LawFuel – US Law Newswire – LEV L. DASSIN, the Acting United States Attorney for
the Southern District of New York, announced that ZACHARY
BALLARD, a/k/a “Zachary Balard,” a/k/a “Little Zachary,” a/k/a
“Boobie,” 26, of Brooklyn, was sentenced today to 50 years and
one month in prison for robbing multiple New York City businesses
at gunpoint. BALLARD was found guilty by a jury in Manhattan
federal court on July 23, 2008, of three counts of robbery
affecting interstate commerce, three counts of brandishing a
firearm during those robberies, and one count of conspiracy to
commit robbery affecting interstate commerce, following a
one-week jury trial before United States District Judge JED S.
RAKOFF. According to the evidence at trial:
In October 2007, BALLARD and his coconspirator, ANTHONY
STEELE, robbed five New York City businesses at gunpoint. The
robberies followed a specific pattern in which the defendants
entered the businesses wearing hooded sweatshirts and baseball
caps, demanded to talk to the store manager, and forced the store
employees to open the safe and cash register. After taking the
cash, the robbers ordered the employees to count to twenty and
fled the scene.
In one instance, on October 14, 2007, which ultimately
led to their arrest, BALLARD and STEELE robbed a Duane Reade
located at 617 West 181st Street in Manhattan. Just after 8:00
a.m., BALLARD approached the store’s manager, racked his gun,
pointed it at the manager, and demanded to be taken to the safe.
The robbers forced the manager and another employee into the
store’s office and kept them at gunpoint while BALLARD and STEELE
emptied the store’s safe. A security video of the robbers
leaving the Duane Reade following the robbery was made. A few
weeks later, after local televison news stations aired video
clips, an anonymous tipster called NYPD’s Crime Stoppers, leading
to the robbers’ identification.
On November 15, 2007, BALLARD was apprehended by
detectives and agents of the New York City Police Department
(“NYPD”) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
(“ATF”) after attempting to outrun law enforcement by jumping out
of an apartment window, falling three stories, breaking through a
wooden awning, and scaling multiple walls and barbed wire fences.
BALLARD has been remanded since his arrest.
In addition to the prison sentence, Judge RAKOFF
ordered BALLARD to serve 3 years of supervised release. In
sentencing BALLARD, Judge RAKOFF stated that BALLARD’s “brutal
robberies were undertaken for reasons that are still mindboggling,”
including the purchase of “trendy clothes.”
STEELE, 26, of Brooklyn, was sentenced on July 23,
2008, in Manhattan federal court to 14 years in prison for
robbing multiple New York City businesses, and admitted to
participating in twenty-two additional robberies between July
2007 and November 2007.
Mr. DASSIN praised the outstanding work of the ATF and
Assistant United States Attorneys BENJAMIN A. NAFTALIS
and REBECCA MONCK RICIGLIANO are in charge of the prosecution.