We wrote in October about Thomas Lamarr Prince, an Anaheim armed robber and brother of a former NBA player who took 60 pounds and 90 pounds of marijuana from dealers in two separate incidents earlier this year at the Resort At Pelican Hill in Newport Coast.
The 41-year-old was sentenced recently to 21 years in state prison.
In the February and March robberies, Prince met the pot dealers in the Newport Coast Shopping Center parking lot, where they thought they were about to engage in exchanges of weed and money. But Prince told both to follow him so he could get each more than $100,000 from his resort villa.
Inside the suite, the dealers were not met by wads of cash but men with guns who robbed them of the marijuana and personal belongings, according to the Newport Beach Police Department, which added that Prince fled with the drugs in both incidents.
Newport cops caught the case after a family member of the February 18 robbery victim reported him missing. The resulting investigation led to the Feb. 20 arrests of Steele Burnside and Nicholas Hernandez, who were associates of the kidnapping victim they are now accused of having held for a $130,000 ransom, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
The kidnapping probe led to Prince being identified as the cannabis robber, the OCDA says.
When Prince was arrested on March 29, he had $10,000 in cash in a safe inside his Anaheim home and a Porsche, Maserati and Range Rover parked outside, according to police.
A jury found Prince guilty on Oct. 18 of four felony counts of robbery and a sentencing enhancement for a prior strike conviction for robbery in Los Angeles in 2015.
He is the brother of Tayshaun Prince, who won an Olympic gold medal with Team USA and NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons before going on to play for Memphis, Boston, Detroit again and Minnesota. He’s currently an executive with the Grizzlies.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.