For Immediate Release
Cleveland Man Pleads Guilty to 2017 Robbery and Burglary Spree in Western Pennsylvania
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA – A former resident of Cleveland, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to charges of violating federal robbery and firearms laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.
Rayshawn Patterson, 20, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio pleaded guilty today in front of the Senior U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab to charges of Conspiracy to Commit Hobbs Act Robbery, Hobbs Act Robbery, Conspiracy to Steal Firearms from a Licensed Firearm Dealer, Theft from a Licensed Firearms Dealer, Possession of Stolen Firearms, and Interstate Transport of Stolen Firearms. Additionally, Rayshawn Patterson accepted responsibility for a separate robbery that occurred in Cleveland, Ohio. Patterson has been detained since his initial appearance in federal court.
According to information presented to the court, in December of 2017, Rayshawn Patterson and other conspirators from the Cleveland, Ohio area conspired to travel to rural areas of Western Pennsylvania to burglarize Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) and transport the stolen firearms back to Cleveland, Ohio. On December 22, 2017, Rayshawn traveled to Clarion County, Pennsylvania to attempt to locate and burglarize a gun store. However, he and his co-conspirators were unsuccessful in doing so. Prior to returning to Cleveland, Rayshawn and his co-conspirators observed a gas station with only one employee working late at night. The individuals then devised a plan to rob that gas station. Rayshawn Patterson participated in a robbery of the gas station in which the employee was threatened with violence, physically restrained and brought to another area of the store. The conspirators netted only approximately $300 from the robbery before returning to Cleveland.
The next day, on December 23, 2017, Rayshawn Patterson and his co-conspirators returned to Western Pennsylvania and burglarized DSD Sports in Brookville, PA by smashing the front door and windows with a sledgehammer and other tools. Once inside the store, Rayshawn and his co-conspirators stole approximately 16 firearms including 14 handguns and two assault rifles. The co-conspirators then transported the firearms back to Cleveland, Ohio. On December 29, 2017, Cleveland Police recovered two of the stolen handguns from DSD outside the home of Rayshawn and his co-conspirators. Later on January 10, 2017, agents from the Pittsburgh and Cleveland divisions of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives executed search warrants in Cleveland, Ohio at residences connected to Rayshawn and his co-conspirators. Agents recovered the suspected sledgehammer and other tools believed to be used in the burglary.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for February 18, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Rayshawn Patterson faces a total maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Lanni is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Brookville Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Cleveland Police Department, and the Cuyahoga Sheriff’s Department conducted the investigation leading to the guilty plea in this case.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.