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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Serial Armed Robber Targeting Taxi Cab And Food Delivery Drivers Pleads Guilty

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Office, announce that Lionell Sanders, a/k/a “Pistol,” a/k/a “Briscoe,” 19, of Miami, pled guilty yesterday to one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a), two counts of armed robbery, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1951(a), and two counts of possessing and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(ii).

Sanders admitted to robbing two Super Yellow Cab, Inc. drivers at gunpoint in August 2013. During both robberies, Sanders pointed a firearm to the victims’ heads, demanded all of their money, and told them that he would kill them if they resisted. Sanders’ fingerprints were found on the driver’s side door of one of the taxis. These robberies were a part of a series of armed robberies of taxi and food delivery drivers that Sanders organized and carried out in the City of Miami during the summer of 2013. In one of the armed robberies, a taxi cab driver was shot in the back as he tried to flee. Sanders not only bragged to his friends about committing these crimes, but also posted photographs of his firearms on his Facebook account, which was aptly named “Pistol.Slidda”.

The defendant faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 32 years in prison and a maximum sentence of up to life. Sanders’ sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

This case is, in large part, the result of the Violence Reduction Partnership, launched by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Through this Partnership, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and its federal and local law enforcement allies have sought to dismantle the most violent criminal networks in various neighborhoods, while simultaneously working with community leaders and concerned citizens to mentor at-risk youths, provide jobs and job training to young families, and help probationers and parolees successfully re-enter society.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the ATF and the City of Miami Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vanessa Singh Johannes and Seth Schlessinger.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 12, 2015