A Florida man was convicted in a federal district court on Tuesday, for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery as well as aiding and abetting the commission of a robbery.
Thomas Munne, 44, a marijuana dealer himself, had the idea to rob a rival marijuana dealer thought to be in possession of a large amount of money. Munne contacted a co-conspirator in California to carry out the robbery.
He promised to pay for the co-conspirator’s rental car, hotel, and all other expenses while in Miami.
On the afternoon of August 4, 2020, the victim was driving his truck toward I-75 when he was pulled over by a gray sedan with flashing red and blue visor lights. Believing this was a legitimate traffic stop, he pulled over only to find two men in masks and imitation police clothing approaching his truck. One of the men was armed.
The co-conspirator, and another person he’d enlisted for the robbery, pulled the victim from his truck, handcuffed, and assaulted him.
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The co-conspirators then zip-tied his legs and tossed him in the backseat of his own truck. The suspects then ditched the sedan in a remote location and drove to the victim’s house.
Once there, the suspects entered the victim’s residence, forcefully restrained his mother, and stole a safe from the victim’s bedroom.
The suspects returned to the remote location where the sedan was stashed and threatened to kill the victim if he didn’t provide the safe combination.
Fearing for his life, he gave up the information and the suspects removed more than $200,000 from his marijuana dealings and fled the scene in the gray sedan.
The next day, law enforcement discovered a GPS tracker that had been attached to the victim’s truck. Law enforcement traced the purchase of the tracker to a store in Miami that also sold imitation police clothing.
Video surveillance from the store showed the co-conspirator arrive in a gray sedan and purchase the tracker. Law enforcement later determined that the sedan was rented at Miami airport.
Rental records for the vehicle reflected that it was rented for the week preceding the kidnapping/home invasion and was paid for by Munne.
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Additionally, location data from the GPS tracker showed that after its purchase, it was brought to a hotel in Miami Lakes. Reservation records from the hotel showed that the defendant had paid for a room for the same time period as the rental car.
Further investigation revealed that the defendant also told the co-conspirator what vehicle the victim drove and where he lived.
As further proof of Munne’s involvement, law enforcement found that he paid more than $130,000 for a boat within weeks of the robbery and had mailed some of the robbery proceeds to his co-conspirator in California.
Munne’s primary co-conspirator was sentenced to 214 months for carjacking and brandishing a firearm to advance a crime of violence. Investigation into the second conspirator is ongoing.
Munne will be sentenced on Jan. 24, 2023.