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Originally published July 27, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Page modified July 27, 2009 at 4:36 PM

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Robber who escaped on inner tube gets six-year prison sentence

A Lake Stevens man who stole $400,000 in a meticulously planned armored-car robbery in Monroe last year — complete with an elaborate disguise, decoys hired on Craigslist and a getaway inner tube — was sentenced to six years in federal prison this morning.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A Lake Stevens man who stole $400,000 in a meticulously planned armored-car robbery in Monroe last year — complete with an elaborate disguise, decoys hired on Craigslist and a getaway inner tube — was sentenced to six years in federal prison this morning.

U.S. District Judge James Robart exceeded even prosecutors' sentencing recommendations in handing 28-year-old Anthony J. Curcio the sentence in a Seattle courtroom, saying he was disturbed by the violent heist and the risk it put others in.

Curcio pleaded guilty in May to one count of interference with commerce for the September 2008 caper at a Bank of America branch on Old Owen Road in Monroe.

Curcio was dressed as a landscaper and wore a particle mask when he walked up to a Brinks armored-car driver, pepper-sprayed him and took two bags of cash. He ran toward a nearby creek, dropping one bag of money, then ripped off his disguise and hopped in a yellow inner-tube and floated away.

His escape was helped by the fact that he had placed a Craigslist ad soliciting out-of-work landscapers to show up at the scene dressed just as he was. About a dozen or so showed up, confusing the pursuit.

After the robbery, Curcio went on shopping sprees, bought a Range Rover and took his buddies and a teenage mistress on a high-roller trip to Las Vegas.

But investigators eventually used DNA to tie Curcio to the particle mask left by the creekside, and arrested him in November.

Prosecutors had asked for a five-year term as part of their plea deal with Curcio. But Robart sided with the federal probation department, who argued for the longer term.

Curcio was a successful real-estate agent and former high-school football star, but was undone by mental-health issues and an addiction to prescription pain medication that dated to an old sports injury, according to his attorneys.

He submitted voluminous letters from family and friends attesting to his good nature and future promise.

"He has accepted responsibility for his actions, and committed himself to doing the hard work to change so he can be a productive father and citizen," his lawyer wrote in a court document.

Ian Ith: 206-464-2109 or iith@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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