A masked man has been convicted for armed robbery of multiple Florida pharmacies.
United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announced that a federal jury has found Jesse Rance Moore, of Bell, guilty of four counts pertaining to Hobbs Act robberies and three counts of brandishing a firearm during the robberies. Moore faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for each of the robbery offenses and up to life in federal prison for each of the firearm offenses.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, the FBI first learned of a masked man robbing a string of pharmacy stores in the Columbia County area after the North Florida Pharmacy in Fort White was robbed at gun point on January 13, 2022. This masked individual was captured on surveillance exiting a blue/grey sedan, walking into the pharmacy with a black handgun, and demanding controlled substances, specifically, oxycodone, oxycontin, and Percocet.
After holding up multiple store employees and taking the controlled substances, the masked man exited the pharmacy and drove southbound on US Highway 27. Unbeknownst to the robber, a good Samaritan in the pharmacy’s drive-thru followed the getaway vehicle and captured the license plate number, which led back to Moore.
Further, the FBI later discovered that the vehicles used in the previous three robberies: the North Florida Pharmacy (Fort White) on August 2, 2021; North Florida Pharmacy (Chiefland) on November 20, 2021; and the Baya West Pharmacy (Lake City) on December 29, 2021 either matched the description of a pickup truck registered to Moore or matched the vehicles Moore’s wife had rented just days prior to the robberies.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, law enforcement seized articles of clothing, multiple masks, the gun, handwritten notes, and brown boots associated with the robberies. In addition, and despite Moore’s many disguises, witnesses testified to the robber’s physical appearance, clothing, interactions, and demeanor during the robberies.
During trial, evidence seized from Moore’s cellphone was presented to demonstrate that he had googled medications stolen from the pharmacies, the store hours of pharmacies, and a variety of keyword searches, including the question “do drug stores get robbed in florida,” which he had Googled just a couple weeks prior to the first robbery.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the Lake City Police Department, the Chiefland Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Florida Highway Patrol. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kirwinn Mike.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 30, 2024. Moore had been charged in a superseding indictment on January 26, 2023.