East St. Louis Man Indicted For Armed Robbery Of Ferguson T.V. And Satellite Shop
Case Is Part of United States Attorney’s Armed Robbery Initiative
An East St. Louis, Illinois, man was indicted on November 20, 2013, by a federal grand jury in East St. Louis, for the armed robbery of the Ferguson Television and Satellite shop located in Caseyville, Illinois, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. This case, and others like it, are all part of the Metro East Armed Robbery Initiative announced a few months ago by United States Attorney Wigginton.
Phillip T. Smith, 28, was charged in Count 1 of the Indictment with “Hobbs Act Robbery,” which makes it a crime to obstruct, delay, or affect interstate commerce by robbery, or to commit an act of violence against a person in furtherance of such a robbery. “Robbery” is defined in the statute as the “unlawful taking or obtaining of personal property from the person . . . of another, against his will, by means of actual or threatened force or violence, or fear of injury, immediate or future, to his person . . . .” Additionally, Smith was charged in Count 2 of the Indictment with possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a federal crime of violence – that is, the robbery charged in Count 1. Finally, Smith was charged in Count 3 of the Indictment with possession of ammunition by a felon.
The Indictment states that Smith, “while in the Ferguson Television and Satellite shop -- a business engaged in interstate commerce -- pointed a handgun at J.F., the owner of said shop, demanded money from her, and by means of a firearm, shot her as she delivered United States currency to him in response to his demand.”
An Indictment is merely a statement of the charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The maximum penalties that can be imposed for the robbery count are up to twenty years in prison, or a $250,000 fine, or both, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. The charge of possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm charge in furtherance of a federal crime of violence carries an additional minimum ten years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence that the court may impose. The court may also impose a maximum fine on the firearms count of $250,000, and a special assessment of $100. The maximum penalties that can be imposed for the charge of possession of ammunition by a felon are ten years in prison or a $250,000 fine, or both, and three years of supervised release, as well as a $100 special assessment.
Smith is in custody following an investigation by the Caseyville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.