Driver in armed robbery of Madera pharmacy indicted
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Michael Erin Vandeventer, 21, of Sparks, Nevada, charging him with interference with commerce by robbery, known as Hobbs Act Robbery, and conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux announced.
According to court documents, on April 19, Vandeventer and others robbed a CVS Pharmacy in Madera. The additional currently unidentified suspects, one armed with a handgun, entered the pharmacy and breached the barrier to enter the employee-only area. Using the firearm as intimidation, the robbers then demanded controlled substances — “oxy,” “promethazine,” and others — and after obtaining them, fled to a getaway car, alleged to have been operated by Vandeventer. A search of Vandeventer’s phone revealed conversations and web searches showing knowledge of and preparation for the robbery.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Madera Police Department, the Fresno Police Department, and the Reno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin J. Gilio and Laura Jean Berger are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Vandeventer faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.