Winter Springs man accused of robbing local businesses at gunpoint

A 21-year-old Winter Springs man was indicted by a grand jury this week on armed robbery charges.

On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Rober B. Handberg of the Middle District of Florida announced the return of an indictment charging Marlon Leondre Lockhart with four counts of Hobbs Act robbery and four counts of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

According to the indictment, Lockhart allegedly stole property from four local businesses between November 24, 2023, and December 14, 2023.

It is alleged that Lockhart stole the property by “taking it from employees of the (businesses) against their will and by actual or threatened force, violence, and fear of injury to the employee’s person.”

Additionally, Lockhart is accused of brandishing a Smith & Wesson 9mm pistol during each robbery. The indictment further notifies Lockhart that the United States intends to forfeit the pistol and associated ammunition, which were allegedly used during the commission of the offenses.

Lockhart was located and arrested on December 14, 2023. He was transported to Orange County Jail the following day.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and Orlando Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Lyons.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

During an arraignment on January 29, 2024, Lockhart entered a written plea of “not guilty.” His trial is set to begin on Monday, April 15, 2024, according to Orange County court records.

If convicted on all counts, Lockhart faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 28 years, up to life, in federal prison.

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