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Milwaukee man sentenced to 36 years for string of restaurant and Family Dollar robberies

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- 29-year-old Milwaukee man Joel Rivera has been sentenced to 36 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in armed robberies of local Family Dollar stores.

Rivera was convicted in federal court in September by a jury that found him guilty of two business robberies, and two counts of showing a gun.

The offenses were part of a crime spree that consisted of several restaurant robberies as well as Family Dollar stores, which began on January 4, 2017 and continued until January 17.

During the robberies, Rivera’s accomplice wielded a loaded, semi-automatic handgun, and the two men split the robbery proceeds, which they used to purchase drugs.

The judge said that Rivera was the leader and organizer of the criminal activity and minimized the risk to himself while making his accomplice the front man.

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