BEAUMONT, Texas – A Beaumont man has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.
Moses Ray Rhine, Jr., 21, pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn.
According to court documents, from January 11, 2021 through January 21, 2021, Rhine and others conspired to commit armed robberies of at least five convenience stores located in Southeast Texas. The stores were all engaged in interstate commerce that employed clerks who were engaged in the commercial activities of the stores at the time of the robberies. Each store was equipped with functioning surveillance cameras that recorded the robberies. Local and federal agents interviewed Rhine and he confessed to his role in the robberies. The Hobbs Act prohibits actual or attempted robbery affecting interstate commerce.
“Mr. Rhine’s operation was to plunder,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “This case was more than just a garden-variety market robbery by a junior varsity robber. Rhine and his crew robbed convenience stores across the Beaumont community. Thanks to the excellent work of ATF and Beaumont Police, this robbery crew has been neutralized and their robbery spree has been brought to an end.”
Rhine was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 2, 2021. He faces up to life in federal prison. The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
This case is being investigated by the Beaumont Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.