Cleveland Man Sentenced to Prison After Robbery and Evidence Tampering Conviction
Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Tandre Buchanan, 24, of Cleveland, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent to four years in prison after Buchanan was convicted at trial of robbery and tampering with evidence during the May 30, 2020, demonstrations and civil unrest in downtown Cleveland.
“Stealing from and deliberately damaging a business is unacceptable no matter the underlying intention or purpose,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “The right to engage in peaceful protest is guaranteed under the Constitution and must always be protected. Using that as an excuse to commit crimes against the innocent is an adulteration of that right.”
“Violent, deliberate attacks against individuals and businesses is appalling,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “Tampering with evidence further adds to the criminal misconduct. The FBI will continue to investigate cases that aim to cripple commerce, whether small businesses or large corporations.”
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on May 30, 2020, Buchanan participated in a demonstration in downtown Cleveland to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Later that day, Buchanan, wearing a bright orange jacket, head covering and shoes, came to Colossal Cupcakes located at 528 Euclid Avenue.
Court documents state that Buchanan then threw an object that shattered a large window, entered the business through the broken window, and encountered the store owner and employees, who locked themselves in a bathroom to call for help.
Buchannan then removed a chair from the shop and exited through the same window. Using the chair, Buchanan repeatedly smashed a second window until it finally shattered and fell out. Court documents state that multiple individuals then entered the business through the broken window, destroyed the shop’s interior and stole several items, including store inventory and iPads, all while Buchanan was smashing the second window.
Buchanan was also convicted of evidence tampering after it was revealed that Buchanan disposed of the bright orange clothing he wore the day of the crime in an attempt to conceal his identity and participation in the crime. Buchanan was ultimately identified and arrested based on multiple identifications made from photos released to the public.
This case was investigated by the FBI with the assistance of the Cleveland Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott C. Zarzycki.