Suffolk man sentenced to 59 years for 10 armed robberies

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NORFOLK, Va. – A Suffolk man was sentenced in federal court Thursday for 10 armed robberies he committed in August and September 2015 throughout Hampton Roads.

According to trial testimony, Arthur Santiful, 27, and a co-conspirator, Michael Zeigler, robbed eight 7-Eleven stores, a hotel, and a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint during a six-week crime spree in August and September 2015. Santiful was armed during each of the robberies and witnesses testified that he shot at one robbery victim, pistol-whipped a second victim, and told several clerks that they would die if they did not hand over the money and cigarettes the men sought.

In addition to the 10 charged robberies, Santiful was also charged with two counts of brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Arthur Santiful, 27, was found guilty on all counts on Sept. 12, 2016 after a four-day jury trial.

He was sentenced Thursday to 59 years in prison.

“Violent crime will be met with significant consequences,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This sentence reflects the fair and measured judgment of the court in the case of two armed robbers, one who accepted responsibility for the harm he caused, and the other who did not.”

Zeigler pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for his crimes. He was sentenced on Dec. 20, 2016, to 14 years in prison.