ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
Case # 17HF0430
Date: December 15, 2017
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced to 21 years in state prison today for robbing several marijuana dealers at gunpoint during two large-scale drug deals at a resort in Newport Coast.
Defendant: Thomas Lamarr Prince, 41, Anaheim
Found guilty by a jury on Oct. 18, 2017, of the following felony counts:
- (4) Robbery
- Sentencing Enhancement: Prior strike conviction for robbery in Los Angeles in 2015
Sentence: 21 years in state prison
Circumstances of the Case
- On Feb.18, 2017, and March 21, 2017, Prince met victims in a parking lot in Newport Coast to purchase large quantities of marijuana worth over $100,000.
- On each occasion, the defendant drove the victims to a nearby resort to conduct the illegal exchange inside a private hotel villa.
- Once inside the room, Prince robbed the victims at gunpoint and stole 60 pounds of marijuana and 90 pounds of marijuana, respectively, as well as the victims’ personal belongings.
- The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) investigated this case after robbery victim John Doe’s family member reported him missing on Feb 18, 2017.
- Two of John Doe’s associates, Steele Burnside and Nicholas Hernandez, are accused of holding the victim hostage in exchange for the $130,000 estimated value of the marijuana lost as a result of the robbery (Case # 17HF0244). They were arrested by NBPD on Feb 20, 2017.
- NBPD identified Prince as the robbery suspect following the kidnapping investigation and arrested the defendant on March 29, 2017.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos, Special Prosecutions Unit
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Michelle Van Der Linden,Spokesperson