Holland teen sent to prison for trying to rob 'junkie'

Becky Vargo • Dec 7, 2016 at 11:00 AM

A Holland teen will spend 3-10 years in prison for his role in an armed robbery earlier this year in Holland.

Mario Raul Pinson, 18, will be allowed to complete his sentence at boot camp, if eligible, Judge Ed Post ruled Monday in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

Pinson received credit for 304 days already served in jail.

Pinson was one of three men charged in connection with a botched drug deal in the parking lot of the Arby’s on Chicago Drive in Holland on Feb. 4.

Raymond Levario Jr., 43, started serving a 7- to 20-year prison term following his sentencing last month. He was given credit for 276 days in jail. Levario — who has a long rap sheet of prior convictions — was tried and found guilty in September.

Evan DeJonge, 22, of Holland was sentenced Nov. 14 to 5.5-20 years in prison.

DeJonge and Pinson accepted plea deals earlier this fall to charges of armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

“Mario was recruited to participate in this case by someone he looked on like a father figure,” Pinson’s defense attorney John Moritz said. “He would not have participated (otherwise).”

The “father figure” Moritz described is Levario, who, along with DeJonge, conspired to rob a man they did not realize was an undercover agent of the anti-drug West Michigan Enforcement Team. The trio set up the meeting ostensibly to sell an ounce of cocaine to the agent for $1,200, according to court documents.

The two younger men attempted to force the undercover officer to give them the money. When he refused, they hit him with a gun and threatened to kill him, the officer later testified.

DeJonge and Pinson were arrested that night. Levario was arrested the next day.

“Mario is a nice young man that got involved with the wrong people,” Moritz said after the sentencing.

Holland Sentinel reporter Caleb Whitmer contributed to this story.

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