Suffolk man gets 59 years for 10 armed robberies

Published 10:00 am Friday, January 13, 2017

Arthur Santiful, 27, of Suffolk, was sentenced on Thursday to 59 years in prison for 10 armed robberies he committed in August and September 2015 in South Hampton Roads and the Peninsula.

“Violent crime will be met with significant consequences,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This sentence reflects the fair and measured judgment of the court in the case of two armed robbers, one who accepted responsibility for the harm he caused, and the other who did not.”

Santiful was found guilty on all counts on Sept. 12, 2016, after a four-day jury trial. According to trial testimony, Santiful and a co-conspirator, Michael Zeigler, robbed at gunpoint eight 7-Eleven stores, a hotel, and a pizza delivery driver during a six-week crime spree in August and September 2015. Santiful was armed during each of the robberies and witnesses testified that he shot at one robbery victim, pistol-whipped a second victim, and told several clerks that they would die if they did not hand over the money and cigarettes the men sought.

In addition to the 10 charged robberies, Santiful was also charged with two counts of brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Zeigler pleaded guilty and accepted responsibility for his crimes. He was sentenced on Dec. 20, 2016, to 14 years in prison.

Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Michael B. Boxler, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Washington Field Division; James A. Cervera, Chief of Virginia Beach Police; Tonya D. Chapman, Chief of the Portsmouth Police Department; Michael Goldsmith, Chief of Norfolk Police; Richard Myers, Chief of Newport News Police Department; and Terry L. Sult, Chief of Hampton Police Division, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. DePadilla and Andrew Bosse, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John F. Butler.