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Felony charge: Attempted gold bar sale leads to 3 years in jail

On March 1, a Florida metals company shipped gold bars weighing 275 pounds and valued at $4.8 million from Miami via Interstate 95 to another state. The shipment was cut off by three men claiming to be police officers, and after tying up the occupants, they drove off with the transit truck. Reportedly, the hijackers approached a man and convinced him to sell one of the gold bars. This man ultimately faced a felony charge.

The man took the gold bar to a pawnbroker who in turn tried to sell it to a metal dealer. When the metal dealer became suspicious, the deal was canceled. After the FBI was contacted, the gold bar was handed over. According to the FBI, when the sale of the gold bar failed, the pawnbroker started receiving threatening text messages demanding the its return. Investigations led them to the man who brought the gold bar to the pawnbroker, and an affidavit states that he allowed the hijackers to send the messages from his phone.

He was arrested and charged with attempted extortion. He pleaded guilty in July and was recently sentenced to a prison term that exceeds three years. The man apparently claimed that he was blinded by the amount of money promised, which would enable him to fund college for his child. Furthermore, he claimed that his family's lives were threatened by the hijackers. However, the U.S. District Judge did not accept this as justification for his actions.

Unfortunately, large amounts of money can convince some people to get involved in criminal activity. Under any circumstances, facing a federal felony charge is serious. An accused individual in Florida will not want to face the legal proceedings without an experienced criminal defense attorney by his or her side. 

Source: wral.com, "Man gets 3 years in attempt to sell gold bar stolen in heist", Curt Anderson, Sept. 22, 2015

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