U of Illinois football players arrested in alleged robbery

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Three University of IL football players face up to 30 years in prison for armed robbery and home invasion in a campus dorm where they "fumbled" the entire crime and turned the episode into a joke. Darta L. Lee, 18, Zarrian J. Holcombe, 19, and Howard E. Watkins, 18, were the three players arrested in connection with the incident, which took place early on Wednesday morning. They will be formally arraigned Thursday at 1:30 p.m. "One of them produced what we now know to be (a) fake firearm and demanded cash".

Police told the News-Gazette newspaper in Champaign, Ill., that the players donned masks and, armed with what police say was a fake gun, allegedly entered an apartment in the dorm. "He pulled his mask off and tried to make light of the situation".

According to police, the alleged assailants left with an undisclosed amount of money.

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Coach Lovie Smith has issued a statement saying they are suspended from team activities.

We've witnessed Illini football and Illini basketball deal with a wide array of criminal activity, including issues with weed, alcohol, vehicle accidents, thefts, fights, domestic violence, public intoxication, assault and more. Daniels noted Holcombe played seven games, mostly on special teams. "We continue to gather information and will take appropriate steps based on what we learn".

Lee, an offensive lineman from Fresno, Texas, appeared in six games as a true freshman last season, starting two. According to ESPN.com Howard Watkins was booked at 10:58 a.m.




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