TAMPA (WFLA) — An Arcadia man was found guilty of planning to and committing multiple armed robberies while dressed as police officers, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Monday.
US Attorney Roger B. Handberg said a federal jury found 44-year-old Darius Hudson guilty of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, three separate Hobbs Act robberies, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. Hobbs Act robbery is a robbery that affects interstate commerce, such as robbing a truck carrying goods across state lines.
The DOJ said evidence presented at trial showed Hudson was a member of a group that, between December 2020 and April 2021, conspired to commit armed robberies throughout Pasco, Polk, Lee, and Hillsborough Counties, as well as Georgia and Arizona.
While committing the robberies, the individuals impersonated law enforcement officers while wearing black clothing, gloves, and masks with law enforcement insignias, as well as vests that said “Sheriff.” They drove a black Dodge Durango and often handcuffed their victims.
During the robberies, the group would wake family members in the middle of the night in their homes before beating, pistol-whipping, threatening, and sometimes shooting the victims.
Hudson faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 27 years and could get up to life in federal prison. A sentencing date has yet to be set.