String of Armed Robberies Leads to Decades in Prison for Nebraska Pair

String of Armed Robberies Leads to Decades in Prison for Nebraska Pair

Fairview Heights, Ill. – Two Nebraska men were sentenced this week to lengthy prison terms for
committing a series of armed robberies in Effingham, Illinois, and the Metro East in April 2017.
Allen McCray, 23, and Victor Linton, 27, of Omaha, Nebraska, appeared in federal district court in
the Southern District of Illinois this week and were sentenced to 26 years and 24 years,
respectively.

According to court documents, McCray, Linton, and a third man – Brandon D. English, Jr., 21 – stole
a Hyundai Santa Fe out of a Nebraska driveway and went on a week-long, multi-state crime spree. The
first  robbery  took  place  on  April  13,  2017,  in  Raytown,  Missouri,  where  they  held  up
a convenience store. Receipts recovered later from the Santa Fe show they used the proceeds from
the robbery to make cash purchases at Dollar General, Rally House, Foot Locker, and TJ Maxx
locations in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Two nights later, the trio covered their hair and faces and entered a Moto Mart in O’Fallon,
Illinois, where English put a gun to the cashier’s head and demanded money. They also struck the
cashier with her own purse before taking money out of her cash register and leaving. Less than an
hour later, the men used similar methods to rob a Circle K in Troy, Illinois, and a Casey’s General
Store in Maryville.

After purchasing ammunition and attempting to purchase another gun, the three robbers left the
Metro East, driving first to the Chicago area and from there to Indianapolis. They returned to
Illinois on April 19, 2017, where McCray and Linton stopped in a Prime Sole shoe store in
Effingham. When they tried to take merchandise without paying, a store employee confronted them.
McCray pulled out a gun and fired a shot at the clerk. The two men then fled the scene with the
stolen items.

McCray and Linton eventually abandoned the Santa Fe in Booneville, Missouri, when they missed the
turn into the Break Time gas station just after midnight on April 21, 2017. The men spotted a truck
in the parking lot and fired six shots into the vehicle, striking the driver four times.
Eventually, they stole another vehicle and led law enforcement on a chase through Lafayette County,
Missouri. Spikes were used to stop the vehicle, and the pair were taken into custody.

All three defendants entered guilty pleas to conspiracy, robbery (three counts), and brandishing a
firearm during a crime of violence. McCray and Linton also pled guilty to a fourth robbery count
and to discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
English was sentenced in December 2018 to 20 years in prison.

In addition to their terms of imprisonment, McCray and Linton will both serve 5 years of supervised
release and pay $793.51 in restitution.

The  FBI  led  the  investigation,  with  assistance  from  state  and  local  law  enforcement
agencies, including  the  O’Fallon  Police  Department,  the  Maryville  Police  Department,  the
Troy  Police
Department, Illinois State Police, and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

Original

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

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