EAST ST. LOUIS – The U.S. Attorney's Office today announced that a Belleville man - 23-year-old Cameron J. Blake - will be spending over two decades behind bars for stealing cash from four local businesses at gunpoint. Blake received a 252-month sentence in federal prison on four counts of interfering with commerce by robbery and three counts of use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Blake pled guilty to the charges back in April. According to court documents, the crimes occurred in December of 2019. On December 2, 2019, Blake entered two different ZX gas stations, one in Swansea and one in Belleville, and a Huck’s Food and Fuel in Belleville, and demanded money.

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Blake brandished a gun with a flashlight attachment and took cash from employees by force. On December 27, 2019, Blake entered a Domino’s Pizza in Belleville, and again displayed a firearm with a flashlight attachment when he demanded cash. As part of his sentence, Blake was also ordered to serve a three-year term of supervised release. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.

Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally-based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The investigation was conducted by the Belleville Police Department, Swansea Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexandria Burns.

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