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Press Release

Worcester Man Convicted of Hobbs Act Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Worcester man was convicted yesterday by a federal jury for his role in an attempted robbery of a Rockland-based glassware dealer.

Grace Katana, a/k/a “King Grace,” 31, was convicted of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, commonly referred to as Hobbs Act robbery. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman scheduled sentencing for Oct. 20, 2022. Katana was indicted in July 2019 with co-defendants Junior Melendez, Shaun Walker and Keith Johnson.

According to the charging documents, in March 2019, Katana conspired with Melendez, Walker and, allegedly, Johnson to rob a high-end glassware dealer in Rockland. Intercepted communications revealed Katana and his co-conspirators planned the robbery over the course of six days. On March 25, 2019, the men traveled over 60 miles from Worcester to Rockland in two vehicles to scope out the robbery target location prior to purchasing a two-foot iron crowbar, screwdriver and razor blades from a nearby hardware store. Agents actively monitoring the defendants subsequently converged and disrupted the attempted robbery. In addition to the items purchased in Rockland, a loaded .380 firearm was seized from one of the vehicles. 

Melendez and Walker previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy and are scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 28, 2022, and Oct. 13, 2022, respectively. Johnson has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. 

The charge of Hobbs Act conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Boston Field Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Worcester Police Chief Steven M. Sargent; and Rockland Police Chief John R. Llewellyn made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Greg A. Friedholm and Kristen M. Noto of Rollins’ Worcester Branch Office are prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated June 8, 2022

Violent Crime