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Woman accused of robbing 2 banks charged in federal court

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A woman accused of robbing two Grand Forks banks of nearly $22,000 last fall has been charged in federal court. Charlene Mae Corona, 39, who also goes by Charlene Mae Espinoza, is charged with one count of bank robbery and on...

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A woman accused of robbing two Grand Forks banks of nearly $22,000 last fall has been charged in federal court.

Charlene Mae Corona, 39, who also goes by Charlene Mae Espinoza, is charged with one count of bank robbery and one count of aiding and abetting.

She initially was charged in state court with two counts of robbery, both Class B felonies, and two counts of terrorizing, both Class C felonies, but those charges were dismissed after the U.S. Attorney's Office in North Dakota decided to pursue charges against Corona, according to court records.

Prosecutors claim Corona robbed a Bremer Bank on Sept. 30 and the Citizens Community Credit Union on Oct. 12, pointing a utility knife at tellers in the first robbery and brandishing a gun in the second, according to district court papers.

Photographs taken by security cameras led to tips identifying Corona as the suspect.

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Corona faces a maximum of 20 years on the bank robbery charge. She is scheduled for a March 8 court appearance in Fargo.

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