Ex-Struthers football player gets 6 years on robbery charges
By Justin Wier
As his case was set to go to trial, a Struthers teen pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery Monday and received a six-year prison sentence.
Luis Mateo IV, 19, whose attorney described him as a Struthers High School football standout, faced charges that stemmed from two armed robberies and a charge of failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer.
The robberies began as drug deals went bad to the extent that Mateo, who sold marijuana, pulled a gun on his victims, prosecutors said.
The robberies occurred in Struthers and Campbell in January.
Mateo’s attorney said he got involved with the wrong people, places and things.
“This isolated month is not a picture of his life,” she said.
Mateo said he was not doing any of these things before he graduated high school, but he has learned his lesson.
“This here is a wake-up call,” he told the court.
He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated robbery and the failure-to-comply charge.
Judge R. Scott Krichbaum imposed the six-year prison sentence.
“I can’t believe these things happen, and that young men get into this type of trouble,” he said. “It’s sad to see something like this happen.”
But he said the crimes Mateo committed are crimes for which people should go to the penitentiary so others would be deterred from committing similar crimes.
Last year, Mateo received one year of probation in Struthers Municipal Court after law-enforcement officers raided his home and found marijuana, a scale and more than $7,000 in cash.