FLORIDA – A Hillsborough County man is facing charges of attempted murder, armed robbery, and armed carjacking after allegedly opening fire during a high-speed chase on Interstate 4.
United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced the unsealing of an indictment charging Francisco Cabrera, 28, of Dover, with armed robbery, armed carjacking, and attempting to murder federal agents. If convicted on all counts, Cabrera faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 28 years, up to life, in federal prison.
According to the indictment, between January 13 and 17, 2022, Cabrera allegedly robbed two Smoke Shops and one gas station in the Tampa Bay area. During each robbery, Cabrera allegedly showed victims a loaded magazine, inserted it into his pistol, and pointed the gun at the victims.
On January 19, 2022, Cabrera allegedly approached a victim at a gas station and carjacked him at gunpoint. The same day, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and Lakeland Police Department officers found Cabrera and attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
Cabrera reportedly fled at speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour in heavy midday traffic, including on Interstate 4. While fleeing, Cabrera allegedly fired multiple shots from his driver-side window at the agents and officers pursuing him.
ATF agents returned fire, striking Cabrera, which reportedly ended the pursuit. The gunfire struck no other individuals, said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Cabrera has been charged separately by the State Attorney’s Office (10th Judicial Circuit) with attempted murder of local law enforcement officers.
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.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lakeland Police Department investigated this case. Assistant United States Attorney Diego F. Novaes will prosecute it.