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LOCKPORT – Two brothers were sent to state prison Wednesday for a pair of strongarm robberies in Niagara Falls last year.

The younger brother, Romello Desso, 17, was sentenced by Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to three to five years behind bars, plus three years of post-release supervision. He was denied youthful offender status.

His 18-year-old brother was granted that status but was sent to the state prison system’s boot camp-like “shock incarceration” program. If he succeeds there, he will be paroled in six months; otherwise, he will serve one to three years in a regular cell.

Defense attorney Anthony J. Lana said the older brother suffered brain damage at age 9 when he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle. “I don’t think he has the courage or ability to say no. He’s a classic follower,” Lana said,

The brothers, who were living on Fifth Street in the Falls at the time, mugged a food delivery man July 12 and robbed a man of his wallet and cellphone three days later at Third Street and Ferry Avenue.

Assistant District Attorney Claudette S. Caldwell said their guilty pleas to third-degree and attempted second-degree robbery also covered a third incident, in which the pair tried to rob two young men of money only to find their victims had no cash with them.