Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on June 14, 2012, Franchie Farmer, 39, of Tamms, Illinois, formerly of Thebes, Illinois, was convicted by a jury in Benton, Illinois, of armed bank robbery and using a firearm during a crime of violence. The offense occurred on November 6, 2008, at the Capaha Bank in Tamms, Illinois.
Evidence at trial established that Farmer was the getaway driver for two other individuals who robbed the Capaha Bank. Those individuals, Holli Wrice and Richard Anderson, entered the bank, drew firearms, and ordered all the customers to the floor. They then took over $14,000 from two tellers who were threatened at gunpoint. Under federal law, because Farmer aided Wrice and Anderson, she can be found guilty of the same crimes for which they were convicted. Wrice received a 35-year sentence for her role in the offense and Anderson received a 10-year sentence.
Farmer’s bank robbery offense carries a possible penalty of up to life in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and five years’ supervised release. The using a firearm charge carries a mandatory term in prison of seven years, which must run consecutively to any sentence imposed for the bank robbery. The district court ordered that Farmer be held without bond pending her September 12, 2012 sentencing hearing.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police. The trial was conducted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.