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Press Release

Man Sentenced to 41 Years in Federal Prison for Multiple Armed Robberies in Rockford

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

ROCKFORD — A man was sentenced today to 41 years in federal prison in connection with a series of violent retail-store robberies in Rockford.

In the fall of 2015, RICKEY CLAYBRON and his co-conspirators carried out three violent robberies and one attempted robbery, using firearms to terrorize store clerks and patrons while stealing cigarettes and cash.  Claybron or his co-conspirators physically assaulted, restrained, and shot at some of the store employees, wounding one of them.

A federal jury last year convicted Claybron, 36, of Rockford, on conspiracy, robbery, and firearm charges.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston in Rockford ordered Claybron to pay $10,280.75 in restitution.

Two co-conspirators – DEANDRE R. HAYWOOD and DARNELL LEAVY, both of Rockford – pleaded guilty prior to Claybron’s trial.  Haywood was sentenced last year to 26 and a half years in federal prison, while Leavy was sentenced in 2019 to eleven and a half years.

Claybron’s sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Ashley T. Johnson, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The investigation was conducted by the FBI-led Rockford Area Violent Crime Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers and agents from the FBI, Rockford Police Department, Loves Park Police Department, and Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica S. Maveus and Kaitlin Klamann.

According to evidence presented at Claybron’s trial, the three robberies and one attempted robbery occurred within a three-week period:

  • Oct. 28, 2015: H&A Tobacco, 1623 Broadway in Rockford.  Claybron pointed a gun at a clerk and ordered the clerk and a customer to get on the ground.  Cash and multiple cartons of cigarettes were stolen from the store, along with the clerk’s personal belongings.
  • Nov. 2, 2015: Advance Auto, 3019 Auburn St. in Rockford.  A store employee was ordered at gunpoint to lay on the ground while another employee was ordered to open the cash registers.  One employee was struck in the side of the face with a gun and later shot at when he ran from the store.  The robbers stole cash from the store and from one of the employees.
  • Nov. 5, 2015: Zake Convenience, 824 7th St. in Rockford.  In this attempted robbery, Claybron pointed a gun at store clerks and reached behind a partition.  When Claybron was unable to gain access to the cash register, he and the other robbers fled the store.
  • Nov. 13, 2015: Shell Express, 3003 11th St. in Rockford.  Claybron pointed a sawed-off shotgun at customers while Haywood pointed a gun at store employees and grabbed cigarettes and cash from the registers.  Haywood then shot one of the employees in the back while Claybron struck an employee in the head with the shotgun.
Updated September 12, 2022

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