Julio Alvarez had a criminal history dating back more than a decade and was free on probation for a little less than two weeks when he put on dark clothes, covered half his face with a bandana and robbed a local gas station last May.
Alvarez, 29, of Waukesha was sentenced recently in Waukesha County Circuit Court to seven years in prison for that crime, according to online court records. He pleaded guilty in January to robbery with the threat of force, a class E felony.
He was originally charged last June with robbery and bail jumping for his involvement in the incident.
In addition to prison time, Judge Ralph Ramirez sentenced Alvarez to five years of extended supervision. Both penalties are to run consecutive to Alvarez's current sentence — 20 months behind bars — which was imposed after Alvarez violated the terms of his probation on a previous conviction.
Terms of Alvarez's new probation include a ban on contact with his girlfriend, Deidre Pitsch, who aided him in the robbery, a mandate to maintain absolute sobriety and undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through on any recommended treatment.
During Alvarez's sentencing hearing, Natalie Schiferl, a law intern for the state, said that the prosecution believed Alvarez is "an extreme danger to the community."
"(Alvarez) is a risk to the community," Schiferl said, according to a transcript of the hearing. "He has little regard for the well-being of others or following the laws in the community."
Alvarez, who has two children, told the court he was ashamed of himself.
"I tried to do this to help my family, and I ended up hurting them," he said, according to the transcript.
According to a criminal complaint, Alvarez was thinking of a way to get money to pay his bills and came up with the idea to rob the Clark gas station at 1436 E. Moreland Blvd. Pitsch told police she used to work there and thought it would be easy to get in and out.
Alvarez threatened two people outside the station on May 29, 2015 — a clerk and her boyfriend — and ordered the clerk to give him money. When he left the station with a blue tote full of cash, Pitsch was his getaway driver.
During sentencing, Ramirez described the robbery as a "terribly frightening offense." According to the hearing transcript, he said, given Alvarez's extensive criminal history, the only way to keep the community safe was to incarcerate him.
Online court records indicate that Alvarez intends to appeal his conviction, though no future court activity has been scheduled on that matter.
Pitsch pleaded guilty to felony robbery with the threat of force the same day Alvarez did in January. She was sentenced just a few days after Alvarez to two years in prison and three years of extended supervision.