News and Press Releases

Maryland Man Convicted for Conspiring to Commit Series of Armed Robberies of Latino Small Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2011

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Serfido Trinidad Perez Florian, 41, of Riverdale, Md., Va., was convicted today by a federal jury for conspiring to commit a string of armed robberies of small businesses that primarily serve the Latino community in Prince William and Fairfax counties, as well as planning to rob a Wachovia Bank branch in Horsham, Penn., and a drug dealer in the District of Columbia. He is the fifth conspirator to be convicted as a part of the investigation into these robberies.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; Charlie T. Deane, Prince William County Chief of Police; and Colonel David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee.

             “Florian conspired with a group of armed thugs that spread fear and violence through robberies of Latino businesses throughout Prince William and Fairfax counties,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “They placed guns at the heads of store employees, shot at them while attempting to escape, and even threatened a child of a store owner. Florian and his partners were caught and convicted through the excellent and collaborative efforts of our local and federal partners.”

“Violent crime through armed robberies of small businesses endangers our communities and neighbors,” said FBI ADIC McJunkin.  “Because of the hard work and dedication of multiple law enforcement agencies, working in concert with the FBI, we were collectively able to remove a violent group of criminals from our streets.”

“This case is another outstanding example of cooperation between law enforcement agencies across jurisdictional and state lines,” said Chief Deane of the Prince William County Police Department. “With the use of technology and communication between agencies our ability to apprehend suspects is even greater than before.”

“The violence these armed robbers willingly displayed made their identification and capture critical to public safety in our region,” said Chief Rohrer of the Fairfax County Police Department. “The Fairfax County detectives involved in the investigation and arrests in these cases deeply appreciate the cooperation, coordination, and operational and prosecutorial support our federal, state, and local partners contributed to the joint effort to stop these vicious crimes.”

            Florian was charged in a second superseding indictment on Sept. 22, 2011, on charges of conspiracy, robbery, and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Florian was convicted today for conspiracy and acquitted on the robbery and firearm charges. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison when he is sentenced on March 23, 2012. Four of Florian’s co-conspirators pled guilty and testified at trial of their roles in the robberies and are awaiting sentencing.

According to evidence at trial, Florian participated in a conspiracy that targeted at least eight businesses and stole approximately $238,000 in cash and jewelry from August 2010 through February 2011. At each location, conspirators carried handguns, either brandished a firearm or put a handgun at employees’ heads, and demanded money and other valuables. On at least two of the robberies, the armed gunmen shot at the store employees while attempting to flee the scene. 

Evidence also revealed that Florian and his conspirators were working with individuals later revealed as undercover officers to commit an armed robbery of a Wachovia Bank branch in Horsham, Penn.  Florian, his co-conspirators, and an undercover officer met at a car dealership to select the vehicles to be used in the robbery attempt, conducted surveillance on the bank, and inspected multiple firearms and bullet proof vests they would allegedly use in committing the armed robbery.  They also discussed robbing a drug dealer in the District of Columbia. The undercover officers involved in the investigation were with the Metropolitan Police Department. 

            This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Prince William County Police Department, Fairfax County Police Department, and the Metropolitan Police Department, with assistance from Takoma Park Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorneys Patricia Giles and Justin Fairfax are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

 

 

 

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