April 29, 2016


Man sentenced to 5 years for robberies

Erik Castillo

Erik Castillo

A Lorain man was sentenced Tuesday to five years and five months in federal prison for three gunpoint robberies earlier this year.

Erik Castillo had pleaded guilty to the federal robbery charges in April, according to U.S. District Court records.

According to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Kelly Liberti, a man later identified as Castillo walked into the CommStar Credit Union on West Erie Avenue in Lorain on Jan. 8 armed with a black handgun and ordered three employees and a customer to the floor. A second customer later entered the bank and also was forced to get on the floor.

He then went up to a teller and said “give me everything.” He herded the customers into a bathroom and told them that “you better not have a cell phone” before instructing them “don’t move, don’t come out.”

Castillo fled the credit union with $5,096.

The second robbery took place on Jan. 18 at the Chase Bank branch on Fairless Drive in Lorain.

Liberti wrote that Castillo was armed with a black handgun during the robbery and again ordered those in the bank to the floor before handing a teller a bag to fill.

When the teller handed the plastic bag, which had $2,040 in it, back, Castillo asked “that’s all you have?” and then ran out the door when the teller answered yes.

Liberti wrote that the third robbery took place at the Kwik Mart on Pearl Road in Lorain on Jan. 25, when Castillo walked into the store with a handgun and ordered the clerks to hand over cash.

Castillo put the money in his pockets and ran.

That was Castillo’s last robbery, because the clerks at the store recognized his voice since Castillo was a regular at the store and his brother worked there.

Castillo was arrested in a bar the next day by Lorain police and ultimately confessed to the three robberies. Castillo had a black BB gun when he was arrested.