Man caught in Texas for armed robbery of East St. Louis convenience store

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A man accused of using a firearm to rob an East St. Louis convenience store has been indicted in federal court.

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois said Vernelle Hines, 30, was charged with one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of carry and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

Hines was arrested in Houston, Texas, following a joint investigation by the Illinois State Police’s Public Safety Enforcement Group, along with the U.S. Marshals Service and Homeland Security Investigations in the Southern District of Texas.

Prosecutors claim Hines entered the Mega Supermarket on Oct. 31, 2023, brandished a gun and fired the weapon. He then stole merchandise from the store and fled.

If convicted, Hines faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the robbery and between 10 years and life imprisonment for the firearm charge.

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