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Man who stole cop brother’s gun to rob store sentenced

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Updated: 7/03/2013 2:45 pm
LAS VEGAS -- A man who stole a handgun from his brother -- a Metro officer -- and used it to rob a local jewelry store has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison, announced Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada.

John James Ericson, 33, of Las Vegas was sentenced on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon. Ericson pleaded guilty on March 25 to one count of interference with commerce by robbery.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Ericson went into a local jewelry store around 1:20 p.m. Oct. 12, approached the male owner and stated he was looking for engagement rings. When the jewelry store owner opened the jewelry case to show Ericson some rings, Ericson produced a semi-automatic handgun and threatened him.

Ericson then stole approximately $35,000 in jewelry from the open case and fled on foot.

Because of statements Ericson had made during the robbery, law enforcement officials were able to identify Ericson, and he was arrested later the same day of the robbery. Law enforcement officials also determined that the handgun Ericson used during the robbery had been reported stolen by Ericson’s brother, who is an officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Ericson’s sentence was increased because he had several earlier felony convictions in Florida for drug trafficking and possession.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, as part of the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina D. Silva.

The case was brought under DOJ’s Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, a nationwide commitment to reduce gun and gang crime in America.

-- From news release
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