Carlos Ochoa and another man walked into an Aurora grocery store at 3:15 p.m. Oct. 27, 2010, displayed a handgun and demanded all the cash in the drawer before walking away with almost $1,500.
On Friday, Ochoa was sentenced to just less than 16 years in prison for his role in that and 19 other armed robberies he committed in Chicago, Berwyn and Indian Head Park between July and November 2010, authorities said. Ochoa, 50, of Chicago, pleaded guilty last September to three counts of interstate robbery and one count of using a firearm during a violent crime. In pleading guilty, he admitted committing 17 additional armed robberies.
U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle sentenced Ochoa to 130 months in prison for the robberies, consecutive to 60 months for using a gun, for a total of 190 months. Ochoa also was ordered to pay restitution totaling $21,847 representing the net proceeds from all 20 robberies.
According to court documents, Ochoa's armed robbery of Aurora's Casa Blanca Grocery Store, at 770 Claim St., netted he and his partner $1,485.
Three victims of Ochoa's robberies testified about the lasting impact of the trauma they experienced.
"For five months, (Ochoa) and his co-defendant went on a crime spree terrorizing individuals at their places of employment by pointing a gun, racking the slide of the gun, and making it clear to the victims that they would shoot them if they did not comply with their demands," Assistant U.S. Attorney Maribel Fernandez-Harvath said,
Ochoa's co-defendant, Juan Sanchez, who briefly escaped from state custody in late 2011, died of natural causes in January 2012 after he was indicted in the case.
Ochoa admitted he and Sanchez conspired to rob various retail stores and businesses in Chicago and its suburbs.