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Dominican Native Gets 7.5 Years In Prison For Planning Shotgun Robbery of McDonald’s In St. Thomas … He’ll Be Out When He’s 26

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CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A native of the Dominican Republic was given 7.5 years in federal prison for his role in the shotgun robbery of a fast food restaurant last year.

Betel Paulino, 18, was sentenced for his role in the armed robbery of the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

U.S. District Court Judge Curtis Gomez sentenced Paulino to 90 months in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and 84 months for discharge of a firearm during a federal crime of violence.

Judge Gomez also sentenced Paulino to five years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $200 special assessment and perform 400 hours of community service.

On July 27, 2017, Paulino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and discharge of a firearm during a federal crime of violence. According to documents filed in court,

on March 25, 2017, members of the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) responded to reports of a robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center.

After an exchange of gunfire, the armed individuals inside the McDonald’s restaurant surrendered to law enforcement and were taken into custody. Paulino was arrested after the investigation revealed that he was involved in the planning, execution, and attempted cover-up of the robbery.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and VIPD.

It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid Tejo-Sprotte and former Criminal Chief Christian Fisanick.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy has been reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean region since 1989. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan.

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