St. Louis Woman Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison on Robbery and Gun Charges
A St. Louis, Missouri, woman was sentenced to a prison term in federal district court for robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence on October 25, 2012, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Chrice Shunta Combs, 32, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced in federal district court in East St. Louis to 192 months in prison (16 years), 3 years’ supervised release, and a $400 special assessment. Combs was also ordered to pay restitution of $10,125. Combs pled guilty on July 26, 2012, to an Indictment charging her with three counts of Interference with Commerce by Violence in the commission of a robbery, and one count of Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Crime of Violence.
The case arose from an investigation of three armed robberies, occurring in 2010, of three separate branches of “The Cash Store” in Southern Illinois – August 31, in Wood River; September 16, in Highland; and December 21, in Chester. The investigation led to Combs as the armed robber at each store. Combs, armed with a firearm and a knife, robbed the clerks at the three stores of a total of $10,125.
The Cash Store is owned by Cottonwood Financial Illinois, L.L.C., a Delaware corporation headquartered in the State of Texas. The nature of The Cash Store’s business is to provide cash loans to its customers.
One of the victim clerks asked that her letter to the judge be read in open court. In part, that letter states: “I replay that day in my mind over and over daily. I will always remember the terror of having a gun pointed at me. I stood there, a foot away from the end of a gun, wondering what it was going to feel like when she pulled the trigger, wondering if I would survive, wishing I would have held my daughter just a little longer before I dropped her off at daycare just 20 minutes earlier. Not only did we endure the horror of being threatened with a gun, she also had a knife, a very large, very real knife. . . . The year and a half after the robbery . . . was torture, every customer to me was another potential robbery. I scanned every single face of every single customer with my hand on my panic button thinking it was going to happen again.”
The case was investigated by members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.