News and Press Releases

St. Louis Man Sentenced To Twelve Years In Prison

July 27, 2012

A St. Louis, Missouri, man was sentenced to a prison term in federal district court for charges stemming from an armed robbery in Washington Park, Illinois, on November 6, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.

Devon L. Alexander, 26, was sentenced in federal district court in East St. Louis to 144 months (12 years) in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $500 special assessment, following his plea of guilty, on April 16, 2012, to an Indictment charging him and two others with Interference with Commerce by Violence. The Indictment also charged Alexander with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number, Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence, and Making a False Statement to a Federal Officer.

Court documents showed that the charges stem from 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 B Kenneth Little and Floyd Gamble, Jr. B were charged in the same Indictment and pled guilty. Little was sentenced to 144 months on August 5, 2011. Gamble was sentenced to 77 months on January 6, 2012. Alexander remained at large between November 23, 2010, and January 17, 2012.

"Little did these defendants know that committing armed robbery exposed them to 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. We have shown time and time again that, in line with Attorney General Holder's main priorities, my office will use every tool it has to prosecute crimes committed with guns so that persons who commit violent crimes will get the long sentences their crimes deserve."

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.

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 and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.


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