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Brooklyn man charged with gunpoint robberies of more than $1 Million

He allegedly targeted check-cashing business 4 times

March 9, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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A Brooklyn man was charged in Brooklyn Federal Court Wednesday with planning and executing four armed robberies targeting the owner and patrons of a Queens check-cashing business in July 2020 and September 2021.

Robert Rodriguez was arrested on Wednesday and charged with Hobbs Act robbery, Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and related firearms crimes. He was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Taryn A. Merkl. 

Rodriguez’s co-defendant, Raymundo Heyaime Sanchez, was previously arrested and indicted for Hobbs Act robbery and related crimes for his role in one of the four robberies charged in the superseding indictment. Sanchez is currently detained pending trial. 

According to the charges, Rodriguez, Sanchez and a co-conspirator targeted the owner of a check-cashing business in Jamaica, Queens, and conducted surveillance of his home and business. On July 3, 2020, the owner was confronted in the driveway of the business by masked bandits who pistol-whipped him on the back of the head before robbing him of more than $1 million. 

Rodriguez subsequently committed three additional robberies of the business’s customers more than a year later, according to federal prosecutors. On each occasion, Rodriguez purportedly waited in a vehicle near the check-cashing business until a customer departed, at which point he followed each victim by car before ultimately robbing the customer at gunpoint. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Taryn A. Merkl, EDNY. Photo courtesy of U.S. Justice Dept.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John B. DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New York Field Division (ATF), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, NYPD, announced the charges. 

“As alleged in the superseding indictment, the defendant is charged with the brazen gunpoint robberies of the owner and customers of a Queens check-cashing business,” said U.S. Attorney Peace. “Such openly menacing and violent conduct will not be tolerated.” 

“Today’s arrest of an armed violent criminal by the ATF/NYPD Sparta Task Force is another example of our unwavering commitment to aggressively pursue and investigate acts of violence involving the use of firearms in our communities” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito. “The defendant’s willful disregard for the safety and security of our citizens was evident by preying on both the business and customers alike.”

“If you carry an illegal gun in New York City – and especially if you use that gun to terrorize our communities – you will be arrested and charged accordingly,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell. 

If convicted of the charges, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of 84 months’ imprisonment and up to life in prison. 

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lindsey R. Oken and Adam Toporovsky.

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