Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron sentenced Tauri Benjamin Rivas Nunez (23, Orlando) to 11 years and 3 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the robbery of a cell phone store and aiding and encouraged to brandish a gun during the robbery. Rivas Nunez was convicted by a federal jury on May 12, 2021. His co-defendants, Victor Hugo Castillo Vallejo (29, Orlando) and Luis Miguel Valdez Mendez (28, Orlando), had previously pleaded guilty and had been sentenced to federal prison. convictions on July 14, 2021. Castillo Vallejo was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting theft and aiding and abetting to wield a firearm. Valdez Mendez was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for aiding and abetting theft.
According to evidence presented at trial, on August 10, 2019, Rivas Nunez, Valdez Mendez and a co-accused entered a T-Mobile store located at 5420 Deep Lake Road in Oviedo. Rivas Nunez placed an employee in a strangulation, while a co-accused took another employee to a back room at gunpoint and ordered the employee to empty a safe containing cellphones and goods. Valdez Mendez retained control of a customer who was present inside the store during the theft. Rivas Nunez withdrew money from the cash register and the three individuals fled the store with the stolen items. Castillo Vallejo waited outside the store during the theft and acted as the getaway driver. Rivas Nunez, Castillo Vallejo and Valdez Mendez were located immediately after the robbery at a house in Orlando. The stolen goods were recovered from the residence, along with the firearm used in the theft.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Daniel P. Jancha and Chauncey A. Bratt.