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Stolen smokes: Florida man gets 20 years for cigarette theft

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 15: Cigarette maker Phillip Morris USA announced it has started removing the controversial words 'lowered tar and nicotine' from packages of Marlboro Lights (it appears on the lower front area of the package) and other 'light' cigarette brands. Phillip Morris USA was recently ordered by an Illinois judge to pay $10.1 billion in damages for misleading smokers into believing 'light' cigarettes were safer than regular cigarettes. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida man who stole $600 worth of cigarettes from a convenience store has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.

A jury in Pensacola convicted 48-year-old Robert Spellman of burglary and grand theft in August. Authorities say Spellman took 10 cartons of cigarettes from a stock room in the store manager’s office last December. He was sentenced Friday.

The Pensacola News Journal reports that Spellman had 14 felony and 31 misdemeanor convictions prior to the cigarette theft, which qualified him as a habitual felony offender. That led to the lengthy 20-year prison sentence imposed Friday by an Escambia County judge.