Columbus man sentenced to almost 16 years in prison for string of robberies

COLUMBUS (WCMH)–A Columbus man will spend 200 months in prison after being convicted of six central Ohio robberies, it was announced Monday.

Thomas E. Shaffer, 63, of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 200 months in prison and five years of supervised release for robbery and armed robbery at the half-dozen locations.

According to court documents, Shaffer used a firearm during robberies at five restaurant/bars and one grocery store in Central Ohio. On March 15, 2014, he robbed The Pub on West Johnstown Road in Gahanna, Ohio. On May 3, 2014, he committed armed robbery at Halftime Tavern on Bethel Road in Columbus. Likewise, he took cash during a robbery on August 16, 2014 at Brew-Stirs on 23, located on Dillmont Drive in Columbus. The following month, he robbed the Lazy Chameleon on Presidential Parkway in Powell. On November 23, 2014, he committed armed robbery at Villa Nova on North High Street in Worthington. Finally, on December 7, 2014, Shaffer stole money from Aldi on Orange Center Drive in Lewis Center.

The defendant was indicted by a grand jury on April 16, 2015.

Shaffer pleaded guilty on October 30, 2015 to six counts of interference with interstate commerce by violence and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He also agreed to forfeit his Smith and Wesson pistol.

Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brad Earman, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs, Delaware County Sheriff Russell L. Martin, Gahanna Police Chief Dennis Murphy and Acting Worthington Police Chief  Jerry L. Strait, Jr. announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.

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