U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
October 28, 2011
MIDDLETOWN, R.I., MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HOBBS ACT ROBBERY,
USE OF A FIREARM TO COMMIT A FEDERAL CRIME OF VIOLENCE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Middletown, R.I., man faces up to life in federal prison after pleading guilty on Thursday in federal court in Providence to Hobbs Act robbery and federal firearm charges. Craig A. Rich, 32, admitted that he robbed a Middletown, R.I. hotel clerk at gunpoint in February 2011, stealing $186, shortly after he unsuccessfully attempted to rob two other women at gunpoint.
Rich pled guilty to one count each of Hobbs Act robbery; use of a firearm in a federal crime of violence; and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He had previously been convicted of a violent felony punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
Rich’s guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Middletown Police Chief Anthony M. Pesare.
On February 21, 2011, Middletown Police responded to an emergency call reporting that two women who were walking near their place of employment were confronted by a male, wearing a dark ski mask and dark clothing, who attempted to rob them at gunpoint. Moments later, officers received an emergency call reporting an armed robbery at a hotel on West Main Road by a person fitting the same description as in the first incident
Two of the first responding officers saw a suspect fitting the description of the robber walking in the hotel parking lot. As officers approached the suspect, later identified as Craig A. Rich, he fled into a nearby field. He was quickly located hiding in a bush and apprehended. Officers recovered a .38 caliber handgun and a black ski mask discarded in the field along the path of pursuit, and a wad of cash from Rich’s pockets. Rich confessed to investigators that he had confronted the two women at gunpoint and robbed the hotel clerk at gunpoint.
Rich, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi on January 27, 2012. He faces maximum sentences of 20 years imprisonment and 3 years supervised release for Hobbs Act robbery; 10 years imprisonment and 3 years supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm; and up to life imprisonment, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 7 years imprisonment to be served consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed in this case, and 5 years supervised release for use of a firearm in a federal crime of violence.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerard B. Sullivan. The matter was investigated by the Middletown Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).