A 28-year-old Indian-origin man in the US has been charged with robbing a pawn shop and a restaurant in May 2014 and faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Manmeet Singh Bhatia and an accomplice were allegedly held up in Check City, which makes loans and cashes checks, and The Smoke Shop, a barbecue restaurant, in Salt Lake City.
Bhatia is charged with two counts of robbery, which are violations of the federal Hobbs Act, an FBI press release said.
His accomplice, Kimmerman is charged with two counts of using a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
A grand jury indicted them on robbery and firearms charges last week, it said.
Police officers responded to a robbery on May 14. By the time the officers arrived at the business, the alleged suspect had fled the scene. The victim of the robbery described a suspect wielding a black handgun.
Responding officers later observed a black car in a self-service car wash and identified items matching descriptions provided by witnesses at the two businesses.
The potential maximum penalty for a conviction of robbery under the Hobbs Act is 20 years in federal prison and a fine of USD 250,000. Whereas, the potential maximum penalty for brandishing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime is life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years.
The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office and investigated by the FBI and the Unified Police Department.
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