News and Press Releases

MAN SENTENCED FOR ARMED ROBBERY OF PALMETTO LAKES POST OFFICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, United States Post Inspection Service, Miami Division, announced that defendant Eliezer Charles, 22, of North Miami, was sentenced on Thursday, August 25, 2011, to seven years’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for the May 7, 2010 armed robbery of the Palmetto Lakes Post Office.

On June 15, 2011, Charles pled guilty to brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, specifically, the May 7, 2010, armed robbery of the Palmetto Lakes Post Office.

United States Attorney Wifredo Ferrer stated, “Our postal workers are dedicated public servants, who work hard each day to provide an invaluable service to our nation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Postal Inspection Service are committed to protecting these public servants in the performance of their duties. Accordingly, we will aggressively prosecute crimes against our postal employees.”

“This investigation and prosecution demonstrates the pledge the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and our U.S. Attorney have toward combating violent crime in our community. The sentence mirrors this commitment,” said Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge.

According to the charges and statements made during the plea hearings, on the morning of May 7, 2010, Charles and two other males entered the Palmetto lakes Post Office, located on N.W. 159th Street, in Miami Gardens, Florida, while brandishing firearms at customers, including a seven year old boy who was waiting in line with his mother and grandmother. Upon entering the Post Office, Charles and one of the other males jumped over the service counter and, at gun point, forced Postal employees to open their cash registers. Meanwhile, the third male held the customers at gun point.

While emptying the cash registers, one of the assailants threatened to shoot a postal employee if they failed to comply with the gunmen’s orders. Charles and the other two males left the Post Office with a total of $280.78 and a customer’s car keys. The men used the customer’s car to escape the scene. Victims of the armed robbery subsequently identified Charles as one of the armed assailants in the May 7th incident.

The two other men involved in the May 7, 2010, Postal robbery with Charles remain at large. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of these two unidentified suspects.

U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for their tireless investigation and work in identifying and capturing Charles. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maria K. Medetis and Christopher V. Parente.

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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.

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