Suffolk County Court Judge Gary Weber imposed the sentences on Daniel and Cory Amarosa, 21, in return for their pleading guilty last month to two counts of third-degree robbery. The twins gained notoriety in June when they were arrested after robbing two banks in Centereach, but not doing a very good job of it.
In the first robbery, of a People's United branch, authorities said, the twins were surprised by an exploding red dye pack included with the $1,460 they took. Daniel Amarosa also was delayed getting out of the bank because he was pushing the front door until he realized he had to pull it open, a teller told police.
After the second robbery at a Chase branch, Cory Amarosa drove off in the getaway car and abandoned his brother when he worried he'd been spotted -- he was right -- leaving Daniel Amarosa to be arrested wearing a hooded sweatshirt and women's clothing.
In court on Monday, Assistant District Attorney Sona Sullivan said prosecutors "strongly oppose" the sentence because of the seriousness of the crime.
But defense attorneys said their clients, who are identical, were not typical bank robbers.
"These brothers were not any massive criminal enterprise, but a couple of knuckleheads," said Daniel Amarosa's attorney, John Schick of the Legal Aid Society.
Daniel Amarosa was sentenced first, and he apologized to Weber.
"I regret any stress or pain I caused any of the victims," he said, adding that he intended to seek drug counseling.
The brothers committed the robberies to pay off Daniel Amarosa's heroin dealer, said police and defense attorneys.
He gave a curt nod to his parents in the courtroom before he was taken back to the Suffolk County jail. His parents declined to comment.
Cory Amarosa told Weber he hopes to join the military when he gets out of jail. The armed forces, however, generally do not accept recruits who are on probation or have felony records.
His attorney, Calvin Saunders of Hampton Bays, said the brothers reacted poorly to a bad situation.
"They owed a drug dealer some money, and their lives were threatened," he said. "They were reacting to pressures they didn't know how to deal with. There was not a lot of planning in this."