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Justice News

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Seven Miami-Dade Men Charged with Armed Robbery Conspiracy

Seven Miami-Dade residents have been arrested and charged by indictment with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies, Hobbs Act robberies, brandishing and discharging firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and murder.


Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Timothy R. Langan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.


Jonathan Cruz, a/k/a  “Big Man,” a/k/a “Boss Man,” a/k/a “Chico Li,” 31, Eric Ortiz Melendez, a/k/a “E,” 26, Sadieu Nelus, a/k/a “Lucky,” 28, Trayvon Jabbari Thomas,  a/k/a “T,” a/k/a “T-Man,” 19, Jorge Aponte Figueroa, 20, Lazaro Armando Cordovi, a/k/a “Screws,” a/k/a “Loose Screws,” 35, and David Gonzalez, a/k/a “Gano,” 20, all of Miami, were charged by a second superseding indictment with various charges related to a months-long conspiracy to commit armed robberies of pawn shops in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, and elsewhere. 


According to court records, the defendants, together with other unknown individuals, engaged in a conspiracy to commit robberies of pawn shops beginning in October of 2016 and continuing through October of 2017.  Members of the conspiracy entered various pawn shops in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, armed with firearms, and stole jewelry, at gun point, from the pawn shops’ display cases.  On January 5, 2017, during one of the robberies charged in the superseding indictment, a member of the conspiracy shot and killed a patron of the pawn shop.


If members of the community have information related to the crimes charged in this indictment, they are encouraged to contact the FBI at (754) 703-2000.


Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI South Florida Violent Crime and Fugitive Task Force, the City of Miami Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Broward Sheriff’s Department, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Springs Police Department, the Hialeah Police Department, the Hollywood Police Department, the Margate Police Department, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, the Miami Gardens Police Department, and the North Miami Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Widlanski. 


An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or on

Updated October 23, 2017