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Press Release

Individual Sentenced to 20 Years and Three Months in Prison for a Series of Hobbs Act Robberies and Firearms Violations

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A Río Grande man was sentenced to 20 years and three months in prison for four counts of Hobbs Act violations and one count of firearms violations, announced W. Stephen Muldrow, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.

According to court documents, Miguel Cancel-Marrero, 62, committed a series of robberies while brandishing, carrying and using a firearm, in the presence of employees against their will, by means of threatened force, violence and fear of injury. The defendant admitted to the following robberies:

  1. On January 14, 2021, the defendant took United States currency from Auto Zone in Trujillo Alto, PR. During this robbery, the defendant aimed the firearm at customers and employees and pointed the firearm at the head of an employee. Cancel-Marrero also admitted that he discharged the firearm while committing the robbery, shooting himself in the right leg and subsequently bleeding inside the Auto Zone.  
  2. On December 2, 2020, the defendant took U.S. currency from Advanced Auto Parts in Río Grande, P.R.
  3. On December 4, 2020, the defendant took U.S. currency from Advanced Auto Parts in Trujillo Alto, P.R.
  4. On December 16, 2020, the defendant took U.S. currency from Auto Zone in Guaynabo, P.R.

On March 14, 2024, the Honorable Silvia Carreño-Coll, United States District Court Judge, sentenced Cancel-Marrero to 108 months on the four counts of Hobbs Act violations concurrent to one another and consecutive to 120 months on the 924 (c) discharge where the defendant shot himself in the leg for a total of 228 months imprisonment (19 years). The Court also sentenced the defendant to 15 months on the revocation of supervised release.  The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the District of Puerto Rico; and Joseph González, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, San Juan Field Office made the announcement.

The FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Bureau investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis A. Valentin from the Transnational Organized Crime Unit prosecuted the case.


Updated March 20, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 2024-020