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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 13, 2021

Dracut Man Arrested for Armed Robbery

Defendant allegedly robbed three convenience stores on Christmas Eve

BOSTON – A Dracut man was arrested yesterday and charged in connection with the armed robbery of three convenience stores in Lowell and Tewksbury on Christmas Eve 2020.

Michael Vangpa, 32, was charged with interfering with commerce by robbery and using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Following an initial appearance today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Donald L. Cabell, Vangpa was detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for August 16, 2021.

According to the charging documents, on Dec. 24, 2020, Vangpa robbed three nearby convenience stores—two in Lowell and one in Tewksbury—within an hour. In each of the robberies, Vangpa brandished a firearm and demanded money from the store clerks. He also discharged the firearm during one of the robberies.

The charge of interference with commerce by robbery provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence provides for a sentence of up to life in prison and a mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of 10 years. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Colonel Christopher Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; and James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Boston Field Division made the announcement. The Lowell, Tewksbury, Dracut and Nashua (N.H.) Police Departments provided valuable assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Dell’Anno of Mendell’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated August 13, 2021