Two men were sentenced to prison Thursday for their roles in the March 2017 robbery of the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center, an incident that ended in an armed standoff with police and the death of one of the participants, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.
U.S. District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez sentenced Helwood Paris, 20, to 87 months in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and 87 months for robbery in the first degree. He sentenced Hanselo Recio, 18, to 51 months in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and 108 months for discharge of a firearm during a federal crime of violence.
Judge Gomez also sentenced Paris to three years of supervised release and Recio to five years of supervised release. He ordered Paris to serve his sentence concurrently and Recio to serve his consecutively. Judge Gomez also ordered both men to pay a $100 special assessment, and perform 400 hours of community service.
According to documents filed in court, on March 25, 2017, members of the Virgin Islands Police Department responded to reports of a robbery at the McDonald’s restaurant in Lockhart Shopping Center. After an exchange of gunfire, Recio, who was inside the restaurant, surrendered and was taken into custody. Paris was arrested after the investigation revealed that he was involved in the planning, execution and attempted cover-up of the robbery.
A third gunman, killed during the shootout with police at the McDonald’s, was identified as 17-year-old Juan de Dios, who would have turned 18 a month after the incident. The VIPD announced later that an autopsy determined that de Dios died of a self-inflicted ginshot wound.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the VIPD. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sigrid M. Tejo-Sprotte and former Criminal Chief Christian A. Fisanick.