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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Contact: Los Angeles Field Division

Paramount Man Arrested Following Armed Robbery of Pharmacy

Man Suspected in 8 Robberies in Orange and LA Counties During Six-Week Crime Spree

GARDEN GROVE, California – The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Orange County Violent Crime Task Force, working together with local law enforcement, arrested a Paramount man Sunday, 7:05 p.m., after he was observed holding a cashier at gunpoint and committing an armed robbery at a Rite Aid pharmacy in Garden Grove. 

Judge Thomas, Jr., 32, of Paramount, was arrested without incident. He was charged in a federal criminal complaint with brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and robbery.

During the investigation, the ATF task force developed evidence tying Thomas to several other robberies of Walgreens and Rite Aid pharmacies in Los Angeles and Orange counties dating back to Feb. 12.

The ATF task force, comprised of detectives from Brea Police Department and Fullerton Police Department, with the assistance of Buena Park Police Department, successfully investigated and identified the suspect responsible for the string of armed robberies. The ATF task force conducted extensive surveillance of this subject during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, during the armed robberies, Thomas typically entered the businesses and brandished a gun once the clerk opened the cash register.

Thomas is a suspect in the following robberies:

  1. Walgreens, 1826 W. Orangethorpe Blvd., Fullerton, California, Feb. 12
  2. Walgreens, 5005 Ball Road, Cypress, California, Feb. 26
  3. Walgreen, 8900 E. Washington Blvd., Pico Rivera, California, Feb. 27
  4. Rite Aid, 4520 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, California, March 5
  5. Walgreens, 9031 Rosecrans Ave., Bellflower, California, March 8 
  6. Walgreens, 1538 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, California, March 14
  7. Rite Aid, 1825 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, California, March 19
  8. Rite Aid, 11961 Valley View St., Garden Grove, California, March 22

“ATF created the Orange County Violent Crime Task Force with our local law enforcement partners to target and investigate violent and dangerous individuals,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge of Los Angeles Field Division Monique Villegas. “ATF is fully operational and carrying out our mission to protect the public and regulate the gun and explosives industries.”

This case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott D. Tenley of the Santa Ana Branch Office. 


Los Angeles Field Division