GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A New York man will spend years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conducting a criminal enterprise.
Jhon Munoz-Lopera was sentenced to two to 20 years Thursday in a Kent County courthouse.
A discarded cigarette butt helped detectives crack the case wide open and connect three break-ins in West Michigan to a nationwide scheme that targeted Asian households and businesses during 2020.
“My client recognizes that he got caught up in bad situations and in a scheme that’s much bigger than him,” Munoz-Lopera’s counsel said in court. “And he couldn’t get out, and he’s now paying a price for his involvement.”
Judge Mark Trusock told Munoz-Lopera that his attorney did a good job negotiating lesser guidelines for the crime committed.
“You were involved in several home invasions, stealing money and jewelry,” Trusock said. “And you were involved with other individuals and it would appear that you came from out of state, from New York, and you were targeting the people in the Asian community. And there’s no excuse or justification for this.”
Similar charges are pending against Munoz-Lopera in Berrien County.