John Wayne Ballester, 55, of Lehigh Acres, was found guilty as charged with Robbery with a Weapon. The jury returned the guilty verdict this afternoon, following a two-day
trial in Lee County.
On April 26, 2019, the defendant robbed a check cashing business off Palm Beach Boulevard in Lee County. He was wearing a hoodie and sunglasses and pulled out what appeared to be a firearm from his waistband, when he approached a worker. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun.
After he robbed the business, he fled on foot. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office was called to the scene to investigate. Detectives pulled surveillance video from a nearby convenience store which showed the defendant smoking a cigarette before the robbery and putting it out. Deputies retrieved the cigarette and sent it for testing. The defendant’s DNA was found on the butt.
A search warrant was then executed on the defendant’s residence. Deputies found the hoodie and BB gun used in the robbery and Ballester was arrested.
Assistant State Attorney Robert Rodriguez prosecuted the case. Sentencing is scheduled for April 12th.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office