A Hempstead man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison Thursday for his role in a string of as many as 15 armed robberies across Nassau and Suffolk counties over four months ending in December 2014, prosecutors said.
James Rogers, 49, who pleaded guilty in April 2017 in connection to crimes in 11 communities between August and December 2015, was sentenced to 184 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge Denis R. Hurley in his Central Islip courtroom, authorities said in a news release Thursday.
Rogers pleaded guilty to two counts — conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery and using a firearm during the robbery of $1,961 from a Petco store in Hicksville on Aug. 20, 2015, according to court records.
“The defendant terrorized his victims during a violent crime spree, fully justifying today’s lengthy prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue. “Our communities are safer as a result of his incarceration.”
Rogers’ attorney could not be reached for comment.
But prosecutors said Rogers admitted that he took part in robberies of retail businesses, “including the gunpoint robbery of the Petco store, women’s clothing stores and a Babies R’ Us,” making off with victims’ cash, jewelry and other personal items.
Prosecutors said that Rogers most often wore a mask, carried a handgun and struck at or near opening or closing times and that he threatened “employees and customers and restraining them using toy handcuffs or plastic zip-tie restraints.”
Donoghue thanked the Nassau and Suffolk police departments and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for their role in the investigation.