Billings Man Admits To Robbery After Stealing Car At Gunpoint
From the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Montana, with added information:
Yesterday, the US Attorney's Office for the District of Montana announced Joseph Wayne Cantrell, age 29, of Billings, pleaded guilty to "superseding information" charging him with Hobbs Act Robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
What is "Hobbs Act Robbery"?
According to TheFederalCriminalAttorneys.com:
Essentially, this means if you are charged with robbery or extortion, and the State determines that your alleged act of robbery or extortion obstructed, delayed, or affected interstate commerce in any way or degree, you will be subject to additional and more severe penalties.
With that charge, Mr. Cantrell faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine and at least three years of supervised release on the robbery charge, and a mandatory minimum of seven years to life in prison, consecutive to any other sentence, a $250,000 fine and five years of supervised release on the firearm charge.
Mr. Cantrell admitted to robbery and firearms crimes yesterday after being accused of stealing a car at gunpoint in Billings, and leading law enforcement on a chase into Big Horn County, where he was arrested.
The government alleged in court documents:
...on Jan. 8, 2022, the victim was sitting in his 2017 Subaru Outback in a parking lot in Billings when Cantrell approached his driver’s side door. The victim told Cantrell to go away. Cantrell then pulled out a black handgun, and the victim immediately surrendered his car to Cantrell, who drove off in it. Less than an hour later, law enforcement found Cantrell with the car. Cantrell fled and led law enforcement on a chase from Yellowstone County into Big Horn County. Law enforcement deployed spike strips to stop Cantrell and could hear gunshots coming from the car. The car wrecked a short time later and Cantrell fled with the firearm into a nearby field. The car’s passenger side window had been shot out. After a standoff lasting several hours, Cantrell threw the firearm away and was arrested. The firearm was a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
About Project Safe Neighborhoods:
Project Safe Neighborhoods is a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.