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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

Friday, January 11, 2013

Brandon Man Sentenced To 32 Years In Federal Prison For Armed Robberies

Tampa, Florida - U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington today sentenced Yener Vahit Belli (28, Brandon) to 32 years in federal prison for brandishing a firearm during two different armed robberies. The court also sentenced Belli to a five-year term of supervised release following his incarceration, and ordered him to pay restitution to several of his victims.

Belli pleaded guilty on October 4, 2012. Previously, co-defendant Kara Denise Guggino, who admitted to acting as Belli's getaway driver for several of his armed robberies, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years incarceration.

According to court documents, Belli, aided and abetted by co-defendant Guggino, committed a series of armed robberies of convenience stores in October 2010. On October 13, 2010, Belli, with assistance from Guggino, committed an armed robbery of a Chevron gas station and convenience store located at 939 Brandon Boulevard, in Brandon. Belli went into the convenience store brandishing a Tec-9 semi-automatic firearm, and demanded that the store clerk put the money from the register into a paper bag. He also demanded cigarettes. Belli stole $580 in cash from the store and a pack of cigarettes.

On October 19, 2010, Belli, again along with Guggino, committed an armed robbery of a 7-11 store located at 1531 Brandon Boulevard, in Brandon. Belli went in the store displayed a Tec-9 semi-automatic firearm, demanded cash, a carton of Newport cigarettes, and scratch-off lottery tickets. He ordered customers to lay on the floor, prior to fleeing the store with $72 in cash and 61 lottery tickets. When Belli and Guggino were arrested on October 22, 2010, a Tec-9, 9mm semi-automatic firearm that Belli had used in the commission of several of the armed robberies was recovered in the car in which the two had been driving.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark E. Bini, Colleen Murphy-Davis, and Jay L. Hoffer.

Updated January 26, 2015