PHILADELPHIA – Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Maurice Quinn, 42, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and five years of supervised release by United States District Judge Jan E. DuBois for Hobbs Act robbery, and carrying and using a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
The charges stemmed from an armed robbery of a corner grocery store in the East Mount Airy section of Philadelphia in March 2019. In February 2020, the defendant and his two co-defendants, Abid Stevens and Donnie Smith, both 41 and also of Philadelphia, PA, were convicted on all charges after trial. Stevens and Smith have already been sentenced by Judge DuBois for this crime to 10 years and 12 years in prison, respectively.
During the incident, Quinn entered RD Grocery and complained to a store employee that the store’s ATM had given him fake money. Quinn then attempted to grab both money from the register and a firearm kept by the owner behind the counter. Unable to grab the money or firearm, Quinn left and returned with Smith and Stevens, both of whom were armed with black semi-automatic handguns. Smith and Stevens brandished their firearms in the store employee’s face and Smith took the firearm from behind the counter. Quinn then again attempted to take cash from the register but failed. He demanded that the store employee open the register for him; the employee then opened the register, withdrew $100 in cash, and gave it to the Quinn.
“The defendant was so determined to rob this store that when his first attempt didn’t work, Quinn brazenly returned with armed back-up,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “His complete disregard for others and for the law is appalling. Hopefully others will learn from the example set by these three -- if you rob a store in Philadelphia with a firearm, you are going to face serious federal prison time as a result. Our Office is committed to being ‘All Hands On Deck’ working with our law enforcement partners to bring criminals to justice.”
“Maurice Quinn and his co-defendants committed a brazen armed robbery that endangered innocent lives and left a store employee traumatized,” said Matthew Varisco, Special Agent in charge of ATF’s Philadelphia Field Division. “ATF and our partners from the Philadelphia Police Department remain committed to protecting the public from individuals like Stevens, who spread fear and perpetuate violence within the community. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their proactive support throughout this investigation.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Eckert and Special Assistant United States Attorney Ashley N. Martin.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Pennsylvania