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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
Roger B. Handberg, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Two Pinellas County Men Indicted for Robbing Convenience Store With a Firearm

Tampa, FL - United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces return of an indictment charging Alex Jones (31, Pinellas County) and Jhakheem Smith (24, Pinellas County) with Hobbs Act robbery, conspiracy to commit that robbery, and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence during the commission of the robbery. If convicted of the robbery offenses, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each charge. If convicted of the firearm offense, each faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison.

According to the indictment and court hearings, on November 8, 2023, Jones and Smith robbed a convenience store in the Clearwater area. During the robbery, they brandished a firearm. They also used the firearm to strike the victim, a store clerk, in the back of the head. Jones and Smith then forced the victim at gun point to the back of the store before they fled the scene.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Clearwater Police Department, and the Largo Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Samantha Newman.

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 gun violence, and to make out neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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