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Men Face Federal Charges In String Of Robberies

CHICAGO (CBS) — Two men are now facing federal charges in the armed robberies of multiple stores and employees in Chicago and Aurora.

Juan Sanchez, 39, also known as Cesar Sanchez, and Carlos Ochoa, 48, are each charged with conspiracy to commit interstate robbery, using a firearm in a violent crime, and robbery. Ochoa is also charged with possessing a firearm as a felon.

The men were arrested in November 2010 and charged in a separate Cook County Criminal Court case. Sanchez was arrested following separate gun battles with police.

Sanchez, of the 4500 block of South Paulina Street, and Ochoa, of the 7700 block of South Spaulding Avenue, were both ordered held without bond on the state charges.

They now face federal charges, on the grounds that the robberies they committed interfered with commerce.

Prosecutors said last year that Sanchez and Ochoa have been charged with robbing 16 businesses between March 27 and Nov. 22, 2010. Only a few of those robberies are the subject of federal charges:

• On Oct. 5, 2010, they allegedly robbed Freedom Wireless, a Cricket Wireless dealer at 5002 S. Archer Ave. on the city’s Southwest Side, and took about $3,800 from an employee of at gunpoint;

• On Oct. 13, 2010, authorities say they robbed Jazmin Flowers, at 1414 W. 18th St. in the Pilsen neighborhood, taking about $100 from an employee at gunpoint;

• Two days later, they allegedly robbed Supermercado Rivera, 4334 W. 51st St., and took about $100 from an employee at gunpoint.

• On Oct. 25, 2010, they allegedly robbed a Chicago grocery store at an unidentified location called La Lupita, and took an unspecified amount of cash from an employee at gunpoint;

• Two days after that, they allegedly robbed Casa Blanca, a grocery store in Aurora, and took an unspecified amount of cash from an employee at gunpoint;

• On Nov. 7, 2010, prosecutors say they robbed World Communications, a Cricket Wireless dealer, 3605 N. Western Ave.. They took an unspecified amount of cash and two cell phones from an employee at gunpoint;

• On Nov. 12, 2010, they allegedly robbed New England Pharmacy, 6918 W. Archer Ave., taking an unspecified amount of cash from an employee at gunpoint; and

• On Nov. 17, 2010 authorities say they robbed Cleartalk Communications LLC, a Cricket Wireless dealer at 5419 S. Kedzie Ave. They took about $200 from an employee at gunpoint.

Police spotted Sanchez driving a car at 3160 S. Ashland Ave. on the afternoon of Nov. 22 last year, but he allegedly tried to run them over when they tried to arrest him. Sanchez exchanged gunfire with police and fled, police said.

Two hours later, investigators saw him again while staking out his girlfriend’s residence in the 4600 block of South Paulina Street. When Sanchez saw officers, he fled on foot but police gave chase, police said.

When he was confronted, Sanchez allegedly pointed a gun at officers, who fired and struck him in a back yard at 4606 S. Paulina St. Sanchez was arrested at 4:58 p.m. and taken to a hospital for treatment, police said.

Ochoa was arrested about the same day at his home on Spaulding Avenue, prosecutors said at the time.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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