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Defendant admits to robbing S.L. firm

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The second defendant charged in connection with a string of robberies targeting Hispanic businesses admitted in a change of plea hearing Thursday afternoon in U.S. District Court that he used a firearm to rob the Joyeria Elizabeth Reparaciones, a Salt Lake restaurant and jewelry repair business in February.

In a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors, Adrian Lara, 20, pleaded guilty to a violation of the Hobbs Act, used by federal prosecutors when the crime affects interstate business, and one count of using a firearm, according to a statement released by the Justice Department's Utah office.

Lara faces up to 20 years in prison on the Hobbs Act violation and a mandatory five- to 10-year sentence on the firearms charge, according to the statement. The prison time will not overlap. Both counts carry a fine up to $250,000. He will be sentenced Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. by U.S. District Judge David K. Winder.