Criminal history leads to life sentence

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By Alice Du Pont

Sylvester Riles, as the old saying goes, went to the well too many times. Riles’ luck and chances ran out on June 13 when Circuit Judge Jon Sjostrom sentenced him to life in prison plus 73 months. 

In 2012, Riles was found guilty of robbing Whitfield Recycling at gunpoint. In the commission of the crime, he used a handgun he held to the head of the clerk demanding money. The clerk told him there was no money because the business had only been open a few minutes.

Riles eventually saw a money bag that contained $29 and took the money and fled. He was later arrested at the courthouse while sitting in traffic court. He was sentenced to life in the Florida Department of Corrections plus 73 months. Riles violated the Florida re-offender act, which adds more time to the sentence of the offender who has been convicted of another crime three years or less after release from the Department of Corrections.

Riles would have gotten the enhanced sentence of life even if he had not pled no contest to possession of a controlled substance, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia and battery by an inmate.

Riles, 38, has an extensive criminal record dating back to 1993. The charges include, but are not limited to: grand theft auto, strong-armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, burglary of a structure, several cases of grand theft, possession of marijuana, forgery and uttering, driving under the influence, resisting arrest with violence and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, escape, several cases of domestic battery and possession of cocaine with intent to sell.