- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2020

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A man and woman from West Virginia have been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison for robbing elderly retirees at gunpoint throughout West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.

Joshua Small, 52, and Joni Amber Johnson, 36, from Princeton, West Virginia, were sentenced Tuesday to 25 and 30 years in prison respectively, WBIR-TV reported. The pair were convicted of conspiracy to assault, kidnap, and rob elderly victims in July 2019.

Small and Johnson targeted elderly victims from May 2018 to July 2018, the Department of Justice said in a press release. The pair would force their way into residences at gunpoint and bind their victims’ hands and feet, the release said. In one instance, the pair broke into an 88-year-old woman’s home, ripped off her Life Alert necklace and struck her in the head, causing substantial wounds, the release said. In total, the pair terrorized seven people.

“This investigation demonstrates that the victimization of our elderly citizens will not be tolerated by law enforcement,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Joe Carrico said.

Small and Johnson also received five years of supervised released and were ordered to pay over $8,000 in restitution.

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