Man pleads guilty to racketeering

Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:05 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Henry Rehmert Sr. of Montgomery City pleaded guilty Monday morning to racketeering charges in federal court. He was one of four men indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2003 on charges related to the deaths of two Columbia residents.

Rehmert, his son and two other men were involved in a criminal enterprise meant to deceive and defraud individuals of money from 1989 to 2002, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in St. Louis.

The office said in a news release that members of “the enterprise” told Ricky Simpson of Columbia in September 1998 that they would give him marijuana if he brought them $30,000. When Simpson arrived, the culprits killed him and took the money, according to the news release.

In June 1999, members of the enterprise also killed Columbia resident Sheri Montague as a result of a separate scheme to defraud her of $30,000, the office said.

Guilty pleas

The case was originally investigated by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol. A task force of state and federal authorities was formed in 2001 to investigate the case. Investigators found evidence of the murders but have been unable to locate either of the victims’ bodies, which are believed to have been dumped in the Missouri River.

“We worked on that case from the beginning, and we are just elated that we got this much closure to it at this point in time,” said Detective Mike Stubbs of the sheriff’s department.

Rehmert , 54, was the last of the four suspects to plead guilty to the charges. His son, Henry Rehmert Jr., 27, of Belle, pleaded guilty on June 23. Bobby Rohrer, 39, of Columbia, and Wayne Jaegers, 47, of Bonnots Mills, both pleaded guilty on July 1. Each faced one felony count under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and one felony count of conspiracy to commit RICO.

The elder Rehmert, Rohrer and Jaegers now face up to life in prison and/or fines of $250,000. The sentencing for Rehmert Sr. has been scheduled for Jan. 14. There is no parole in the federal system.

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