Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa man, 25, gets 30-year sentence for Hernando County robberies

BROOKSVILLE — A Tampa man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday for his role in a pair of robberies nearly two years ago that led to a police chase through Spring Hill.

Michael Cardona, 25, and two other men were accused of robbing the Hampton Inn at 1344 Commercial Way and a home in Spring Hill on Jan. 17, 2008.

Cardona was convicted in October on charges of home invasion robbery and strong-arm robbery. Prosecutors pushed for a lengthy sentence for Cardona, using a statute that requires a maximum mandatory sentence of 30 years for offenders who commit a first-degree felony within three years of their most-recent release from state prison.

In 2005, Cardona was sentenced to more than two years in state prison after conviction on burglary and grand theft charges.

Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee said Circuit Judge Stephen Rushing "really had no choice." Barbee added that Cardona "had been a thorn in the side of Hernando County for many years."

Cardona's 15-page arrest record includes counts of battery, hit-and-run, vehicle theft, marijuana possession, and fleeing and eluding police.

According to reports, Cardona and the other two men assaulted a hotel clerk and stole a safe holding $125. The men later pistol-whipped a 22-year-old man at his home and took about $600.

Deputies arrested Leo Johnson III, and then saw Osvaldo Rojas and Cardona fleeing. They caught Cardona four days later, and Rojas surrendered a week after that.

Rojas was sentenced to two 54-month prison terms, to be served concurrently, in May 2008. Johnson received a four-year term for his role.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Joel Anderson can be reached at (352) 754-6120 or joelanderson@sptimes.com.

Tampa man, 25, gets 30-year sentence for Hernando County robberies 11/19/09 [Last modified: Thursday, November 19, 2009 6:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. During the most expensive mayoral election ever, St. Petersburg City Council wants to limit PAC money

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — In front of a large group of red-shirted campaign finance reform supporters, the St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday started the ball rolling on an ordinance that would limit individual campaign contributions to $5,000 from political action committees.

    A large crowd gathered Thursday to support passage of a controversial measure to limit campaign spending in city elections
  2. Minority business accelerator launch by Tampa chamber to aid black, Hispanic businesses

    Business

    A "minority business accelerator" program was launched Thursday by the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce geared toward helping black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to grow their companies. The accelerator, known as MBA, will provide participants with business tools to cultivate opportunities …

    Bemetra Simmons is a senior private banker at Wells Fargo, The Private Bank. She is also chair of the new minority business accelerator program for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. [Photo, LinkedIn]
  3. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  4. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs

    (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]