Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Arrest of Individual Involved in Robbery at Shopping Mall in Baymon

SAN JUAN—On April 27, 2012, the Police of Puerto Rico and the FBI, in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office, arrested Willie Diaz-Carrion, age 39, at a residence in Toa Baja, Puerto. Diaz-Carrion is charged with interference with interstate commerce-robbery and the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.

The criminal complaint alleges that on April 26, 2012, Diaz-Carrion and another male individual drove a white Toyota Yaris to a branch of the Banco Popular de Puerto Rico located in the Rio Hondo shopping mall of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At approximately 11:30 a.m., one of the suspects approached an individual who was walking to the bank entrance in order to make a deposit on behalf of the company that he works for. As the individual was approaching the front door of the bank, the subject who was brandishing a gun grabbed the individual by the neck and demanded the envelope he was carrying, which contained approximately $25,000 in checks and $1,000 in cash.

When the victim resisted, the subject struck the victim approximately three times on the head with the weapon. The victim subsequently dropped the bank deposit envelope on the ground, and the subject grabbed it and began running to the Toyota Yaris. An FBI agent, who was in the area and witnessed the robbery, identified himself to the perpetrators of the robbery. One of the subjects then began shooting at the FBIm agent and the agent returned fire at the subjects.

During their attempt to flee, the subjects struck an innocent bystander with the Toyota Yaris. The victim fell to the ground due to the impact and was subsequently run over by the vehicle.

The Toyota Yaris, which had been reported stolen on April 11, 2012, was recovered later that afternoon abandoned in the Rio Hondo 4 neighborhood. The investigation further revealed the subjects then fled in a gray BMW 325i that also had been reported stolen on April 25, 2012.

Law enforcement officers received information Willie Diaz-Carrion had participated in the robbery and that he had sustained gunshot wounds as a result of the robbery. While officers were conducting interviews of Diaz-Carrion’s family members at a residence in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Diaz-Carrion arrived at the residence suffering from two gunshot wounds. Diaz-Carrion was placed under arrest and then taken by the agents to a hospital for treatment of gunshot wounds.

If convicted, Diaz-Carrion faces up to a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jose Contreras.

The public is reminded a criminal complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty. The U.S. government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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