SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

August 22, 2013

Man gets 10 to 15 years for North Shore holdup spree

SALEM — A man who was still on probation for an armed holdup spree nearly a decade ago admitted yesterday to committing four more holdups on the North Shore last November.

Dennis Porter, 44, who was living in a tent in a wooded area off Route 128 in Peabody when he was arrested, will now spend the next 10 to 15 years in state prison, the result of a plea agreement accepted yesterday by Salem Superior Court Judge John Lu.

Porter pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery, for which he’ll serve the prison term, and two counts of unarmed robbery, for which he will have four years of probation after his release.

He also admitted to violating his probation in the earlier robbery spree, which included a holdup at the former Li’l Peach in Beverly in 2005.

Prosecutor Michael Sheehan told the judge that area police worked together to solve the string of holdups, the first of which occurred on Nov. 16, when Porter walked into the 7-Eleven in downtown Salem, appearing to be talking on a cellphone, which he held in his left hand.

But in his right hand was what was later determined to be a pellet gun. He demanded cash and left with $120, Sheehan told the judge.

Another holdup was reported on Nov. 25 at the Town Variety store on Central Street in Peabody, where Porter walked in with a scratch ticket and asked the clerk to check it. The clerk told him it was a losing ticket, and that’s when Porter pulled a gun and demanded cash from the lottery machine and the register, Sheehan told the judge.

But after that holdup, Porter apparently dropped the gun during his flight from police, who had chased the car he was in to a home on Endicott Street.

Police found the gun, but not Porter, who by now was identified as a suspect.

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