For Immediate Release
Federal Jury Convicts a Serial Convenience Store Robber
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury yesterday found Joshua Anthony Rivera (28, Orlando) guilty of interfering with interstate commerce by robbery, brandishing a short-barreled shotgun in the course of committing those robberies, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. He faces a mandatory minimum term of 35 years, up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 1, 2016. Rivera was indicted on August 26, 2015.
According to evidence presented at trial, between June 7 and June 17, 2015, Rivera robbed three convenience stores and a grocery store using a short-barreled shotgun. During the trial, victims of those robberies testified about their terrifying experiences, including one father whose young daughter had been with him during the robbery. In addition, surveillance videos revealed that the robber had worn some of the same articles of clothing during multiple robberies, particularly the same pair of athletic shoes. Trial evidence also showed that Rivera had used the same short-barreled shotgun during each robbery, and also had used the same Ford Expedition during at least two of the robberies.
When law enforcement officers arrested Rivera at his hotel, shortly after the last robbery, they found articles of clothing, the short-barreled shotgun, the Ford Expedition, and several other items matching those used during the robberies.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the Plant City Police Department, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shauna S. Hale and Taylor G. Stout.