SNOW HILL — A Pennsylvania man, charged last winter with two armed robberies about a half an hour apart, pleaded guilty this week to two counts and was sentenced to nine years, all but five of which were then suspended.
Christopher Jones-Rivera, now 19, of Elizabethtown, Pa., on Tuesday pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery for a pair of incidents in north Ocean City last January. Jones-Rivera was sentenced to nine years for each count with all but five years suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years upon his release.
The first armed robbery occurred around 10 p.m. on Jan. 28 in a parking lot in the area of 79th Street and Coastal Highway. The second armed robbery occurred about a half an hour later at a municipal bus stop near 138th Street and Coastal Highway. In both incidents, the victims were able to provide a similar description of the suspect and told police he pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at them during the commission of the crimes.
In the second incident, the victim, a nearby convenience store employee, reported she was waiting for a bus on the southbound bus stop on Coastal Highway at 138th Street when she was approached by a white male who demanded her cell phone and money. The victim described the suspect as a white male around 6-feet tall with a medium build who was wearing a dark gray hooded sweatshirt and a black ski mask with eye and mouth holes.
Through investigation, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Criminal Investigation Division Major Crimes Unit detectives identified possible suspects from the Elizabethtown, Pa. area. OCPD detectives traveled to Pennsylvania and determined the pair of robberies had been carried out by Jones-Rivera.
OCPD detectives applied for a multitude of charges against Jones-Rivera including three counts of armed robbery, three counts of using a firearm while committing a violent felony, three counts each of first- and second-degree assault and two counts of theft.
A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was taken into custody with assistance from the Elizabethtown Police Department. Jones-Rivera was extradited to Worcester County where he was charged with 16 total counts including three counts of armed robbery. In addition to the jail time, he was also ordered to pay roughly $200 in restitution to the victims.