Judge sentences 3 St. Croix men to 10 years in prison for armed robberies


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Three St. Croix men have been sentenced to 10 years in prison each for their roles in two armed robberies last year.

Chief District Judge Wilma Lewis on Monday sentenced Francisco Hassell III, 29; Edwin Hendrickson Jr. 28; and Rusiel Encarnacion, 33, to three years for third-degree robbery.

In addition, Lewis sentenced each man to a consecutive 7-year prison term for using and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Under federal law, any sentence for using a firearm during a crime of violence must run consecutively to any term of imprisonment imposed for the crime during which the weapon was used.

V.I. Police arrested Hassell, Hendrickson and Encarnacion on Jan. 13, 2013, after they robbed patrons at gunpoint at the Cool Out bar in Peter's Rest.

Shortly after the robbery, the three men saw two people walking on Hospital Street near the V.I. Police Marine Unit and robbed them at gunpoint, as well.

The three men pleaded guilty to the charges on Feb. 14, and they have been detained since their arrests.

Following Monday's sentencing, Hassell, Hendrickson and Encarnacion were remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

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