A Suffolk County judge sent a Medford woman to prison for 3 years Thursday for her role in a heroin-fueled robbery spree, calling her "one of the faces of drug addiction on Long Island."
Prosecutors said Jamie Greco, 23, served as either a lookout or getaway driver in the gunpoint robberies of more than a dozen fast-food restaurants, gas stations and other businesses.
Greco has admitted that she and her boyfriend, Christoper Marino, 30, robbed to buy heroin.
"I just want to say that I'm sorry for everything that has happened," she said in the Riverhead courtroom. "I never wanted anybody to be hurt mentally, physically. I'm sorry for what happened."
But Judge Stephen L. Braslow said an apology wasn't enough.
"A lot of people won't forget this," he said. "They are damaged by it. They are traumatized by it."
As part of a plea deal, Greco pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree attempted robbery. The sentence also calls for 3 years' post-release supervision.
Marino confessed to robbing the businesses and is serving a 10-year prison term for armed robbery. The Medford man used cars and license plates from the Medford body shop where he worked, prosecutors said.
Thirteen businesses were robbed, and the couple attempted to rob two more, according to authorities. The crimes occurred in Lake Ronkonkoma, Ronkonkoma, Nesconset, Medford, Shirley, Islip Terrace, North Patchogue and Patchogue between Dec. 9, 2013 and Jan. 7, 2014.
The couple was arrested Jan. 15 after investigators put the pieces of the pattern together and began staking out the body shop.
Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Opisso said in court Thursday that the pair "terrorized Suffolk County businesses."
Before handing down the sentence, Braslow said Marino and Greco "appear to be one of the faces of drug addiction on Long Island . . . robbing and stealing in order to get money to fuel an illegal drug addiction."
On Long Island, heroin killed a record 144 people in 2013, records show.
The case "highlights the far-reaching nature of Long Island's opiate crisis and the work that still needs to be done to enhance access to addiction treatment," said Jeffrey L. Reynolds, president and CEO of Family and Children's Association, a Mineola organization that operates outpatient treatment centers.
"We can't arrest, convict and incarcerate our way out of this problem, but we can treat it in a way that saves both money and lives," Reynolds said.Braslow implored the tearful Greco, who has a 6-year-old daughter, to "search your soul and find out why this [drug] is part of your life."
Greco's attorney, Steve Fondulis of Port Jefferson, said she has been clean for eight months and shared her story of addiction and crime with young people through a jail program.
"She's a different person," Fondulis said after the sentencing. "She was in full addiction mode last year."