For Immediate Release
Fourth Rural King Robber Pleads Guilty in Federal Court
Ocala, Florida – Christopher Louis Hooker (25, Orlando) today pleaded guilty to interference with commerce by robbery. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison. Last week, three co-defendants, Carlos Eduardo Hampton, Jr. (22, Tampa), Quintin Eugene Augustus (18, Cocoa), and Jonathan Arthur Floyd (21, of Cocoa), entered guilty pleas in connection with the 2019 robberies of two central Florida Rural King stores.
According to the plea agreements, on July 26 and August 16, 2019, Hampton, Augustus, and Floyd used a sledgehammer to break into two Rural King locations in Ocala and Zephyrhills. The men then used the sledgehammer to smash open display cases and steal a total of 28 firearms. Hooker served as the group’s getaway driver for the Zephyrhills robbery. Immediately following that robbery, law enforcement officers stopped Hooker’s car, arrested the four men, and recovered numerous firearms stolen from the Zephyrhills Rural King store.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the City of Ocala Police Department, and the Zephyrhills Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Bodnar, Jr.
This is another case prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” Program (PSN), which is a nationwide, crime reduction strategy aimed at decreasing violent crime in communities. It involves a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes investigating and prosecuting crimes, along with prevention and reentry efforts. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.