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Teen’s role in Amish attacks draws 15 years

Lopez

An 18-year-old Fort Wayne man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for his role in a plot to rob members of the Amish community in Adams County.

Alejandro Lopez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery, three counts of attempted armed robbery and five counts of criminal confinement, Adams County Prosecutor Christopher Harvey said in a written statement.

On Thursday, Lopez was sentenced to 20 years in prison, but five years was suspended and ordered served on probation. He must make restitution to one of his victims for damages to a horse-drawn vehicle, the statement said.

In September, Lopez, 19-year-old David Veliz, 16-year-old Brady Rodriguez and his mother, 43-year-old Michelle Rodriguez, were arrested after a series of attacks on Amish residents in Adams County.

According to court documents, the group used gas masks and baseball bats, cruising through rural areas near Berne to target horse-drawn buggies to rob. They found four of them, according to court documents.

Michelle Rodriguez told her son and the others to rob them for the money. The plot was to make enough money to move to Fort Wayne and to buy cocaine, court records said.

In their green Malibu, the group would stop in front of a buggy and come out wielding the ball bats. In one instance, one of them struck an Amish woman in the leg with the bat after she refused to give them money.

Brady Rodriguez was charged as an adult in the case because of the nature of the charges.

Michelle Rodriguez is currently serving a six-year prison sentence on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, according to court documents.

No additional information on the status of the cases against Brady Rodriguez or Veliz was available Thursday.

rgreen@jg.net

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