WASHINGTON PARK MAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS FOR ARMED ROBBERY
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on August 5, 2011, Kenneth I. Little, 22, of Washington Park, IL, was sentenced in federal district court, in East St. Louis, to 144 months’ imprisonment, 3 years’ supervised release, a $300 special assessment, and a fine of $500, following his plea of guilty, on April 19, 2011, to an Indictment charging him with: Interference with Commerce by Violence, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence. The charges relate to an armed robbery of a customer at a Mobil gas station in Washington Park, IL. The robbery netted $1000 for the robbers. The sentencing judge also ordered restitution, as well as forfeiture of the firearm used to commit the robbery.
Two other defendants – Devon L. Alexander and Floyd Gamble, Jr. – are charged in the same Indictment. Gamble is in custody awaiting trial. Alexander is a fugitive.
“Little did these defendants know that committing armed robbery exposed them to criminal prosecution in the federal court system. I want to make it clear to the criminals who are thinking about committing armed robbery - instead of facing “state time” you may be facing a lengthy sentence in federal prison. The federal arsenal against violent crime is broad, and the punishment is severe,” said United States Attorney Wigginton. “This is particularly so for criminals who use guns to commit crime and endanger the citizens of our local communities. As we have shown time and time again, my office will use every tool within its means to prosecute crimes committed with guns. I can assure you that persons who commit violent crimes with guns will be prosecuted, and we will seek long sentences.”
“Unlike the state court systems, violent criminals in the federal system receive lengthy sentences and typically serve at least 85 percent of the sentences imposed upon them. The Department of Justice in its priorities, as well as my Office, treats armed criminals harshly. We want to make an impact on all communities that are plagued by violent crime. Stiff sentences handed out to violent criminals make an impact by punishing the offender and deterring others from committing similar crimes.” added United States Attorney Wigginton.
Documents filed with the Court reveal that on or about November 6, 2010, a limousine bus was en route between Steeleville, IL, and St. Louis, MO, carrying members of a bachelor party, who asked to be dropped off at a nightclub in Washington Park before proceeding to a casino in St. Louis. While the party was in the nightclub, the chauffeur drove the limousine bus to a Mobil service station in Washington Park. While the driver was re-fueling at one of the station pumps, Defendants Alexander and Little approached. Defendant Alexander asked the driver if he wanted to buy some marijuana. When the driver declined, Defendant Little displayed a .38 Special caliber revolver that he had obtained from Defendant Alexander; Little pointed the gun at the driver at a distance of about two and a half feet. Defendant Alexander pushed the driver up against the limousine bus. At about the same time, Defendant Gamble approached and struck the driver in the neck, eye, and chin, and told Defendant Little to shoot the driver. Defendant Alexander reached into the driver’s front pocket and took $700 in currency that the bachelor party had paid to the driver, which in turn the driver was to pay to the limousine service company that owned the limousine. Defendant Alexander also stole the driver’s wallet, which contained approximately $300 of the driver’s own money. Alexander, Little, and Gamble then fled and were picked up by an unknown driver of a burgundy automobile that belonged to Defendant Gamble.
The documents filed with the court also allege that on November 12, 2010, the Washington Park police received information that the three people who had conducted the November 6 robbery were back on the Mobil station lot. When police arrived, two of the suspects fled. Defendant Alexander also tried to flee, but he was stunned and disabled by a Taser shot from one of the officers. Alexander was then arrested, at which time he had on his person a .38 Special caliber revolver with a partially obliterated serial number. The limousine driver later identified that revolver as being similar to the one that Little had pointed at him during the November 6 armed robbery.
The documents filed with the court also allege that an ATF agent interviewed Alexander on November 15, 2010, at which time Alexander falsely stated that he did not have a firearm on the day of the robbery; he also falsely stated that he did not take any money from the driver; he also falsely stated that only Little and Gamble were involved in the robbery and that he (Alexander) had tried to break up the robbery and had tried to protect the driver.
The documents also allege that the ATF agent interviewed Alexander again on November 18, 2010, at which time Alexander admitted that he had been involved in the robbery and implicated Little and Gamble in the robbery.
Alexander – a 24-year-old black male, believed to be living in Washington Park – remains at large. Anyone with information concerning his whereabouts should contact ATF at 618-632-9380 or 1-888-367-5762.
The documents described above do not represent findings of guilt with respect to Alexander and Gamble. Every Defendant is presumed innocent of the charges alleged in such documents until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was prosecuted in furtherance of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) initiative, which focuses on addressing and reducing gun related violence in the Metro-East area, including the cities of East St. Louis and Washington Park. The PSN initiative involves collaboration between federal prosecutors, state prosecutors, and federal, state, and local law enforcement. In support of PSN, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) assists state and local agencies in the joint investigation of those individuals and groups who are involved in the illegal possession of firearms, armed drug dealing, illegal trafficking of firearms, and crimes of armed violence, including murder, aggravated assault, home invasion, business robberies and drive-by shootings.
The case was investigated by members of the Washington Park Police Department and agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.