Robbers Targeting Gas Stations and Hotels along I-95 Plead Guilty
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, Julie Leon, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Tampa/Orlando Field Office, Deryl Loar, Sheriff, Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, Wayne Ivey, Sheriff, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, John A. Bolduc, Chief, Port St. Lucie Police Department, and Frank J. Kitzerow, Chief, Jupiter Police Department, announce that Yubran Alvarez Vasquez, 22, of Bluffton, South Carolina, and Matthew Emmanuel Vasquez, 24, of Savannah, Georgia, pled guilty today to charges stemming from six armed robberies targeting gas stations and hotels along I-95 from Melbourne to Jupiter. Each defendant pled guilty to two counts of possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(ii & iii).
According to the terms of the plea agreements, the defendants must serve a minimum of 35 years in prison but may be sentenced to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for August 27, 2014 at 1:30 p.m. in Fort Pierce, before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez.
The defendants admitted to targeting gas stations and hotels just off exits on I-95 from Melbourne to Jupiter. The defendants participated in one robbery spree that lasted five hours commencing on February 14, 2013, through the early morning hours of February 15, 2013, during which the defendants robbed at gunpoint two gas stations and two hotels. The defendants brandished guns in all the robberies and during the robbery of the Holiday Inn Express in Vero Beach, a firearm was fired. No one was seriously injured.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of ATF, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the Port St. Lucie Police Department, and the Jupiter Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Russell R. Killinger.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.