Former teen burglar sent to prison for 6-1/2 years

A federal judge sentenced a 20-year-old man to prison on Jan. 27 for six and a half years after he plead guilty to participation in a number of burglaries. The defendant had acquired the nickname "Barefoot Bandit" because he often went shoeless while engaging in his crime spree as a teenage runaway. His string of crimes allegedly took place over a two year period.

The defendant will serve his sentence on the federal charges concurrently with his other seven-year sentence of incarceration on state criminal charges to which he was sentenced in December of 2011. His state sentence included punishment for a total of 33 offenses, including attempts to elude police and residential burglaries.

The defendant could be released from prison after serving approximately six years of his sentence, under the terms of his guilty plea entered in federal court. During the string of burglaries the youth engaged in, he burglarized residences and took boats, cars, and planes in which he traveled to nine U.S. states, as well as into British Columbia in Canada.

Federal prosecutors claimed that his spree of offenses included a total of 67 offenses. He was taken into custody in the Bahamas in July of 2010 after an airplane he allegedly stole and piloted there had crashed. His federal sentence included punishment for flying a plane without a license, two bank burglaries, and interstate transport of a stolen yacht and two stolen airplanes.

According to sources, the defendant dropped out of high school and taught himself how to fly an airplane. As in other similar sensational criminal cases, a movie studio has purchased the rights to his life story. The company reportedly paid approximately $1.3 million, but under the terms of his guilty plea, the money will be used to pay restitution to his crime victims.


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