Brooklyn judge deals 15 years to gang member, hopeful for his rehabilitation
A Brooklyn judge supported the rehabilitation of a 21-year-old gang member who was sentenced to 15 years in prison Friday for stealing nearly $2,000 in a series of armed robberies.
Reavon Brown had a laundry list of previous convictions that date back to around age 13, culminating in the string of robberies and attempted robberies of check-cashing stores.
But Judge Eric Vitaliano of Brooklyn’s federal court didn’t lose hope on the Bosses in Business gang member who spent his childhood supporting his family.
“Mr. Brown has led a life that has done nothing but disrespect the law,” Vitaliano said before reassuring the man dressed in blue prison clothes below him. “You have a long life ahead of you…you have to use the helping hands you will get in custody.”
Brown spent his childhood supporting his family after his father was deported when Brown was 3 years old, according to court filings.
While his family was in and out of homeless shelters, Brown was in and out of juvenile detention for burglaries.
His family’s need for money was a factor behind his robberies, his lawyer Sean Haran wrote in a court letter.
“I don’t want my younger siblings growing up thinking that the bad choices that I’ve made is acceptable,” Brown wrote in a previous letter to the judge.
Brown, with another person, robbed a check-cashing store and a customer at gunpoint on Aug. 18, 2013, according to court documents.
In another instance with a group, he busted into a home of a marijuana dealer with guns out and stole one pound of marijuana, $1,000 and cellphones.
Although no one was hurt, prosecutors argued it was only a matter of time before someone died.
“When someone sticks a gun in somebody’s face, that’s a hurt,” Vitaliano said.
The judge added that Brown showed an “inability to correct,” after he displayed a record of disobedience at Metropolitan Correctional Center, but Vitaliano supported Brown’s recovery anyway.
Brown pleaded guilty on April 27.
His lawyer did not wish to comment.
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