CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Robert Forbes, Jr., a/k/a Ra Ra, a/k/a Henny, 34, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, aiding and abetting the possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to, a crime of violence, and aiding and abetting. In addition, Eric Lowe, 26, also of Rochester, was arrested and charged with Hobbs Act robbery and possession and brandishing of a firearm in furtherance of, and carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to, a crime of violence. The Hobbs Act charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and the firearms charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, the defendants are facing charges for their roles in three home invasions in the City of Rochester:
• In the early morning hours of January 7, 2020, Rochester Police Officers responded to a home invasion at a residence on Glide Street in Rochester. When officers arrived, the victim stated that when he returned home with his girlfriend, he found two individuals, one who was armed with a handgun, inside his residence wearing ski masks. The victim advised investigators that a large gold chain, which had a unique medallion of Jesus on it, approximately one ounce of marijuana, a PlayStation, Apple IPad, and $600.00 cash was taken during the home invasion. In addition, the victim stated that the suspects kept asking where the money was.
• Late in the evening of March 25, 2020, Rochester Police Officers were dispatched to a residence on Avenue E in Rochester, for the report of another home invasion robbery. When officers arrived, the victim indicated that two males forced their way into her residence with handguns and robbed her. The victim stated she was tied up with a bed sheet and the suspects kept asking her where the drugs and money were.
• Just a few hours later, in the early morning hours of March 26, 2020, Rochester Police Officers were dispatched to a residence on Wellington Avenue in Rochester. One of the residents stated that the suspects began asking where the money and drugs were. One of the suspects held a knife to a female victim while the other pointed a gun at a male victim. The suspects eventually left the residence with a Gucci purse, which contained credit/debit cards and two Louis Vuitton wallets, a Sony PlayStation 4, two cell phones, a key fob for a Lexus parked in the driveway, and approximately $2,000.00 in cash.
Later in the day on March 26, 2020, Forbes’ vehicle was stopped by police on Upper Falls Boulevard. A search of the vehicle located surgical masks in the glove box, a black ski mask in the front passenger door, and zip ties in the rear seat behind the rear center console, items commonly used in homes invasions.
On April 1, 2020, while conducting surveillance, officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop of a vehicle being driven by Forbes at North Clinton Avenue and Norton Street. Forbes immediately fled from officers and took them on a 13 minute, high-speed chase which ended when Forbes crashed into a marked Rochester Police car on West Ridge Road. After being taken into custody, police found 10 waxine baggies of a powdery substance which field-tested positive for the presence of heroin.
Eric Lowe was arrested on March 27, 2020. He made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson and was detained. Robert Forbes was arrested on April 1, 2020. He made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and was also detained.
The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Rochester Police Department, under the direction of Chief La’Ron Singletary; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge John B. Devito; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
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