Cleveland man convicted in federal Colossal Cupcake trial

Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 5:37 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 11:10 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Federal jury returned guilty verdicts against defendant Tandre Buchanan, Jr., 24, of Cleveland, after a three-day trial held in the Northern District of Ohio Federal Court in Cleveland. Buchanan was found guilty of interference with commerce by means of robbery and tampering with evidence.

“I’m not really ashamed to say I was filled with joy,” said Kelly Kandah, owner of Colossal Cupcakes. “It’s been a really long year and a half.”

According to court documents, on May 30, 2020, Buchanan, wearing a bright orange jacket, head covering, and shoes, threw an object that shattered a large window at Colossal Cupcakes on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Buchanan entered the business through the broken window and encountered the store owner and employees, who locked themselves in a bathroom to call for help.

“There were three college kids locked in a bathroom crying and they went through something that they’ll carry for the rest of their lives. That’s something that has haunted me. I’m relieved and hope they find a little more comfort and closure in what happened to them,” said Kandah.

Buchannan removed a chair from the shop and exited through the same window. Using the chair, Buchanan repeatedly smashed a second window until it finally shattered and fell out. Court documents state that multiple individuals then entered the business through the broken window, destroyed the shop’s interior, and stole several items, including store inventory and iPads, all while Buchanan was smashing the second window.

According to a press release from the Department of Justice, text messages regarding the incident were later recovered from Buchanan’s phone. An individual sent a text to Buchanan’s asking, “what the hell they do with all the cupcakes?” Buchanan replied, “man I was giving them out.”

The jury also found Buchanan guilty of evidence tampering after evidence showed Buchanan disposed of the bright orange clothing he wore in an attempt to conceal his identity and participation in the incident. Buchanan was ultimately identified and arrested based on multiple identifications made from photos released to the public.

Buchanan is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23, 2022.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland FBI with the help of the Cleveland Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott C. Zarzycki.

The FBI’s Cleveland office declined to comment until sentencing.

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