Cleveland man pleads guilty to robbing Clarion gas station, raiding Brookville gun store
A Cleveland man who prosecutors say burglarized a Jefferson County gun store in 2017 pleaded guilty to robbery and firearms charges in federal court this week.
Rayshawn Patterson, 20, also admitted to two robberies that occurred in Clarion County and Cleveland, respectively, prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said in December 2017, Patterson and others conspired to travel from Cleveland to rural Western Pennsylvania areas to break into gun stores, steal guns, and bring them back to Cleveland.
On Dec. 22, 2017, Patterson and the others went to Clarion County to try to find and break into a gun store, but were unsuccessful, Brady said. Before going back to Cleveland, the group went to a gas station where only one employee was working and robbed it.
Prosecutors said the group threatened the employee, restrained them and took them to another area of the store before making off with $300.
The next day, the group came back to Pennsylvania and broke into DSD Sports in Brookville, Jefferson County, by smashing the front door and windows with a sledgehammer and other tools, Brady said.
The group stole 16 firearms, including 14 handguns and two assault-style rifles back to Cleveland.
On Dec. 29, 2017, Cleveland police found two handguns outside of a home where the group was living. Those guns turned out to be two of the guns taken from DSD, Brady said.
Search warrants later executed by federal agents at Cleveland residences connected to Patterson and his co-conspirators resulted in the recovery of the sledgehammer and other tools believed to be used in the DSD burglary, Brady said.
Patterson’s sentencing is set for February. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.