A 33-year-old Tampa man was indicted Friday on Federal charges stemming from a string of armed robberies in Hillsborough and Polk counties.
Gabriel James Brown Jr. was arrested Wednesday in Pace, Florida. He was booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail in Milton where he is being held without bond.
According to a release issued by the office of U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill the suspect is charged with bank robbery, two counts of armed robbery and several counts of carrying, using and brandishing a firearm during the commission of a violent crime.
Brown Jr. was charged with a Federal crime under the Hobbs Act. If convicted he could be facing a life behind bars. Authorities are also seeking monetary judgments of $441,631 and $19,127 against Brown Jr.
Investigators say the suspect robbed a pair of Tampa area businesses at gunpoint on January 18th. Brown Jr. allegedly struck at a Direct General Auto Insurance location on Adamo Dr. and a Metro PCS store on Kingsway Dr.
During the commission of the crime at Direct General investigators say Brown Jr. pointed a handgun at the manager of the business and demanded cash.
A witness reported seeing the suspect enter the driver's seat of a gray Isuzu Rodeo before fleeing the scene. In all the indictment states Brown Jr. is charged in four armed robberies.
When he was apprehended on Wednesday deputies with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office found a gun, cash and disguises used during his alleged crime inside a gray Isuzu Rodeo.
Authorities in Santa Rosa County were put on alert by detectives in Hillsborough County that Brown Jr. may be in the area driving a 1999-2000 Rodeo. On Wednesday a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol spotted the suspect and the vehicle.
With assistance from deputies with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office a traffic stop was conducted. Brown Jr. was arrested without incident.
The suspect allegedly confessed to the armed robbery of a bank in Auburndale on February 5th. Brown Jr. allegedly told detectives that he resorted to armed robbery to pay his bills.
Additional charges against Brown Jr. may be filed as the investigation continues. Law enforcement officers with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Polk County Sheriff's Office, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department all had a hand in the suspect's indictment and arrest.
Brown Jr. has one prior brush with the law. He was arrested by HCSO in 2011 on a DUI charge.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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