The ex-con brother of retired NBA player Tayshaun Prince could be sentenced to 25 years in prison after he was convicted of robbing marijuana dealers twice at the posh Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach.
Thomas Lamarr Prince, 40, of Anaheim, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15.
Prince was convicted Wednesday of four counts of robbery, and jurors also found true sentencing enhancement allegations for a prior robbery conviction in Los Angeles two years ago, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos.
Prince and three other suspects still at large pulled off two robberies at the resort on Feb. 19 and March 21 of this year, the prosecutor said.
Prince and his cohorts arranged with a dealer to buy about 100 pounds of marijuana on Feb. 19, the prosecutor said. They met in a grocery store parking lot and one of the suspects told the four dealers they could finish the deal at a room in the fancy hotel, Chrisopoulos said.
When they got to the room, three suspects jumped out and robbed the dealers at gunpoint, Chrisopoulos said.
After the robbers left, three of the four dealers suspected it was a set- up and kidnapped the fourth man, the prosecutor said.
The man’s family called police and said he was missing, Chrisopoulos said. Steele Burnside and Nicholas Hernandez, who were victims in the robbery, are charged with kidnapping their drug-dealing partner and holding him hostage for the $130,000 they figured they lost in the stickup, the prosecutor said.
Burnside and Hernandez were arrested Feb. 20.
On March 21, Prince and three suspects arranged another meeting with marijuana dealers at the same grocery store parking lot and then robbed them in a Pelican Hill hotel room, Chrisopoulos said.
A cell phone used to set up the meetings was traced back to Prince, Chrisopoulos said.
Prince told police he liked to party at Pelican Hill, but denied the robberies, the prosecutor said.
Prince’s attorney, Ronald MacGregor did not immediately return a call for comment.
–City News Service
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