The 25-year-old man convicted of robbing the MotoMart gas station in Fairview Heights of $208 has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison, according to U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton.
Jahrastafar Jamal Farmer, of Fairview Heights, pleaded guilty to violating the Hobbs Act and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. The Hobbs Act makes it a crime to affect interstate commerce by robbery.
Farmer ordered an employee and customer at the gas station to the floor at gunpoint during the robbery on Nov. 2. A search of Farmer's home recovered evidence linking him to the armed robbery, including a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. Text messages on Farmer's phone indicated he was having financial difficulties and he "had to sum extreme (expletive) to bounce back."
Wigginton said he was very pleased with the cooperation from metro-east residents in helping identify Farmer. "Stated simply, they were instrumental in solving this crime," Wigginton said. "I will continue to use the Hobbs Act, and any other tool that I have, to try to stop this sort of violence in southern Illinois.