A Philadelphia man who had avoided conviction in city courts despite multiple arrests for robbery and other crimes, was sentenced to 37 years in a federal lockup Tuesday for two gunpoint robberies in the far Northeast in December 2007 and October 2009. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody also ordered John Gassew to pay $7,194 in restitution to two victims.
Gassew, 25, was found guilty in February of two robberies and using a firearm while committing the crimes. He was cleared of one robbery and one gun charge.
Gassew had a defense attorney but chose to represent himself a trial . Defense attorney William J. Honig said in a sentencing memo that Gassew “displayed a maturity and poise that none of us believed he possessed” in defending of himself, adding, “everyone should be proud of the way he conducted himself before this court.”