PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Lincoln man was sentenced today in Providence County Superior Court to serve five years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) for committing a pair of armed robberies in Providence in 2019.
John Luna (age 18), pleaded nolo contendere before Superior Court Justice William E. Carnes to two counts of first-degree robbery and was sentenced to 15 years at the ACI with five years to serve and the balance suspended with probation. He also pleaded nolo contendere to two counts of conspiracy to commit robbery and was given a 10-year suspended sentence with probation.
Additionally, the court ordered that Luna pay $3,300 in restitution to his victims. The court also issued a no contact order between Luna and his victims.
"Any robbery is a serious crime because of the fear it strikes in the victim," said Attorney General Neronha. "Committing that crime with a handgun is even worse, because it raises the risk of serious physical harm exponentially. The significant sentence imposed on the defendant here is entirely appropriate, and hopefully will deter future similar conduct by him and others."
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on between April 12, and April 17, 2019, Luna, along with multiple accomplices, robbed two Metro PCS cell phone stores in Providence while wielding a handgun.
On April 12, 2019 Luna, Alex Rodriguez, and Jose Sanchez robbed the Metro PCS cell phone store located on Pontiac Avenue in Providence.
A few days later, on April 17, 2019, Luna, Rodriguez, and Josue Calderon robbed the Metro PCS cell phone store located on Admiral Street in Providence.
During the two robberies, Luna stole over 60 cell phones and cash, totaling $3,300.
The Family Court waived jurisdiction over Luna, who was 17 years old at the time of the robberies, and he was tried as an adult in Superior Court.
Detective Robert Melaragno of the Providence Police Department led the investigation into the case. Special Assistant Attorney General Eric Batista prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.