Columbus man sentenced to 42 years in prison for Craigslist robberies

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus man was sentenced  Tuesday for his role in two robberies in late 2011 and early 2012 involving Craigslist advertisements.

The U.S. District Court sentenced Raphael D. Person Jr., 31, to  42 years in prison and ordered him to pay $23,900 in restitution. Person was convicted on one count of conspiracy, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of discharging a firearm in October of last year.

This sentence is in addition to another 41-year sentence he received when he was convicted of committing a murder during a 2012 home invasion.

Person assisted in planning the robberies of two people who had posted cars for sale on Craigslist and discharged a gun at each robbery. Witnesses said Person and his co-conspirators arranged to meet people who posted the advertisements online, then bought the cars and robbed the victims after the purchases were made. The witnesses also said that the robberies were Person’s idea and that he was the one with the gun.

“During the trial, victims testified that they were afraid for their lives during the robberies,” Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin C. Glassman said. “A lengthy prison term helps bring justice to the victims, and that’s the outcome we received in this case.”

Person’s co-defendant Mickey L. Velazquez, 31,  pleaded guilty to the crimes in January 2015 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June 2015. The other co-conspirators, Ricardo Velazquez-Flores and Jonathan Flores Oquendo pled guilty before the indictment and received 17 years and 28 years behind bars respectively.

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