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Alleged Supremacist Indicted On Bank Robbery Charges

April 22, 1987

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ An alleged member of the Aryan Nation supremacist group already facing charges stemming from a North Dakota bank robbery was indicted Tuesday in the 1986 robbery of an Illinois bank.

Thomas G. Harrelson was indicted in the August 1986 robbery of $44,000 from the First National Bank of Rossville, Ill., said U.S. Attorney J. William Roberts.

Harrelson, 29, had been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list before his capture in February after a bank robbery in North Dakota, Roberts said.

″He is allegedly a member of the Aryan Nation,″ said Roberts, referring to the white supremacist group also known as the Church of Jesus Christ Christian, based in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

The Illinois indictment contends Harrelson and another unidentified person robbed the Rossville bank Aug. 1, 1986. Harrelson is also charged with armed assault on a local police officer during a shootout as they escaped, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Authorities said the robbers ambushed a pursuing police car and riddled it with bullets before escaping, later abandoning and burning their own car in Indiana.

Harrelson, who was previously convicted of bank robbery in California in 1981, is in custody in Fargo, N.D., and will be transferred to Illinois after that bank robbery case is over, Roberts said.

He is accused in the robbery of the Drayton (N.D.) State Bank on Feb. 19. He and two companions were arrested later that day after a chase that ended in northwestern Minnesota.

They allegedly took a couple and their two granddaughters hostage when their getaway car ran into a ditch and the couple stopped to help them. Police chased the truck with the suspects and hostages to a roadblock, where the suspects surrendered.

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