On April 26, 2019, an armed robbery occurred at Advanced America located at 11861 Palm Beach Boulevard, Fort Myers. Lee County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded to the scene and due to the nature of the incident, Violent Crimes Unit Detectives assumed the investigation.
During the course of a thorough investigation, the Violent Crimes Unit received an anonymous tip identifying the Advanced America robbery suspect as John Ballester. Detectives learned John Wayne Ballester (DOB 06/24/67) of 1224 Thompson Avenue, Lehigh Acres, was released from prison in May 2018 after being convicted of an armed bank robbery and manslaughter.
On May 10, 2019, detectives executed a residential search warrant for 1224 Thompson Avenue to include the three vehicles located on the property. Evidence obtained during the search linked Ballester to another armed robbery that occurred at a different Advanced America in the area. Clothing worn during both Advanced America robberies was located inside the home. A further in-depth search revealed weapons used during the robberies and currency strapped packs of money similar to those found in financial institutions.
John Ballester was taken into custody. Inside his wallet, detectives found a Florida Driver’s License and four credit cards issued to the name Jack Ballester. Detectives learned Jack Ballester was John Ballester’s deceased brother. Ballester was transported to the Lee County Jail without incident.
Due to the totality of the comprehensive investigation, John Wayne Ballester was charged with two counts of Robbery with a Firearm, Fraud-Impersonate Use/Possess ID, Possession of Counterfeited Credit Cards, Possession of Counterfeited Credit Cards two or more, and Fraud-Impersonate Possess/Use Fictitious Personal ID.