Topeka Man Pleads Guilty in Robberies

A Topeka man pleaded guilty today to driving a getaway car in two robberies, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Ernesto Negrete Jr., 30, Topeka, Kan., pleaded to two counts of robbery. In his plea, he admitted being involved in a robbery at Panderia Monterrey Bakery, 3154 S.E. 6th Avenue in Topeka, and a robbery at Pablanos Grille, 3035 S.E. 6th Avenue in Topeka. Negrete said that in both cases he drove the car while co-defendants Javier Martinez and Victor Arellano entered the stores masked and brandishing handguns. Martinez and Arellano are awaiting trial.

Negrete’s sentencing is set for Oct. 27. He could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

McAllister commended the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Hough for their work on the case.