A New Castle man who robbed multiple tobacco stores over 10-days is going back to prison.

Cigarette thief sent back to prison, where he can’t smoke

Betsy PriceGovernment, Headlines

A New Castle man who robbed multiple tobacco stores over 10-days is going back to prison.

A New Castle man is going back to prison after using a fake gun to steal cash and Newport cigarettes from several tobacco stores. Photo by RDNE Stock project/Pexels

A New Castle man who robbed a string of tobacco stores over 10 days in spring 2022 has been sentenced to federal prison for 160 days for each of those 10.

Donald Gladden, 57, will spend 53 months — or nearly 4 and one-half years — back in prison after being sentenced by Judge Colm F. Connolly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

Gladden used a fake gun that looked real when he robbed stores on May 27, May 31 and June 5, 2002, demanding cash and Newport cigarettes. He stole more than $10,000 in cash and cigarettes.

He also was on supervised release, a form of federal probation, for a series of robberies he committed in Maryland.

Twelve months of his sentence were specifically for violation of his probation, and 41 months were because of the robberies.

Federal prisons do not allow inmates to smoke or use any form of tobacco.

“Mr. Gladden’s use of a fake gun to commit these violent acts does not minimize the terror his victims suffered,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss of the District of Delaware. “His sentence serves as a warning to others that my office will continue to seek stiff prison sentences for those, like Mr. Gladden, who prey upon Delaware citizens.”

“The heinous acts of Mr. Gladden are not reduced by an inoperable firearm, as it inflicted the same level of fear to those in the community who expect to remain safe from harm,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Ryeshia Holley of the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office.

This case was investigated by the Delaware State Police Robbery Unit out of Troop 2 in Bear, Delaware, and the FBI’s Delaware Violent Crime and Safe Streets Task Force.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli H. Klein prosecuted the case.

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