Feds Capture Masked Bandit

          The federal government captured David Anthony Battle, 50, of Moreno Valley who ore medical masks over his face during a month-long robbery spree of Inland Empire pharmacies.  The federal government charged Battle with six counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery) and two counts of attempted Hobbs Act robbery. According to the indictment, from July 6 to August 4, Battle robbed six pharmacies in Moreno Valley, Colton and San Bernardino. He tried to rob two other Moreno Valley pharmacies on July 10 and August 10. During each incident, Battle wore similar clothing – including wearing medical masks covering his nose and mouth – and used a similar method of brandishing what appeared to be a handgun by pulling it out from his waistband and holding it at his side. He then demanded that money in the cash register be placed in a bag and handed over, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint in this case. Law enforcement reviewed store surveillance videos, which led them to arrest Battle, court documents state. During Battle’s arrest, a black BB-gun-style pistol was found on the ground near him. Battle got about $5,453 gains from the robberies; $3,200 of that money came from the July 6 robbery of a Walgreens store in Moreno Valley.

            An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

            If convicted of all charges, Battle would face a statutory maximum sentence of 160 years in federal prison.

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