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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2022

Union City Man Pleads Guilty To Series Of Small Business Robberies

Defendant Robbed Or Attempted To Rob 23 East And South Bay Gas Stations And Convenience Stores In Seven Month Spree

OAKLAND - Nelson Enrike Ramirez pleaded guilty today in federal court to two counts of robbery affecting interstate commerce, announced United States Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds and Federal Bureau of Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan.

A federal complaint filed on March 5, 2021, charged Ramirez, 41 years old and from Union City, with a November 6, 2020, robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store on Washington Boulevard in Fremont and alleged his involvement in 22 other robberies.  An information that followed on December 1, 2021, charged Ramirez with the same November 6, 2020, robbery as well as a November 3, 2020, robbery of a 7-Eleven in Campbell, California.

In a plea agreement he entered into today, Ramirez admitted that from May to November 2020, he committed or attempted 23 robberies of small businesses in the east and south bay areas, including in Fremont, Newark, Hayward, Union City, Campbell, Milpitas, Mountain View, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.  He admitted that during the robberies and attempted robberies, he carried a black rubber replica semiautomatic firearm, brandished the replica firearm, and demanded money from employees of the businesses.  Ramirez often apologized to the employees, stating that he needed money because he had a sick child at home – but he admitted in his plea agreement that he did not have such a child.  

Ramirez described in his plea agreement that on November 3, 2020, he entered a 7-Eleven convenience store on West Sunnyoaks Avenue in Campbell and asked the store clerk a question.  When she approached him, Ramirez told the clerk that he needed money because his son was sick and insurance would not cover it.  As he spoke to the clerk, he pulled the black rubber replica firearm out of his pocket and held it at his side.  He told the clerk to open the register, then walked behind the store’s counter with the clerk. Ramirez took approximately $1,500 from the register and fled the scene.

Ramirez also described that on November 6, 2020, he walked into a 7-Eleven convenience store on Washington Boulevard in Fremont.  He told the store clerk he needed a soda.  When the clerk approached to help, Ramirez pulled the replica firearm out and told the clerk he needed money.  He ordered the clerk over to the cash register.  The clerk opened the register and handed Ramirez approximately $200.  Ramirez ordered the clerk to open a second cash register, but it was empty.  Ramirez left.

Ramirez is next scheduled for a sentencing hearing before United States District Judge Jon S. Tigar in Oakland federal court on August 19, 2022.  He remains in custody pending sentencing.  

Ramirez pled guilty to two counts of robbery affecting interstate commerce in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).  Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss inflicted on victims, plus restitution.  However, any sentence following a conviction is imposed by a court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.  

Noah Stern is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Karina Ruiz, Kay Konopaske, and Kathleen Turner.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the FBI, the Fremont Police Department, the Union City Police Department, the Newark Police Department, the Hayward Police Department, the Campbell Police Department, the Milpitas Police Department, the Mountain View Police Department, the Los Altos Police Department, and the Sunnyvale Police Department.  
 

Updated April 22, 2022