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Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging VICTOR RIVERA, 29, and MICHOLS PENA, 38, with conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, and firearms offenses.  RIVERA and PENA were arrested on this morning.  PENA was arrested in Queens and will be presented early next week before United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. RIVERA was arrested in Miami and will be presented early next week before United States Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres in the Southern District of Florida. This case is assigned to United States District Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said:  “As alleged in the Indictment, the defendants are charged in connection with a violent robbery conspiracy.  In one of the robberies a victim was shot.  Thanks to the outstanding work of the Special Agents of our office and cooperation across multiple law enforcement agencies, the defendants now face federal charges for their crimes.  We especially want to thank the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for its assistance in this matter.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

From at least in or about June 2020 up to and including November 2020, VICTOR RIVERA, MICHOLS PENA, and others known and unknown, agreed to commit robberies in which the objects of the robberies were Richard Mille watches worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the watches were owned by businesses transacting in interstate commerce.  RIVERA participated in an armed robbery on June 11, 2020, in which the victim was shot.  RIVERA also participated in an armed robbery on August 2, 2020.

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RIVERA and PENA are charged with conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robbery; this count carries a statutory maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. RIVERA is further charged with two counts of Hobbs Act robbery, each of which carries a statutory maximum sentence of twenty years in prison; aiding and abetting the use, carrying, and possession of a firearm, which firearm was brandished and discharged in furtherance of a crime of violence, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed; and using, carrying, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, which firearm was brandished, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York City Police Department, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Englewood Cliffs Police Department, the Weehawken Police Department, and the Nassau County Police Department.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Mathew Andrews is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, the description of the Indictment, and the statements made in related court filings and proceedings set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

MIL Security OSI