Two Individuals Sentenced For Hobbs Act Robbery That Resulted In Murder
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – U.S. District Court Judge Francisco A. Besosa sentenced Jonathan Valentin-Santiago to 34 years in prison and Rubén Miró-Cruz to 24 years and six months in prison for their participation in the Hobbs Act robbery that resulted in the murder of a Police of Puerto Rico officer, announced Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, United States Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico.
On September 11, 2017, Jonathan Valentin-Santiago and Rubén Miró-Cruz approached Herol Café, also known as “La Tumba” in Ponce, PR, and announced a robbery to four men sitting outside the establishment. The co-defendants brandished a knife and a gun and they took money and jewelry from the four individuals and from the business while Cristian Serrano-Delgado, the third co-conspirator, waited outside by his car, a BMW.
Later, an adult male, an off duty Police of Puerto Rico officer, who was inside the establishment discharged his firearm at one of the defendants who returned fire and mortally wounded the police officer. After shots were fired, Serrano-Delgado drove his co-defendants away from the scene.
In December of 2018, after an eight-day jury trial, a jury found Cristian Serrano-Delgado guilty of Hobbs Act robbery and murder. His sentencing is scheduled for March 18, 2019. Serrano-Delgado faces a minimum of ten years up to life imprisonment. Valentin-Santiago had plead guilty on November 8, 2018 and Rubén Miró-Cruz had plead guilty on October 16, 2018.
“I hope that these sentencings will help the victim’s family find some closure,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico. “We will continue to work diligently to prosecute violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law. Senseless acts of violence which threaten our communities and innocent victims will not be tolerated.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Alum and Special AUSA Omar Barroso were in charge of the prosecution of this case. The FBI and the Puerto Rico Police Department were in charge of the investigation.
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