A Brooklyn man is heading to prison for his role in a strong-arm holdup in the city last summer.

Armando Lawes apologized for his actions this week when he was sentenced to a negotiated term of four years behind bars followed by five years of post-release supervision.

"I want to start by saying that I'm sorry for the trouble I caused," he told Clinton County Court Judge Patrick McGill Thursday afternoon.

He also thanked the judge for rescheduling a number of previous court appearances to accommodate jailhouse visits from his downstate family.

After hearing Lawes's brief apology, McGill handed down the sentence but noted the seriousness of the crime and the impact it had on the victims.

The 25-year-old, along with his accomplice, Jennifer L. MacDuff, were arrested within hours of the July 2009 home invasion on Steltzer Road.

At the time of their arrests, Plattsburgh City Police said MacDuff, 18, of Plattsburgh was inside the residence and secretly text-messaged Lawes, telling him when to enter the home.

Once inside, Lawes pulled out a realistic-looking pellet gun and threatened two occupants, whom he bound with duct tape and then robbed of money, cell phones and an ounce of marijuana.

In an attempt to hide her involvement, MacDuff pretended to be a victim and was also bound with the tape.

But police connected her to the actual crime when they tracked the stolen money and drugs to her nearby apartment.

She previously pleaded guilty in the case and is currently serving a six-year sentence.

Lawes must now also pay $500 in restitution, a surcharge and fee.

He remains in custody at Clinton County Jail pending processing into state prison.

E-mail Andrea VanValkenburg at: avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com

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