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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Missouri

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2011

Keith D. Sorrell, Assistant United States Attorney

Charleston Woman Sentenced to 147 Months on Federal Firearms and Drug Charges

The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that a Charleston, Missouri woman was sentenced on federal firearms and drug charges.

HOLLI WRICE, age 32, was sentenced to 147 months on one felony count of Interference With Commerce by Threat or Violence, one felony count of Using a Firearm Duringa Crime of Violence and one felony count of Possession of Marijuana With the Intent toDistribute. She appeared before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr.

On July 30, 2008, Holli Wrice and Lana Neal entered Paul’s Pawn and Jewelry in Sikeston, Missouri. The two women drew pistols and pointed them at the owner. The women ordered the owner to the floor and told her to crawl to a back room where they secured her with tape. One woman watched the owner, while the other woman took items from the store displays. Among the items taken were jewelry, firearms, cash, a Tanika brand digital scale and personal items belonging to the owner. After securing the store items in a backpack, the two left the store. The owner was eventually able to free herself and call police.

On November 6, 2008, the owner of the pawn shop called the Sikeston police departmentand told them that she had just seen one of the two women at the Sikeston Wal-Mart store. Officers responded and made contact with the woman, who identified herself as Holli Wrice. Ms. Wrice denied robbing Paul’s Pawn and Jewelry.

Further investigation eventually led the officers to the home of Lana Neal, in Sikeston, Missouri. Initially, Neal denied being involved in the robbery, then admitted that she and Holli Wrice committed the robbery. Neal produced a small quantity of jewelry from her home that she said was from the pawn store robbery and took the officers to a rural location where she said that she and Wrice discarded unusable items from the robbery.

On March 13 2009, law enforcement officers observed Ms. Wrice in a vehicle on Market Street in Charleston. As the officers approached the vehicle, the vehicle fled. During the ensuing chase, officers saw Wrice throw numerous items from the vehicle. The officers eventually stopped the car and detained the occupants, two men and Wrice. Wrice admitted she was selling a quantity of marijuana to the men when the police arrived and that she threw the marijuana out of the window of the vehicle as they fled from the officers. Wrice also reported that she threw a firearm out of the car during the chase. The officers went to the location that Ms. Wrice reported throwing items from the car and found a Bersa, .380 caliber pistol and a quantity of marijuana. More marijuana and a Tanika brand digital scale were found in Wrice’s home during a subsequent search.

Lana Neal entered a plea of guilty to one felony count of being a previously convictedfelon in possession of a firearm. On December 3, 2009, Neal was sentenced to 88 months in theFederal Bureau of Prisons.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety; the Charleston Department of Public Safetyand the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Keith D. Sorrell is handling the prosecution for the Government.