A jury found Michael Dellaera, 21, guilty of petit larceny and two counts of robbery. He faces up to 15 years in prison at his March 11 sentencing.
On June 26, 2008, Dellaera and his friend, Jamie Ramirez, were smoking marijuana and using heroin before they decided to rob Lee Oriental Jewelry on Hempstead Turnpike, Nassau prosecutors said.
Dellaera, who had sold jewelry at the store before, posed as a customer looking to sell a bracelet, but once he had been buzzed in by the store’s owner, he kicked the door open behind him so Ramirez could enter, prosecutors said. Ramirez then put Dellaera in a headlock and a BB-gun to his head while demanding money from the register, then jumped over the counter, grabbed money out of the cash register and fled, prosecutors said.
Dellaera stayed behind and told to police he didn’t know the Ramirez, but when confronted with video surveillance images that suggested otherwise, he admitted that he knew the robber but still denied any involvement. He was later arrested and was indicted on the charges by a grand jury on July 7.
Ramirez, 21, of Levittown, was arrested the day of the crime and pleaded guilty to attempted robbery. He is currently serving a two-year prison sentence.
“It was clear to my office from the start that there was more to this case than meets the eye,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.