Courts
Jonathan Miano, The Times

HAMMOND — A Gary woman indicted last year for a string of multi-state bank robberies has entered a guilty plea, while her alleged accomplice awaits trial in the same case.

Robin Pawlak, 31, along with Artez Brewer, 30, of Gary, were both charged in June 2016 in connection with the April 28, 2016, robbery of Centier Bank, 500 N. Broad St., in Griffith.

Brewer was also accused of robbing Main Source Bank, 11330 Broadway in Crown Point, on May 6, 2016. They are accused of having a hand in robberies in Illinois and California, too. 

According to the agreement, Pawlak would plead guilty to one count of bank robbery, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years, a $250,000 fine, and three years supervised release, court records show. 

Brewer faces three counts of bank robbery and aiding and abetting.

If the judge accepts the plea agreement, the government has agreed not to charge Pawlak with bank robberies or attempted bank robberies that occurred in 2016 in the Region on Feb. 25 at First Midwest Bank, Feb. 25 at Allegius Credit Union, March 22 at BMO Harris Bank, March 28 at Fifth Third Bank, and April 28 at BMO Harris Bank, court records show. 

Brewer seeks to suppress evidence, statements

In April, Brewer filed an intent to plead guilty, but changed his mind in May, court records show. Brewer has now filed a motion to suppress evidence and statements made to police following his arrest. 

"Believing that Artez Brewer and Robin Pawlak were associated with the robberies beginning in 2016, the government sought and obtained warrants to install GPS tracking devices on four cars associated with the pair, including a silver Volvo," Brewer's attorney wrote in his motion to suppress. 

Brewer alleged his Fourth Amendment rights were violated and the state warrant is limited to the state of Indiana, but police conducted a traffic stop on the two in Omaha, Nebraska and seized evidence. Police also tracked the pair to Los Angeles on belief the two were involved in a robbery in California. 

The government has argued the warrant is not limited to the state of Indiana and police had probable cause to conduct a traffic stop in Nebraska. 

Brewer's response to the government's opposition is due Tuesday. 

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Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.