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After Anthony Mills complained about being “let down” by the criminal justice system, Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio denounced him as “a life-long criminal” and ordered him to serve a prison term of 32-years to life on his conviction last summer for four house burglaries in Grand Island and Elma at Christmas-time three years ago.

Mills, 49, who has spent nearly 23 of the past 31 years behind bars either in local jails or state prisons was told by the judge “You let yourself down by committing burglary after burglary.”

Prosecutor John Schoemick said Mills, who was convicted last July 29 after a week-long jury trial of taking jewelry, electronics and wrapped Christmas gifts during the day-time burglaries he committed in Grand Island and Elma, had 16 prior criminal convictions since he was 16. At the time of the December 2011 burglaries Mills was on parole for a perjury conviction, the prosecutor said.

As Mills complained during his late-afternoon sentencing, DiTullio rebuked him saying “people deserve to be safe in their own homes.” Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said Mills was sentenced Monday as a persistent violent felony offender because of his local crime history. Last July Mills was found guilty as charged on four felony burglary charges.