Man sentenced to 25 years for robbing Publix store in Escambia County

Northwest Florida

ESCAMBIA COUNTY Fla. (WKRG) — A man was found guilty on Oct. 14 on armed robbery charges after robbing a Publix with an assault rifle in Escambia County.

Nathaniel O. Cox, 30, was found guilty of Hobbs Act robbery and brandishing a Kel-Tec SUB-2000 assault rifle during the commission of a crime of violence, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida. 

On Oct. 22, 2020, Escambia County investigators said Cox went to the Publix on Mobile Highway in Pensacola armed with a gun. Authorities say Cox ordered three employees to stuff money into his backpack, lay on top of each other and count out loud until he left the scene, according to the release. Prosecutors said Cox told the employees if they did not cooperate, he would shoot them.

Cox was later arrested at the international airport in Jacksonville, Fla. Law enforcement also recovered the assault rifle used in the robbery, according to the release.

Cox will face a mandatory 25 years in prison due to a prior federal violent crime conviction, according to the release.

Cox’s sentence hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

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