FALL RIVER— A 24-year-old Brockton man who robbed three separate convenience store clerks on the same night in July 2015 was convicted at trial and sentenced to serve six to eight years in state prison last Thursday in Fall River Superior Court.

Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced Amadeu Filho pleaded guilty to indictments charging him with three counts of armed and masked robbery.

Filho's co-defendants in the case, Erickson Gomes and Jose Gomes, were convicted of the same charges in February 2018 and are currently serving five-year state prison terms.

In the early morning hours of July 11, 2015 (between approximately 3:50 a.m. and 4:45 a.m.), the co-defendants, armed with knives and wearing masks, committed robberies at three different businesses: first, at the CVS Pharmacy on Kempton Street in New Bedford; second, at the Hess Gas station at 943 County Street in Taunton; and, third, at Junior’s Convenience Store on South Main Street in Freetown. The modus operandi for each robbery was essentially the same: Erickson Gomes (wearing a blue hood and white mask) and Amadeu Filho (wearing a gray hood and black mask) entered the stores and, while holding the employees at knifepoint, stole cash from the registers. Additionally, Filho dragged the CVS worker with a knife pressed to her back to the back office before stealing the money, and one of the men punched the Hess worker in the face when they demanded he open a safe. Despite the disguises, surveillance videos from each store were sufficiently clear to show that the same two men committed each robbery. They stole approximately $850 from CVS, several packs of Backwoods cigars and between $100 and $200 from Hess, and about $325 from Junior’s Convenience Store. Jose Gomes acted as the driver. Footage from the Taunton Hess showed Erickson and Filho running to a waiting car after that robbery, and a witness in Freetown saw a car with its headlights off driving away from Junior’s Convenience Store following the robbery.

Lakeville Police Sgt. Michael Dwyer overheard the radio dispatches regarding the robberies in Taunton and Freetown. He went to Joe’s Gas on Route 18 to check the property, but the store was still closed. Sgt. Dwyer exited the lot and checked a fenced-area nearby. There, he found a silver car with Rhode Island plates. Sgt. Dwyer observed defendant Filho pretending to be asleep in the front passenger seat. In the back seat, he saw in plain view a large amount of money scattered over the seat, a black knife, and a white plastic bag of money. After Dwyer “woke up” Filho by calling out and knocking on the window, Filho explained that he had been at a club with Jose Gomes and gotten drunk, although he did not seem intoxicated. He also claimed he did not know who owned the car. When police removed Filho from the car to speak with him, Dwyer looked where he had been sitting and observed black pants, a gray hoody, a black glove, and a black mask on the floor.

Taunton and Freetown Police sent Sgt. Dwyer still photos from the robberies and Dwyer recognized the clothing in the images as the items that were in the car. In the car, police also observed several packs of Backwood cigars, a white Hess bag containing large rolls of cash, and a white ripped pantyhose. Police located a second knife in the grassy area of the adjacent property. Police started receiving 911 calls about two men running in the woods not far from the area. The area, which includes the Ocean Spray headquarters and surrounding property, is heavily wooded and contains swamps and marshland. Police set up a perimeter around this area in order to find Erickson and Jose. Following an extensive search of the woods which lasted over an hour, police