Tampa, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging Wilmer Rosales (22, Plant City), a/k/a “DoubleU,” and Joel Sierra (25, Plant City), a/k/a “Jojo,” with conspiring to traffic in controlled substances, conspiring to commit robbery, and robbery. The indictment charges Rosales with using a firearm and murdering an individual (G.U.) during the drug conspiracy, possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon, and possessing a firearm and ammunition in a school zone. If convicted on all counts, Rosales faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison, or the death penalty. Sierra faces a maximum penalty of 45 years in federal prison.

According to court documents, Rosales and Sierra planned to rob G.U. Under the guise of making a drug purchase, Rosales and Sierra lured G.U. to a park located next to an elementary school, where armed co-conspirators waited nearby. Sierra then stole the drugs from G.U. and ran. When G.U. attempted to chase Sierra, Rosales shot G.U. repeatedly with an AK-47 from behind, and Rosales and Sierra left the scene. While others gathered around G.U., who lay bleeding, Rosales returned to the scene and again fired his AK-47 at G.U. Another person attempted to cover G.U.’s body with her own.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Natalie Hirt Adams.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.