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Two Twin Cities men have been sentenced to prison for their roles in an armed robbery in northern Minnesota.

John Thomas Paciorek II, 52, of Minneapolis, was sentenced to 90 months in prison in U.S. District Court Tuesday. His co-defendant, James Richard Ardito Jr., 52, of Fridley, had previously been sentenced to 58 months in prison in August of last year.

Paciorek pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery in October, while Ardito pleaded guilty to one count of armed bank robbery in January of last year.

On July 24 of 2020, the two men drove to Deerwood Bank in Garrison and hid in the bushes outside until an employee arrived to open the bank, according to court documents.

Ardito then emerged from the bushes and pointed a replica gun at the employee. He demanded the employee open the bank and disable the security system. He then demanded money from the bank teller drawers.

The employee complied and gave Ardito $402 in cash. Ardito then fled the scene to a getaway car driven by Paciorek.

Police were able to identify Ardito by looking at the bank’s surveillance footage. Ardito would eventually confess to his and Paciorek’s involvement. 

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