St. Louis Man Sentenced For Robbery Of Cahokia Gas Station
Case is One of Many Brought as a Result of United States Attorney Wigginton’s Metro-East Armed Robbery Initiative
A St. Louis man, Carvin G. Brooks, 33, was sentenced on April 24, 2014, for Interference of Commerce by Robbery (Hobbs Act Robbery), the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. The Hobbs Act makes it a crime to obstruct, delay, or affect interstate commerce by robbery, and is used by United States Attorney Wigginton’s office as a way to combat armed robbery in the Southern District of Illinois. Brooks, was sentenced to a term of 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by a three (3) year term of supervised release, fined $300, and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment.
The Honorable Judge Michael J. Reagan sentenced Brooks to over twice the prison term recommended by the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual. This manual provides a guideline to the parties in a federal case as to what an appropriate sentence should be in a particular type of case. It does not, however, account for all of the factors relevant to a particular defendant or to a particular case. In this case, the United States successfully presented argument, as well as evidence, to show that a sentence within the advisory guideline range was not appropriate because, among other things, Brooks had extensive prior criminal conduct, the brutality of the robbery, and the likelihood that Brooks would continue to commit crimes when released from prison.
“This sentence was well deserved by a violent person who preyed upon the public. Although he was not armed, Brooks struck terror into this innocent victim. I will always fight for maximum sentences on behalf of the victims of violent crime.” said United States Attorney Wigginton.
Specifically, evidence showed that, prior to this robbery in Illinois, Brooks committed five prior violent crimes in Missouri. Evidence was introduced that Brooks stole a purse from an individual, striking her in the chest and knocking her down on April 1, 2003. The very next day, he broke into the home of another individual and threatened that individual with a knife during the course of the residential burglary. On April 12, 2003, Brooks’ crime spree continued when he committed two additional residential burglaries, threatening the individual in each with a knife. That same day, he followed another individual up to her front porch and robbed her. Brooks’ crime spree ended that day. On April 29, 2004, all of the cases were consolidated, and Brooks was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Brooks was released on parole on November 1, 2011, but had his parole revoked on October 24, 2013, because of the commission of this offense.
On October 9, 2013, Brooks came to Cahokia, Illinois, and robbed the BP Station of $300. During the robbery, Brooks punched the female clerk several times in the head with a closed fist. She had to receive medical treatment for the injuries she sustained. The victim, who was approximately one foot shorter and approximately 75 pounds lighter than Brooks, testified at sentencing. She cried on the stand while recounting the brutal beating she withstood. Finally, among other factors, Judge Reagan noted that, because Brooks committed this robbery while on parole for the Missouri offenses, he showed a lack of respect for the law, and was likely to commit crimes in the future.
A tip from Crimestoppers led to Brooks’ arrest. This case was investigated by the Cahokia Police Department and prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Neal C. Hong.