Grand Jury Indicts Huntington Park Man in Alleged Three-Month Robbery Spree Targeting 15 Trader Joe’s Grocery Stores
LOS ANGELES – A federal grand jury today named a Huntington Park man in a 21-count indictment that accuses him of robbing 15 Trader Joe’s stores throughout Southern California during a three-month crime spree.
Gregory Johnson, 43, was named in a superseding indictment charging him with 15 counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act), five counts of knowingly using and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
His arraignment on the superseding indictment has not been scheduled. A June 22 trial previously was scheduled in this matter.
Johnson previously was charged via a two-count information on February 8 in connection with the robbery of a Trader Joe’s in Chino Hills on December 4, 2020. Today’s indictment charges him with 19 additional felonies.
According to the indictment, from August 28 to December 4, 2020, Johnson robbed Trader Joe’s stores in Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Chatsworth, Pasadena, Culver City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Agoura Hills, Brea, Santa Ana, Tustin, and Chino Hills, and attempted to rob Trader Joe's stores in Simi Valley and Corona.
During many of the robberies, Johnson allegedly brandished a handgun. On two occasions, Johnson allegedly robbed stores in Rancho Palos Verdes and Brea, and returned weeks later to rob them again.
On December 4, 2020, Johnson and his son, Gregory Eric Johnson, 20, of South Los Angeles, were arrested after law enforcement learned of the Chino Hills Trader Joe’s robbery. A witness gave law enforcement a description of the Johnsons’ getaway car and its license plate, according to court documents.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted of all charges, Gregory Johnson would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for each robbery charge, seven years in prison for each firearms use charge, and 10 years’ imprisonment for the felon-in-possession of a firearms charge.
On March 15, Gregory Eric Johnson pleaded guilty to a two-count information charging him with interference with commerce by robbery for robbing Trader Joe’s stores in Chatsworth and Chino Hills in December 2020. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 12, at which time he will face a statutory maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison.
The FBI, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this matter.
Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky and Joseph D. Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section are prosecuting this case.