11-year sentence for committing violent robbery on a CTA train in the Loop

CHICAGO — A Chicago man received an 11-year prison sentence after pleading guilty today to participating in a violent robbery on an Orange Line train in the Loop.

Ernesto Delgado, 24, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon before Judge Michael Clancy, according to court records. Clancy gave him 11 years for the robbery and a concurrent two-year term for the gun case.

The robbery occurred aboard a train near State-Van Buren on September 5, 2022.

A 36-year-old man was riding the L around 12:30 a.m. when Delgado and two other men walked up, and Delgado asked one of the accomplices if they were “ready,” prosecutors said. Then, Delgado allegedly took the victim’s backpack, searched the man’s waistband, and asked for his phone.

But the victim refused to hand over his phone, and one of the accomplices flashed a gun. When the victim tried to get away, all three robbers punched him in the head and body and ordered him to sit down, or they’d kill him, prosecutors said.

Ernesto Delgado (inset) and a CTA surveillance image of one of the robbery suspects. | Chicago Police Department

The robber who had the gun took it out again, but the third offender told him to put it away, and the trio fled at the State-Van Buren station.

Prosecutors said the crew got away with a radio and AirPods that the man used for work.

Chicago police released surveillance images of three suspects and asked the public to help identify them. Detectives eventually closed in on Delgado. They said he was carrying a loaded and defaced firearm when they arrested him about a month later.

No charges have been filed against the other two men seen in the surveillance photos released by police.

Delgado earned 415 days of credit toward his prison sentence, primarily by being on electronic monitoring as he awaited trial, court records show.

Curiously, police arrested him for turnstile jumping at the State-Lake Red Line station on April 10 while he was on electronic monitoring. Prosecutors dropped the charge in May.

His parole date has not been announced, but he should expect to be released after serving half of the 11-year sentence.

Delgado (left) and the other two suspects Chicago police sought in connection with the robbery. | Chicago Police Department
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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com