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Man Pleads Guilty in Drug Deal Gone Bad in Newport Beach

A man Wednesday admitted his involvement in a drug deal gone bad at the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Nicholas Andres Hernandez, 30, of Murrieta, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and admitted sentencing enhancements for being armed with a gun and having a prior felony conviction for burglary in 2009 in Riverside, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Co-defendant Steele Malone Burnside, 29, of Anaheim, pleaded guilty on May 10 to kidnapping and was sentenced to five years in prison, prosecutors said.

Thomas Lamarr Prince, 40, of Anaheim, was convicted Oct. 18 of four counts of robbery, and jurors also found true sentencing enhancement allegations for a prior robbery conviction in Los Angeles, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos. Prince, the older brother of retired NBA player Tayshaun Prince, was sentenced to 21 years in prison in December.

Thomas Prince and three other suspects still at large pulled off the first of two robberies at the resort on Feb. 19 last year, Chrisopoulos said.

Prince and his cohorts arranged to buy about 100 pounds of marijuana from four dealers, the prosecutor said. They met in a grocery store parking lot and one of the suspects suggested they finish the deal at a room in the posh oceanfront hotel, he said.

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Published: May 30, 2018

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