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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 17, 2017

Two Chicago People Plead Guilty in Connection with Plaza Frontenac Robbery

St. Louis, MO – Two individuals charged with the November 26, 2016, robbery at Plaza Frontenac have entered guilty pleas to interstate transportation of stolen property. They appeared in federal court today in St. Louis.

According to court documents, the eight named defendants and others entered the Saks Fifth Avenue department store soon after it opened on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and ran to the Chanel counter, grabbing thirty handbags and smashing fixtures in the process. The group then left the store and entered two waiting vehicles, which left the shopping center and traveled east on Highway 64/40. The Frontenac, Missouri, police department pursued the vehicles, but disengaged due to safety concerns as the defendants’ vehicle was exceeding 100 miles per hour on the highway.

Later that morning, the Illinois State Police and other local departments from southern Illinois were able to stop the defendants’ car, which contained sixteen of the stolen handbags. The defendants were taken into custody.

Darius Bowdry, and Keyshyala Thomas, both of Chicago, IL, pled guilty to one felony count each of interstate transportation of stolen property before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig. Sentencing has been set for May 30, 2017.

Co-defendants Dejuan Wingard, Mario Washington, Jacob Lee, Derrick Crowder, Terrence Bell, and Julian Campbell, all of Chicago, Illinois, were each indicted by a federal grand jury last December on the same charge and are facing trial.

Interstate transportation of stolen property carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up $250,000. Restitution is mandatory and the government is seeking the criminal forfeiture of all the stolen merchandise. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Frontenac Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Montgomery (IL) County Sheriff’s Department, the Montgomery (IL) County Prosecutor’s Office and the St. Louis County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. The remaining defendants are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 17, 2017