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Published On: Mon, Feb 4th, 2019

Three Men Arrested in Connection with More Than 20 Armed Robberies

On January 15, 2019, police officers from Tempe and Phoenix stopped a vehicle and arrested two individuals, Donovan Bergen, 33 and Lamentino Bergen, 29, who are believed to have robbed two businesses earlier that night.

Further investigation led to the arrest of a third individual, Ricky Alvarez, 39, who was taken into custody by Phoenix police on January 16, 2019.

On December 7, 2018, the Federal Bureau of Investigation became aware of and involved in investigating a series of armed robberies occurring within the City of Phoenix and City of Tempe. As detailed in the complaint, the three above referenced individuals are suspected of conspiring to commit at least 23 armed robberies of cell phone retail stores and restaurants from December 7, 2018 through January 15, 2019. In each robbery, the suspects have been armed with a handgun or revolver. The suspects demanded money from the register and also took cell phones and wireless headphones.

Photo/NikolayF.com

The Bergen brothers are charged with committing two violations of 18 U.S.C 1951 (Hobbs Act robbery) on January 15, 2019. They are also charged with brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

Alvarez is charged with committing a violation of 18 U.S.C 1951 (Hobbs Act robbery) on December 8, 2018 and brandishing a firearm in relation to a crime of violence.

The investigation continues and additional federal charges may follow.

For background, the Hobbs Act is a federal statute that, among other things, prohibits robbery affecting interstate commerce. Hobbs Act charges carry stiff prison sentences and also eliminate the need to prosecute multiple state cases in several jurisdictions

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force is a multi-agency task force, established nearly a decade ago to investigate bank robberies and other violent crimes. In this case, the task force played a coordinating role with the various police departments, providing resources to move the investigation forward.

The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force would like to thank the Tempe Police Department and the Phoenix Police Department, who were instrumental in this investigation. The FBI would also like to thank the Scottsdale and Gilbert Police Departments for the resources they contributed to this investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Robert Brooks, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

The suspects have been charged in a criminal complaint, filed in federal court. A complaint is only an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for Arizona at http://www.azd.uscourts.gov/ or on PACER https://www.pacer.gov/

The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force is comprised of the Phoenix Police Department, Scottsdale Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office FATE team, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and the FBI.

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