Man convicted in series of robberies faces life in prison


A Las Vegas man faces a lifetime in prison for participating in nine armed robberies, primarily at convenience stores, during a two-day spree last year.

On Tuesday, a federal jury found Jason Wiley guilty of conspiring with Christopher DiBlasio to commit the robberies from Aug. 21, 2010, through Aug. 23, 2010.

DiBlasio reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced last week to 25 years in prison. But several attorneys said Wiley's convictions carry mandatory prison terms that will put his sentence in the triple digits.

"He remains upbeat, you know, with regard to his future," defense attorney Bret Whipple said after the verdicts. "This is not the end."

But even Whipple acknowledged that, unless an appeal succeeds, his client will be locked up for the rest of his life. Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd George is scheduled to sentence Wiley on March 2.

Whipple described Wiley as a 28-year-old father who "came from a disadvantaged background." The lawyer said Wiley had a prior felony conviction in California for drug possession.

A federal grand jury indicted Wiley and DiBlasio in September 2010. The case involved a series of 10 robberies that occurred throughout the Las Vegas Valley.

The crimes were dubbed the "wig" robberies by law enforcement because in many of them, at least one of the perpetrators donned a wig.

DiBlasio pleaded guilty to all 10 robberies in April and testified against Wiley during the six-day trial.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Whipple chastised prosecutors for relying on such a "bad witness" to prove their case, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Bliss said Wiley picked DiBlasio as his partner in crime.

"They were like family," she said.

Bliss described Wiley as the "mastermind" of the robberies.

DiBlasio, who always brandished a handgun, admitted he fired his gun in two of the robberies.

During an Aug. 22, 2010, robbery at the Emerald Suites, 4777 Cameron St. , DiBlasio fired a round into the ground near the clerk's feet.

Early the next morning, DiBlasio fired two rounds into a slot machine while robbing a Terrible Herbst at 10590 Southern Highlands Parkway.

Federal prosecutors accused Wiley of committing three of the robberies with his stepson, Lamont Curry. They accused Wiley of serving as the getaway driver for the other seven robberies.

But jurors found Wiley guilty of participating in only nine of the 10 armed robberies.

Curry, 18, was prosecuted in state court. Whipple said Curry reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced to about 10 years in prison.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

 

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