Colchester Man Indicted on Robbery Charge
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont – The United States Attorney’s Office stated that Joshua Wells, 34, of Colchester, Vermont was indicted for an offense under the Hobbs Act for obstructing commerce by robbery. Wells made his initial appearance in United States District Court in Burlington on May 31, 2023. United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle scheduled a detention hearing for June 7, 2023.
According to court records, on January 17, 2023, the South Burlington Police Department (SBPD) received a call reporting an armed robbery at the Jolley gas station located at 977 Shelburne Road in South Burlington, Vermont. Multiple SBPD officers responded to the scene and determined that a white male, who was wearing all black clothing and a black mask, flashed a gun at the store clerk, stole money and a carton of cigarettes, and fled on foot. Two days later on January 19, 2023, investigators searched Wells’ hotel room and vehicle and found the gun used in the robbery, which turned out to be a BB gun, and the distinctive black mask that Wells wore to the Jolley.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office notes that the indictment is an accusation only and that the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, Wells faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. Any sentence in the case will be advised by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest credited the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the South Burlington Police Department, the Colchester Police Department, the University of Vermont Police Services, and the New England State Police Intelligence Network for their work in the investigation.
Assistant United States Attorney Zachary Stendig represents the government. Wells is represented by Evan Barquist, Esq. and Mary Nerino, Esq.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results. For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psn .
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Updated June 1, 2023
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