Man gets 15 years for Belleville convenience store robbery

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EAST ST. LOUIS – A Belleville man has been sentenced to 15-plus years in prison for a convenience store robbery that was targeted in a special crime-fighting initiative of the United States Attorney’s Office.

Patrick S. McGuire, 49, was sentenced on Monday, May 11, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois to 188 months in prison and three years of supervised release for charges stemming from a robbery at Circle K Gas Station, located at 421 South Belt East, Belleville, on July 25, 2014, U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said.

Evidence showed McGuire entered the Circle K Gas Station in the early morning with a plastic bag over his head and a plastic bag covering a pointed object in his hand and demanded money from the lone clerk. McGuire got about $60 from the robbery. McGuire had been on probation for less than two weeks for a 2013 felony offense when he committed the robbery.

“As I said when I initiated this program, we will not stop our aggressive prosecutions of these cases until this scourge of robberies abates. If you are thinking about this type of opportunistic crime, be warned – federal penalties are harsh. You will serve a long time far away from your family and friends!” Wigginton said in a release.

Noting McGuire’s 14 previous felony convictions and over 30 misdemeanor convictions, Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel commented that McGuire’s criminal history was “the most extensive criminal history I have seen” and called the robbery “one of many brazen robberies in this area.” In sentencing him, she said, “I don’t think I’ve seen a case where there’s a stronger need to protect the public.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Belleville Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Reppert.

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