Federal prosecutors have obtained an indictment against a Salt Lake City man and a woman from Price, Utah, in a robbery investigation. Authorities believe that the two people robbed a store in November. Investigators say that a demand note used in the offense contained fingerprints that authorities claim link the man to the crime. The demand note was left behind after the robbery, according to the federal indictment.
Some Salt Lake City area residents may be surprised to find that federal officials have taken on a case involving the alleged robbery of a food and drug store. The case is being pursued under the Hobbs Act, a 1940s era law initially aimed at racketeering and extortion issues. However, the law gives federal officials jurisdiction to bring criminal charges in a robbery that alleges has any impact on interstate commerce.
Essentially, if goods that may touch interstate commerce are involved, federal prosecutors may argue jurisdiction over the alleged robbery. Money is often linked to commerce under these types of charges.
Authorities claim that the man charged with robbery brandished a gun while presenting a demand note to the clerk. The man is also accused of displaying a gun while committing a crime of violence and a separate weapons charge.
The woman is accused of being the driver. Each of the defendants is also charged in state court with a list of offenses. However, a county attorney thinks that the state will dismiss its charges after federal officials take over custody of the pair, according to KSL.
Federal charges can bring significant consequences upon conviction. A person facing a federal offense should seek the assistance of a defense lawyer who practices in federal court. The government sends lawyers to prosecute criminal cases, and a person accused of a crime does not have to face the government lawyers alone.
Source: KSL, “Forgotten note led to arrest in store robbery, police say,” Geoff Liesik, March 21, 2014