ST. CLAIR COUNTY — A man from Nebraska involved in a robbery spree in Illinois and Missouri was sentenced Wednesday to 26 years and two months in prison.
Allen McCray, 23, of Omaha, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in February via videoconference to seven federal gun and robbery charges, admitting that the spree began on April 12, 2017, when he and two other men stole a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe that had been left in a driveway unlocked and with its engine running.
The men decided to commit a series of robberies and began with the armed robbery of a gas station in Raytown, Missouri, southeast of Kansas City, on April 13, according to McCray’s plea agreement. They used the cash from the robbery at Dollar General, Rally House, Foot Locker and TJ Maxx stores in the Kansas City area.
The next day, they arrived in southern Illinois and made a two-minute video in which they flashed cash inside the stolen Hyundai before one of McCray’s companions posted it to his public Facebook page.
On April 15, the trio robbed an O’Fallon, Illinois, Moto Mart at gunpoint, a Circle K in Troy 30 minutes later and a Maryville Casey’s General Store 20 minutes after that, the plea said.
McCray and one of the other robbers, Victor M. Linton, drove to Chicago and Indianapolis before stealing clothing from an Effingham shoe store, Prime Sole, on April 19. When a clerk tried to stop them, McCray pulled a gun and fired one shot at the clerk, the plea says. The clerk was not struck.
The two were arrested after shooting someone in Higginsville, Missouri, in Lafayette County. McCray is currently serving a 25-year prison term for robbery, assault and other charges after pleading guilty in Lafayette and Cooper counties in Missouri, court records show.
U.S. District Judge Staci M. Yandle in southern Illinois balked at running the sentence for the federal crimes at the same time as the Missouri cases, saying it would not reflect the seriousness of the Illinois crimes. Five years of his federal sentence will run after he completes his state prison term.
Linton, 27, of Salem, Illinois, is also serving a 25-year state prison sentence. He is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday on the federal charges stemming from the southern Illinois robberies, and faces a similar penalty as McCray.
Both men still face robbery and gun charges in federal court in Indiana for an April 19 robbery there. The third robber was identified only by initials in Linton and McCray’s plea documents.