets, including store hours and employees’ work schedules, prosecutors said. Crew members also stocked up on tools such as zip ties, firearms and getaway vehicles.

Three other members of the crew have already been convicted and sent to prison, prosecutors said. David Revis, of Chicago, was sentenced to 15 years; Julio Rodriguez, of Chicago, was sentenced to nine years; and Luis Diaz, of Chicago, was sentenced to three years.

Chicago police provided valuable assistance to the FBI’s investigation, prosecutors said.