Pablo Valenzuela, a resident of the Bronx, New York, was recently sentenced by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero to 70 months in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery of a jewelry store. Valenzuela had previously pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery.
The U.S. Attorney, Damian Williams, expressed his satisfaction with the conviction, stating that Valenzuela had committed a violent armed robbery in which innocent employees and bystanders were injured. Valenzuela had used a can of extremely hazardous bear spray to directly spray the faces of the victims. Williams emphasized that violent criminals who commit firearms offenses and terrorize hardworking New Yorkers will face the full force of the law.
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and court filings, the robbery took place on August 10, 2022, when Valenzuela and at least five other co-conspirators targeted a jewelry store in the Bronx. The group entered the store armed with a firearm, bear spray, and hammers. Valenzuela, wearing a ski mask, entered the store first and sprayed the bear spray into the eyes of the jewelry store employees, causing temporary blindness. As customers, including young children, attempted to flee, the other masked robbers entered the store and used hammers to smash the glass display cases. One of the robbers brandished a firearm during the chaos. Valenzuela and the other robbers managed to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of jewelry. Valenzuela then proceeded to spray bear spray into the eyes of innocent bystanders, many of whom had to be rushed to the hospital. The robbers quickly scattered in different directions, using cars, mopeds, and even running on foot, while their co-conspirators acted as lookouts and getaway drivers.
In addition to his prison sentence, Valenzuela has also been ordered to serve three years of supervised release after completing his time behind bars. Meanwhile, his co-defendant, Aaron Miller, has already pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 1, 2023.
The severity of Valenzuela’s actions highlights the need for law enforcement agencies to crack down on violent criminals who pose a threat to the safety and security of communities. Armed robberies not only result in significant financial losses for businesses, but they also put innocent lives at risk. By prosecuting and sentencing individuals like Valenzuela, authorities send a strong message that such behavior will not be tolerated.
This case also underscores the importance of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the justice system. The Complaint and court filings provided a detailed account of the incident, helping to build a solid case against Valenzuela. The thorough investigation conducted by these agencies proves their dedication to protecting the public and seeking justice for the victims.
In conclusion, Pablo Valenzuela’s sentencing to 70 months in prison for his involvement in an armed robbery is a significant step towards ensuring the safety and security of communities. The violent nature of his crime, which involved the use of bear spray and hammers, caused injuries to innocent employees and bystanders. The severity of his actions warranted a lengthy prison term, as well as supervised release after completion of his sentence. This case exemplifies the commitment of law enforcement and the justice system to hold violent criminals accountable and maintain public safety.