Four Men Charged in a Series of Armed Robberies

November 6, 2008

Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury today indicted Rogelio Claros Alfaro, age 34; and Manuel Claros, age 21, both of Silver Spring; William Ortiz Lazaro, age 29, of Hyattsville; and Julio Nelson Paredes, age 43, of Silver Spring, for conspiracy to commit a series of commercial robberies and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

“This case was particularly appropriate for federal prosecution because the indictment alleges that the defendants committed a series of armed robberies in three separate Maryland counties,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the two count indictment, from May to August 2008, the defendants planned and organized robberies to steal money and property belonging to six food and convenience stores and the employees and customers present during the robberies; conducted surveillance at the stores and on individuals whom they believed to be carrying proceeds associated with the businesses to determine the best time to commit the robberies; and used two handguns, a shotgun, and knives to detain, threaten and restrain employees and customers present during the robberies.

Specifically, the indictment alleges that the defendants robbed: the Forest Glen Deli in Silver Spring on May 6th; an employee who was carrying money belonging to the Sabor Latino Papusa Truck, a mobile food retail store operated primarily in Silver Spring, on June 22nd; the Laurel Spanish Market in Laurel on June 25th; the Tienda Ramirez market in Templeville, Maryland on July 15th and August 7th; the High’s Store on Old Mill Bottom Road in Annapolis on July 26th; and the owner and an employee who were carrying money belonging to the El Amigo Grocery in Silver Spring on August 2nd.

The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the robbery conspiracy and a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of life in prison for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. No court appearance has yet been scheduled. The defendants are currently detained on related state charges in Queen Anne’s County.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County Police Departments, and the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein also thanked Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Frank Weathersbee and Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Frank Kratovil and their offices for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Tonya Kelly Kowitz and Michael Hanlon, who are prosecuting the case.



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