Gas station robbery suspect pleads guilty in Southern Illinois federal court

A 38-year-old Herrin man pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this month to a Marion gas station robbery and now faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Travis J. Taylor was accused, alongside another man, of robbing the Valero Gas Station in Marion on April 25. He pleaded to one count of interference with commerce by robbery in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois.

Because the crime is in violation of the Hobbs Act, the robbery has a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

“We’re taking a hard stance against commercial robberies because ... it’s become such a problem and so prevalent. Federal prosecution creates, we hope, a higher deterrent effect,” said Norm Smith, the first assistant in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois.

Taylor is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 20.

Marion police responded to the robbery and chased the men who had driven away, The Southern reported at the time.

The second suspect in the case, Byron L. Williams, was arrested and charged with a single count of aggravated battery. That charge was dismissed by prosecuting attorneys in Williamson County in July, however.

Mary Cooley: 618-239-2535, @MaryCooleyBND