By Ashley Cox

ORLANDO, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– Three men have been sentenced to federal prison for aiding and abetting the robbery of a cellphone store and aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm during a robbery.

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron has sentenced Tauri Benjamin Rivas Nunez (23, Orlando) to 11 years and 3 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the robbery of a cellphone store and aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm during the robbery. Rivas Nunez had been found guilty by a federal jury on May 12, 2021.

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His co-defendants, Victor Hugo Castillo Vallejo (29, Orlando) and Luis Miguel Valdez Mendez (28, Orlando), previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to federal prison sentences on July 14, 2021.

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Castillo Vallejo was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in federal prison for aiding and abetting the robbery and aiding and abetting the brandishing of a firearm. Valdez Mendez was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for aiding and abetting the robbery.

According to evidence presented at trial, on August 10, 2019, Rivas Nunez, Valdez Mendez, and a co-defendant entered a T-Mobile store located at 5420 Deep Lake Road in Oviedo. Rivas Nunez placed an employee in a chokehold, while a co-defendant took another employee into a back room at gunpoint and ordered the employee to empty a safe containing cellphones and merchandise. Valdez Mendez maintained control of a customer who was present inside the store during the robbery.

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Rivas Nunez removed money from the cash register and the three individuals ran from the store with the stolen items. Castillo Vallejo waited outside the store during the robbery and acted as a getaway driver. Rivas Nunez, Castillo Vallejo, and Valdez Mendez were located immediately after the robbery at a home in Orlando. The stolen merchandise was recovered from the residence, along with the firearm used during the robbery.