AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A vigorous search took place inside Hines Park by the Oakland County Sheriff's dive team and FBI agents in connection with an armed robbery spree.
The FBI says their search Thursday is tied to armed robberies of a Burger King on Opdyke and other fast food places. The feds say the gunman, who's now charged, told them he tossed the gun in a lake after targeting the restaurant. However, the weapon has not yet been found.
“When someone comes into a business with a weapon and demands money, absolutely it’s serious,” said Doug DePodesta, assistant special agent in charge with Detroit FBI.
DePodesta is shedding new light on a high-profile case he says posed a danger to the public.
“We’ll follow any and all leads, and it could be from a variety of different methods,” he said.
He confirms earlier today drivers from the Oakland County Sheriff's Office and FBI agents were looking for a gun in a body of water at Hines Park in Westland, but they weren't successful, meaning another search could happen soon.
“Criminals will throw weapons or evidence in a body of water," DePodesta said. "A lot of times they believe it will erase trace evidence.”
The FBI had tracked armed robberies at fast food locations mostly from mid to late December, and federal prosecutors have now filed charges against accused gunman Moses Champion, who has a criminal history. Among the places targeted in this violent spree were Taco Bell locations in Dearborn Heights, Independence Township and Milford, plus a Starbucks in Redford.
"We’re taking these kind of crimes federal so there are more resources and individuals will go to federal prison,” DePodesta said.
Record shows Champion is charged with crimes that also date back as far as 2018 and prosecutors say DNA evidence from a ski mask left at a robbery scene led to his arerst. The FBI says he confessed to fiver armed robberies and another attempted. He was arrested during a search of his home on Jan. 28 and remains locked up awaiting his next court date.
7 Action News has also learned that a second suspect, also in custody, is a minor and is expected to be charged soon by state prosecutors. Anyone with additional information on these crimes is urged to call the FBI.