Bank robber gets 30-months probation

January 30, 2019

KANKAKEE — Dustin M. Chouinard, of Wilmington, pleaded guilty last week in Kankakee County court to robbing the Midland States Bank Kankakee branch on Oct. 30, 2018.

The 36-year-old Chouinard was sentenced to 180 days and will be on reporting probation for 30 months, according to Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe.

“This was the defendant’s first felony conviction and state law makes this offense probation-eligible,” he said. Chouinard was facing up to five years in prison if convicted.

There is no aggravating factor under Illinois law for bank robbery, Rowe said. That is only in the federal statutes.

Rowe said federal officials declined to prosecute the case.

“I’m not sure why (they declined), but if we hadn’t filed it there would have been no prosecution of this offender,” Rowe said. ”(The) Feds take all bank robberies; we expected them to prosecute this one as well but they decided against it after reviewing the case.

“It was a unique set of circumstances where no threat was made and no weapon was ever present. We felt lucky to secure a conviction in a case the Feds declined.”

Chouinard handed a note that read “put $ in a bag” to a teller at the bank located in the 300 block of South Schuyler Avenue. He fled with $1,497 but was apprehended a short time later by Kankakee County Sheriff’s deputies.

During Chouinard’s bond hearing Nov. 1, 2018, a prosecutor said Chouinard had the money on him. Two tellers were able to identify Chouinard as the man who came into the bank, the prosecutor said.

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