Indiana man gets prison time for robbing Niles gas station

Published 5:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2024

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NILES — An Indiana man who robbed a Niles gas station was sentenced to prison Friday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Raymond Michael Angotti, 46, of Plainfield, Ind., pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 15 years to 35 years in prison. He has credit for 150 days served and must pay $198 in fines and costs.

The incident occurred Jan. 2 at a gas station in Niles.

“The defendant is a serious danger to society,” Berrien County Assistant Prosecutor Jerry Vigansky said. “He committed an armed robbery in Indiana in 2021 and he’s back doing the same thing. He was out on probation at the time of this incident. He never learned his lesson. I suggest sending him away for as long as you possibly can.”

Defense attorney Carri Briseno acknowledged that Angotti has a criminal history dating back to 2002 and has spent a significant period of time in custody. 

“He said he was using meth and hearing voices in his head in this incident,” she said. “He didn’t actually have a weapon, he had his hand in a jacket to make it look like he had a gun.”

“He has had time to think about his life, this is just another portion of his life he has to work through to make better choices,” she added. “He needs to take care of himself and his recovery, he won’t be in prison forever.”

“In Indiana, you took property using force but unfortunately for people here, you only spent a small amount of time in prison,” Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith said. “The only good thing is that you didn’t actually have a gun, but the person here was put in reckless fear even if you didn’t have a gun.”

“Your record is not good, you’ve been to prison five times and violated every probation you’ve been given,” the judge added. “It doesn’t appear you are interested in rehabilitation. When you need money for drugs, you go take it. I have no choice but to keep you out of the community.”