New Bedford Armed Robbery Suspect Who Attacked a Store Clerk Sentenced to State Prison

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced today that a 21-year-old New Bedford man was sentenced to serve five to seven years in state prison Friday afternoon after being convicted of a violent January armed robbery at a Coggeshall Street convenience store.

Jose Sanchez, who was charged with two counts of armed robbery while masked and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, submitted an “unagreed plea” to Superior Court Judge Rene Dupuis Friday afternoon in Fall River Superior Court.

Assistant District Attorney Aaron Strojny argued for a seven to 10 year state prison sentence, while Mr. Sanchez’s defense attorney had recommended a there to four year prison sentence. After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Dupuis sentenced Mr. Sanchez to serve five to seven years in state prison, to be followed by five years of supervised probation to begin upon his release from prison.

On January 8, 2015 at around 4:30 a.m., Mr. Sanchez and juvenile co-defendants entered the Petro-Mart convenience store while brandishing what appeared to be a firearm. Mr. Sanchez grabbed the clerk, kicked and beat him with the apparent firearm. The victim suffered severe injuries, including broken ribs and a fractured orbital bone. The store was then ransacked, and cigarettes and cash were stolen. While the robbery was occurring, a customer entered the store and was also robbed of his wallet.

After a few days of investigation by New Bedford Police, detectives developed information that Mr. Sanchez and his juvenile accomplices were selling the stolen cigarettes out of his home at 3 Mitchell Street. When police executed a search warrant at that address, they located the stolen cigarettesĀ  and found two fake guns, along with a starter pistol. The defendant had only been residing in New Bedford for about two weeks before the robbery occurred. He had previously been living in Connecticut.

“This was a senseless act of violence that left the victim with severe injuries to his face and ribs. The clerk was doing nothing but working an overnight shift to support himself. He did not deserve to be the victim of such a violent act. I am proud of the investigatory work of the New Bedford Police Department to ensure this defendant would face justice,” District Attorney Quinn said. “I am pleased with this prison sentence because it sends a clear message that we will fight to protect innocent victims and that those who are causing violence in our communities will be held accountable.”

Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications