For Immediate Release
York Man Charged with Armed Robbery and Firearm Offenses
HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Ernesto Watkins, age 21, of York, Pennsylvania, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury for armed robbery and a firearms offense.
According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges that Watkins robbed a Turkey Hill Minit Market in downtown York on July 1, 2018. The indictment also alleges that Watkins brandished an Imez 9mm Makarov handgun during and in relation to that robbery.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the York City Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carlo D. Marchioli.
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is imprisonment for life, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the
defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.