ABINGDON, Va. – A man and woman from Florida have pleaded guilty after they used a stolen car and BB guns in a string of robberies that spanned several states, including Virginia, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Michael Wilson, 25, and Perla Pineda-Osorio, 24, both of Sarasota, Florida, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Abingdon to a collection of federal charges. A third defendant is scheduled to plead guilty on July 25.
Prosecutors say that on May 28, 2018, someone in South Carolina picked up Pineda-Osorio, Wilson, and the third defendant, who all posed as hitchhikers. They then reportedly pulled guns on the driver and demanded he take them to several ATMs to withdraw money from his account.
After the trio took the man's money, they abandoned him on the side of the road and stole his car. They then reportedly went to Charlotte and robbed a convenience store. Prosecutors say they also robbed a convenience store in Jonesville, North Carolina.
Later that night, the trio committed another robbery at the I-81 travel plaza in Wythe County, according to prosecutors.
Soon after, law enforcement spotted the stolen car and a high-speed chase began. The car eventually crashed and the three were taken into custody.
The guns were recovered and although they looked like real guns, authorities say they were BB guns.
Wilson and Osorio-Pineda each face a maximum of 35 years in prison. They pleaded guilty to one count of robbery by threatening physical violence, one count transporting a vehicle in interstate commerce knowing the same vehicle was stolen, and one count of conspiracy to commit robbery, possess a motor vehicle that had crossed a state boundary after being stolen, and transporting in interstate commerce a vehicle that had been stolen.