TAMPA, Fla. — A 28-year-old man from the Tampa Bay area could face a hefty sentence if he's convicted of charges including armed robbery, armed carjacking and attempting to murder federal agents during a high-speed chase on Interstate 4.
Francisco Cabrera, 28, of Dover, was taken into custody on Jan. 19, 2022, following a series of events including an alleged carjacking and speeding through traffic at speeds higher than 100 mph, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
According to the newly unsealed indictment, between Jan. 13 and Jan. 17, 2022, Cabrera is accused of robbing two Smoke Shops and one gas station in the Tampa Bay area. Law enforcement said in each robbery, Cabrera allegedly showed victims a loaded magazine, inserted it in his pistol and pointed the gun at the victims.
Days later on Jan. 19, the indictment says Cabrera approached another victim at a gas station and carjacked him at gunpoint. On the same day, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents and Lakeland Police Department officers found Cabrera and attempted to conduct a traffic stop.
That's when Cabrera sped off from officers at "speeds exceeding 100 miles per hour in heavy midday traffic," the Department of Justice said. The high-speed chase even continued on I-4.
"While fleeing, Cabrera fired multiple shots from his driver side window at the agents and officers pursuing him," the news release reads. "ATF agents returned fire, striking Cabrera, which ended the pursuit."
Law enforcement said no one else was shot during the exchange and there were no other reported injuries.
In addition to charges he's already facing, the State Attorney's Office of the 10th Judicial Circuit charged Cabrera separately with attempted murder of local law enforcement officers.