DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin

For Immediate Release

Thursday, December 12, 2019
Matthew D. Krueger
, United States Attorney
Contact: Kenneth Gales

Two Men Charged Federally with Armed Robberies of Cell Phone Stores and a Female Charged with Illegal Purchase and Transfer of Firearms

Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on December 10, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an 18-count indictment against Maurice Tolbert (age 40) of Milwaukee and Richard Tolbert (age 36) of Chicago, charging them with a series of robberies of cell phone stores in Milwaukee and West Allis between April 27, 2019, and October 29, 2019. Further, Angel Price (age 29) of Milwaukee is charged with illegally purchasing and transferring firearms to a felon between March 11, 2019, and October 6, 2019.

All three defendants are charged with conspiracy to illegally obtain firearms and use those firearms to commit robberies. Maurice Tolbert is charged with committing four robberies of cell phone stores, in violation of the Hobbs Act, and using, carrying, and brandishing firearms during those robberies. Richard Tolbert is charged with committing three robberies of cell phone stores, in violation of the Hobbs Act, and using, carrying, and brandishing firearms during those robberies. Angel Price is charged with four counts of being a straw purchaser of firearms and four counts of providing firearms to a felon.

If convicted of the charges in the indictment, defendants Maurice and Richard Tolbert face up to twenty years of imprisonment, five years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine as to each of the Hobbs Act robberies. Each of the brandishing of a firearm counts involves a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence. Angel Price faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment, three years of supervised released, and a $250,000 fine as to each of the firearm counts. On the conspiracy charge, each defendant faces up to five years of imprisonment, up to three years of supervised released, and a $250,000 fine.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods’ strategy brings together all levels of law enforcement and community resources to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life in all our neighborhoods.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Milwaukee Area Violent Crimes Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Milwaukee Police Department, the West Allis Police Department, and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Margaret B. Honrath.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which time the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Chicago Field Division