A Huntington Park man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to carrying out more than a dozen robberies of Trader Joe’s stores throughout Southern California during a four-month crime spree last year, including one in unincorporated East Pasadena.
Gregory Johnson, 43, admitted federal counts of interference of commerce by robbery and using a firearm in a crime of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Johnson faces between seven years and life in federal prison, with sentencing set for Aug. 2.
The defendant admitted that from last Aug. 28 to Dec. 4, he robbed Trader Joe’s stores in Eagle Rock, Sherman Oaks, Chatsworth, East Pasadena, Culver City, Rancho Palos Verdes, Agoura Hills, Brea, Santa Ana, Tustin and Chino Hills, and attempted to rob locations in Simi Valley and Corona.
The Pasadena heist took place at the store at 3035 Huntington Drive.
During many of the robberies, Johnson brandished a handgun. On two occasions, he robbed stores in Rancho Palos Verdes and Brea, and returned weeks later to rob them again, authorities said.
Johnson and his son, Gregory E. Johnson, were arrested following the Chino Hills robbery on Dec. 4, after a witness gave authorities a description of their getaway vehicle and license plate.
The younger Johnson pleaded guilty to participating in the Chino Hills and Chatsworth robberies. He faces up to 40 years in prison when he’s sentenced July 12 in downtown Los Angeles.