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3 Accused of Robbing Jewelry Salespeople of Millions

The crimes took place throughout South Florida.




A federal grand jury in Miami has returned an indictment charging three people with robbing salespeople of millions of dollars’ worth of gems, other jewelry and property.

The crimes took place between September 2019 and December 2020 and involved “victims engaged in the business of buying and selling jewelry throughout South Florida,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. They occurred in Boca Raton, Miami Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach and Fort Pierce.

Allan Lucas, Diana Grisales Basto, and Carlos Morales are charged with conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robbery and multiple counts of Hobbs Act robbery “for forcefully taking and attempting to take jewelry and other property” from the salespeople. The Hobbs Act “proscribes obstructing commerce by means of robbery or extortion or attempting or conspiring to do so,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

More from the Department of Justice release:

Specifically, Lucas, 30, of Miami, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and five counts of Hobbs Act robbery. Grisales Basto, 37, a Colombian national, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and four counts of Hobbs Act robbery. Morales, 44, of Miami, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and one count of Hobbs Act robbery.

Lucas and Grisales Basto were already in state custody and scheduled to make their initial appearance on Friday, July 8th. Morales was arrested on July 2nd. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The FBI’s Tampa Division is leading the investigation of the case with valuable assistance from the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami Beach Police Department, Tampa Police Department, Boca Raton Police Department, Palm Beach Sherriff’s Office, Boynton Beach Police Department, Fort Pierce Police Department, and the Jewelry Security Alliance.

Trial Attorneys Lakeita F. Rox-Love and Christina Taylor of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alejandra Lopez of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.




When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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