Treasure Coast and Palm Beach Smash and Grab Burglars and Robbers Plead Guilty
South Florida residents, including D’Angelo Figueroa, 21, of Port St. Lucie, Victoria Mia DeJesus, 20, of West Palm Beach, Jose Anibal Valentine, 22, of Latana, and Shay Jackson Flores, 26, of Orlando pleaded guilty in federal court for their involvement in a string of burglaries and robberies.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Peter J. Forcelli, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Miami Field Division; John A. Bolduc, Chief, Port St. Lucie Police Department; Ric Bradshaw, Sheriff, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PBSO); and Jeffrey S. Katz, Chief, Boynton Beach Police Department, made the announcement.
On August 16, 2017, Figueroa pleaded guilty to: theft from a federal firearms licensee and receipt of stolen firearms, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(u) and 2; interference with commerce by threats or violence (robbery), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951(a) and 2; distribution of a controlled substance (heroin), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 2; and brandishing a firearm furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(i) and 2.
On August 17, 2017, DeJesus pleaded guilty to receiving stolen firearms, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(j) and 2; and two counts of interference with commerce by threats or violence.
On August 1, 2017, Valentine pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen firearms; interference with commerce by threats or violence (robbery); and discharging of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 924(c)(1)(A)(iii) and 2.
On July 20, 2017, Flores pleaded guilty to receipt of stolen firearms.
According to the court record:
On July 19, 2016, Figueroa struck a female victim in the face with a handgun and threatened to shoot her. Figueroa robbed the victim of her wallet and jewelry.
On July 20, 2016, Figueroa and DeJesus used a pickaxe to shatter the entrance door of a Dunkin Donuts in Boynton Beach. Inside the store, DeJesus and Figueroa broke into the office, where the manager was hiding and demanded money, while holding the pickaxe.
On July 23, 2016, Figueroa and another male used a concrete cinder block to break through the back door of Bayshore Pawn, a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) business that sold firearms in Port St Lucie. The males took 16 firearms, jewelry valued at $15,000, and approximately $1,400 in United States Currency.
On July 29, 2016, PBSO deputies arrested Figueroa in a hotel room registered to DeJesus and recovered a firearm.
On August 17, 2016, DeJesus and another female used a pickaxe to break open the front door of Jupiter Donuts in Boynton Beach. DeJesus carried the pickaxe and demanded money while the other female grabbed one of the workers and walked her around the business, attempting to locate a cash register or a business safe. Both fled the business after being told that there was no safe or money in the store.
On August 26, 2016, two victims were attacked outside of a residence in West Palm Beach, by Valentine and three other males armed with firearms demanding money and marijuana. After taking the victims’ belongings, the robbers forced their way into the house and continued to demand money and drugs, while pointing firearms at the victims. Valentine fired his weapon, after saying "do what I say or everyone will die."
During the course of the investigation law enforcement identified evidence, including photographs and recovered items that connected Flores, Valentine, Figueroa and DeJesus to the string of burglaries and robberies.
Flores is scheduled to be sentenced before United States District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach on September 28, 2017, Valentine, Figueroa and DeJesus are scheduled to be sentenced on November 8, 2017.
The defendants’ respective charges of conviction are subject to statutory maximum terms of imprisonment to include: 10 years in prison for theft from a federal firearms licensee and receipt of stolen firearms; 20 years in prison for interference with commerce by threats or violence and distribution of a controlled substance, as well as a mandatory consecutive 7 years for brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and 10 years consecutive for discharging of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the ATF, Port St. Lucie Police Department, PBSO, Boynton Beach Police Department, and the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, for their work with this matter. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carmen Lineberger.