Bank robber tells judge, ‘I never want to come back to Chicago again’

A man who allegedly gave a bank teller his ID after being told that the bank needed it before it could complete his robbery “transaction” has been sentenced to 24 months in federal prison.

Edner Flores told a judge that he took the extreme step of robbing a bank so he could pay for a trip back to Puerto Rico after becoming addicted to Chicago’s fentanyl-laced heroin supply.

“I never want to come back to Chicago again. Especially after all of this,” Flores said in a letter to the judge who oversaw his case.

Edner Flores and the bank robber’s deposit slip | CPD; Federal court files

According to an FBI agent’s complaint, Flores wrote “$10,000” “No die packs” and “armed” on a deposit slip and handed it to a teller at PNC Bank, 3337 West North Avenue in Humboldt Park, around 11:45 a.m. on January 25, 2021.

The teller tripped a silent alarm and then told the robber that he needed to fill out a withdrawal slip — not a deposit slip — if he wanted to get money. Flores completed the necessary paperwork and handed over his state ID.

Flores was still standing at the teller window when police arrived.

Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of 24 months in a memorandum to the judge in September.

In a separate memorandum, Flores’ attorney told the judge that Flores was a heroin addict who “successfully balanced his usage with his work” for many years. The lawyer said that Flores even managed to stop using the drug altogether, like when he moved to Puerto Rico.

But when Flores returned to Chicago in 2020, “the heroin in Chicago had changed. Unknown to Edner, much of the heroin he purchased in Chicago was laced with fentanyl. Very quickly, the balance that Mr. Flores had been able to maintain stepped away from functional toward addict.”

He lost his job, and his family tried to get him into rehab, the lawyer wrote. Flores ended up living in the back of one of his former employers’ moving trucks.

He used his last dollars to buy five or six bags of heroin on January 24 and ingested them all in a suicide attempt, the lawyer wrote. When he regained consciousness the next morning, he decided to rob a bank to get the money needed to return to Puerto Rico, the place where he was able to live a sober life.

“I know I’m going to be punished for this,” Flores wrote in his own letter to U.S. District Judge Andrea Wood. “I just ask that it be fair. I also hope to get treatment and counseling for my heroin use.”

“Puerto Rico represents a news start for me. I never want to come back to Chicago again. Especially after all of this. I just want to make my way to A New Life Covenant Church and live happily ever after away from Chicago … I plan to just be the average man working to provide for his family. I just want to sit back and watch my grandmother get older and possibly get married and start a family.”

Wood recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that Flores serve his time at a low-security facility in Florida, near family in Puerto Rico.

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