Betel Paulino Sentenced in Connection with Armed Robbery of McDonald’s Restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center
St. Thomas, USVI – Betel Paulino, 18, of the Dominican Republic, was sentenced Thursday for his role in the armed robbery of the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez sentenced Paulino to 90 months in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, and 84 months for discharge of a firearm during a federal crime of violence. Judge Gomez also sentenced Paulino to five years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $200 special assessment and perform 400 hours of community service.
On July 27, 2017, Paulino pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and discharge of a firearm during a federal crime of violence. According to documents filed in court, on March 25, 2017, members of the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) responded to reports of a robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center. After an exchange of gunfire, the armed individuals inside the McDonald’s restaurant surrendered to law enforcement and were taken into custody. Paulino was arrested after the investigation revealed that he was involved in the planning, execution, and attempted cover-up of the robbery.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and VIPD. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte and former Criminal Chief Christian A. Fisanick.