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Justin Herdman, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Cleveland has returned a two-count indictment charging Tandre Buchanan, Jr., age 22, of Cleveland, with one count of interference with commerce by means of robbery and one count of tampering with evidence.
“This indictment is part of the Department of Justice’s commitment to identify, arrest and prosecute those who participated in the widespread looting and damaging of downtown Cleveland on May 30th,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “As I’ve said all along in this process, where we have jurisdiction, federal charges will be brought against those who abused a constitutionally-protected assembly to commit acts of destruction and violence in the downtown Cleveland neighborhood.”
“The right to engage in peaceful protest is a cornerstone of our Republic and the United States Constitution,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “The FBI will continue to work with our state and local partners and protect our citizen’s right to protest peacefully, but we will not let those who engaged in violence and destruction to go unchecked.”
According to the indictment, on or about May 30, 2020, the defendant did and aided and abetted others in the unlawful obstruction of commerce by means of robbery. The defendant is accused of obtaining property in the custody, possession, and presence of Colossal Cupcakes employees in downtown Cleveland. The defendant did so against the will of the employees by means of actual and threatened force, violence, and fear of immediate injury.
Furthermore, the defendant is alleged to have tampered with evidence by disposing of the clothing that he wore during the commission of these offenses. The indictment states that the defendant did so with the intention of impairing the use and availability of the object in an official proceeding.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.
In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
The investigation preceding this indictment was conducted by the FBI with the help of the Cleveland Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott C. Zarzycki.