Skip to main content
Press Release

Defendant Sentenced To Nine Years In Prison For Orchestrating 11 Armed Robberies Across New York City

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that JOSEPH SANDERS was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla to nine years in prison in connection with committing 11 armed robberies of bodegas, smoke shops, and other retail businesses across the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Joseph Sanders terrorized hardworking New Yorkers across the City, committing 11 armed robberies.  On multiple occasions, he brutally pistol whipped his victims.  This Office’s career prosecutors continue their exhaustive commitment to keeping those who commit violent robberies off of our streets.”

According to the Indictment, public filings, and statements made in court:

In the spring and fall of 2022, SANDERS committed 11 armed robberies throughout New York City.  Between March and April 2022, he committed four armed robberies of bodegas and smoke shops located in Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn.  Wearing a mask, SANDERS would enter the businesses, brandishing a silver gun and demanding money.  At times, he would point the gun directly at the terrified cashier.  For three of the robberies, SANDERS was accompanied by co-conspirators, but in all cases, it was SANDERS carrying the firearm.

In November 2022, SANDERS continued his robbery spree.  Between November and December 2022, he committed seven armed robberies of a tax preparation business, bodegas, and smoke shops located in the Bronx and Brooklyn.  SANDERS would enter the businesses brandishing a firearm and demanding money.  During one of those robberies, he kicked open a door, holding a firearm in his hand, then grabbed the sole employee by the arm and led her to a back room.  After the victim told SANDERS that the business had no cash on hand, he took her phone and $200 from her wallet. 

On two occasions, SANDERS violently pistol-whipped cashiers of the stores that he was robbing, before taking thousands of dollars from the cash registers.  Even when not assaulting the victims with a firearm, SANDERS threatened violence, pointing his firearm directly at the victims.  One such example is below, from the November 26, 2022, robbery of a deli:

Image of the defendant threatening a victim with a firearm

In total, SANDERS stole $22,374.  At the time of his arrest, a .40 caliber Iberia pistol, which was loaded with ammunition, was found in his apartment. 

*                *                *

In addition to his prison term, SANDERS, 46, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $22,374 and to forfeit the same amount.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (“ATF”) and the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), in particular, the Strategic Patterned Armed Robbery Technical Apprehension Task Force, which is composed of agents and officers of the ATF and the NYPD.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Sowlati is in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated May 2, 2024

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 24-163