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Man gets prison, ordered to pay restitution in Gainesville, Cleveland robberies

With a gun in each hand, a Gainesville man was accused of robbing two Gainesville businesses and a Cleveland gas station in 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

More than a year later, the man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.

Giovanni Annucci-Romero, 24, was sentenced Monday, Aug. 30, after pleading guilty to three counts of robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. He will receive credit for time served since May 23, 2020.

The indictment alleged Annucci-Romero took money Jan. 23, 2020, from Meeks Grocery on Atlanta Highway, the Exxon Food Mart on Browns Bridge Road the following day and a Chevron gas station May 23, 2020, on East Kytle Street.

Terrisa Thammavongsa, who was previously charged in the same indictment, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, which is defined as knowing about a crime and not reporting it as soon as possible. She was sentenced July 28 in U.S. District Court to time served after being in state or federal custody since May 23, 2020, according to court documents.

Annucci-Romero asked Thammavongsa to drop him off at the Cleveland gas station and pick him up later, according to court documents.

After the Cleveland robbery, a Habersham County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped a car matching a description released by Cleveland Police.

“Annucci-Romero was arrested in the vehicle after the deputy saw him sitting on the cash he had just stolen from the Cleveland gas station,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Habersham County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments in Gainesville and Cleveland.

“Partnerships in policing, the community and a comprehensive investigation played a key role in serving justice in this case,” Gainesville Police Chief Jay Parrish said in a news release. “We are fortunate and thankful that no one was injured during this dangerous crime spree.”

Cleveland Police Chief Jeff Shoemaker said in a statement he was pleased with the convictions “knowing that these violent criminals have been removed from our communities.” 

“Giovanni Annucci-Romero terrorized several communities,” ATF Special Agent in Charge Ben Gibbons said in a news release. “This sentence represents the seriousness of his crime.  ATF and our law enforcement partners will continue to reduce violent crime by arresting criminals, such as Annucci-Romero, who terrorizes the communities in which law-abiding citizens live.” 

According to the terms of the sentence, the court recommended that Annucci-Romero “shall participate in all available job skills and training courses during his incarceration” as well as “any available mental health counseling and treatment.”

He was also ordered to pay $1,943 in restitution to Meeks Grocery and $30,000 to the Exxon Food Mart.

Annucci-Romero’s defense attorney, J. Wesley Bryant, did not return a request for comment Tuesday, Aug. 31.

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