From The Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona announced the indictment of a man in connection to four armed robberies.
Eric Tyree Blanding, 46, of Ensley, was indicted on four counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, three counts of carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors said Blanding is accused of robbing three different Family Dollar stores in May and June of 2019.
The Hobbs Act prohibits the obstruction of commerce by robbery and carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence carries a mandatory penalty of not less than 7 years in prison. Being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
ATF investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristy Peoples is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.