A 23-year-old Turlock man has been sentenced to 20 years and eight months in prison for a series of Stanislaus County armed robberies that ended when he was caught trying to rob a Riverbank convenience store and the owner subdued him.
Leobardo Ramos on Feb. 7 pleaded no contest to two counts of armed robbery and two counts of attempted robbery. As part of his plea deal, prosecutors dropped a charge of attempted murder, one count of attempted robbery, burglary and one count of robbery.
Deputy District Attorney John Goulart prosecuted the two separate Stanislaus County cases against Ramos.
Prosecutors said Ramos still faces three counts of robbery in Merced County from thefts in Atwater that occurred Dec. 1 through Dec. 15, 2011, several days after the defendant robbed two Modesto businesses within 90 minutes of each other.
On Nov. 22, 2011, Ramos entered AJs Market on Coffee Road, several blocks north of Scenic Drive in central Modesto. Prosecutors said Ramos robbed the stores owner at gunpoint. The owner was ordered to grab money from the cash register and place it in a black plastic bag before handing it to Ramos.
About 90 minutes later, Ramos entered the Little Caesars Pizza restaurant on Standiford Avenue, just west of Prescott Road in north Modesto. Prosecutors said Ramos was wearing the same clothes he wore in the AJs Market robbery.
He walked into the restaurant carrying a gun and ordered an employee to put cash in a black plastic bag that appeared to be the same bag with stolen cash he got from the market robbery, according to prosecutors.
No shots were fired and no injuries were reported in the Modesto robberies.
On Dec. 21, 2011, Ramos entered the Circle T Market at Terminal and Kentucky avenues in Riverbank. Stanislaus County sheriffs officials said at the time that Ramos walked into the market carrying an AK-47 assault rifle.
Prosecutors said Ramos pointed a rifle at store clerk Tallal Nasser and demanded money. At the same time, the clerks father, Amin Nasser, attacked Ramos. The store owner disarmed the defendant as he wrestled him to the ground.
The owners son then pulled out a gun that was kept in the store, and both of them held Ramos at gunpoint. Before sheriffs deputies arrived, Ramos admitted to the Nassers that he robbed AJs Market, according to prosecutors.
Ramos has remained in custody at the Stanislaus County jail since then. The plea deal helps Ramos avoid trials in his two criminal cases. Its unclear whether he will be transferred to Merced County soon to face charges there.