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'Bling Ring' mastermind pleads guilty to celebrity burglaries

March 2, 2012 |  1:10 pm

Nicholas PrugoThe alleged mastermind behind the so-called Bling Ring celebrity burglary scheme pleaded no contest Friday to stealing from the homes of Lindsay Lohan and Audrina Patridge, prosecutors said.

Nicholas Prugo, 21, entered his plea to two two counts of first-degree residential burglary in a deal in which he will testify against three other members of the Bling Ring, prosecutors said.

The ring of teens and 20-somethings is accused of netting more than $3 million in jewelry, designer clothes and accessories in 2008 and 2009 when they targeted the homes of Orlando Bloom, Brian Austin Green, Megan Fox and Paris Hilton, as well as Lohan and Patridge.

Prosecutors will ask that six other charges -- one felony count of conspiracy to commit burglary and five counts of first-degree residential burglary -- be dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Prugo is expected to be sentenced in May to two years in state prison.

The deal, prosecutors said, requires him to cooperate fully in testifying against three others who have pleaded not guilty: Diana Tamayo, 21; Courtney Leigh Ames, 21; and Roy Lopez Jr., 29.

Another alleged ringleader, Rachel Lee, 21, was sentenced to four years in state prison in October after she pleaded to one count of first-degree residential burglary.


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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Nicholas Prugo in 2009. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press