US Attorney – Armed Robber Convicted for Participation in New York City Robbery

LawFuel – Legal Announcement – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the 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,”
was found guilty late yesterday afternoon of robbery, firearms
charges, and participating in a conspiracy to commit robbery,
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 accomplice ANTHONY
STEELE robbed five New York City businesses at gunpoint. Their
robbery spree followed a specific pattern: 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.

For example, On October 14, 2007, BALLARD and STEEL
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 two Duane Reade
employees into the store’s office, where BALLARD kept his gun
aimed at the manager’s head and helped to empty the store’s safe.
A few weeks later, local televison news stations aired video
clips of BALLARD and his accomplices leaving the Duane Reade
following the robbery. The broadcast of that news footage caused
an anonymous tipster to phone the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers leading
to the identification of BALLARD and his accomplice.
On November 15, 2007, BALLARD was apprehended and
arrested by the NYPD and 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.

BALLARD, 27, of Brooklyn was convicted of three counts
of robbery, three counts of brandishing a firearm during a
robbery, and participating in a conspiracy to commit robbery. He
faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 57 years’ imprisonment and
a maximum sentence of life. BALLARD is scheduled to be sentenced
by Judge RAKOFF on November 12, 2007.
BALLARD’S accomplice, STEEL, 25, of Brooklyn pleaded
guilty on May 9, 2008 to related conspiracy and firearms charges
and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge RAKOFF on August 26,
2008.

Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative work
of the ATF and the NYPD.
Assistant United States Attorneys BENJAMIN A. NAFTALIS
and REBECCA MONCK RICIGLIANO are in charge of the prosecution.
08-183 ###

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