Virginia State Lawmaker's Daughter Goes on Crime Spree

The daughter of a leading northern Virginia state legislator pleaded guilty in federal court to armed robbery and faces up to 27 years in prison for a five-week crime spree that stretched from New York to Virginia.

Ashley E. Devolites, 20, admitted in court documents that she and two men from New York state robbed a string of gas stations last summer, using a 1990 Honda registered to her parents.

Devolites's mother Jeannemarie is a Republican whip in the House of Delegates and has represented part of Fairfax County since 1998.

Jeannemarie Devolites declined to comment after the hearing Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton. The defendant's father, John Devolites, who is divorced from her mother, said: "We love Ashley and it's a really tough time. ... She got herself in with some really tough people."

Ashley Devolites served as the trio's driver or lookout, but she was responsible for selecting targets in Virginia, according to court documents. Four of the nine robberies occurred in Virginia, including two in Fairfax, one in McLean and a holdup of a pedestrian in the parking lot of Tysons Corner Center, officials said.

The robberies began in July and ended Aug. 17, when the two men were arrested in Suffolk County, N.Y., after robbing a gas station while Devolites waited in a nearby motel, court records showed.

Her attorney, David Deane, said that his client cooperated with the investigation. But court records said Devolites "knowingly and intentionally provided misleading information which hindered and delayed the investigation of this case."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Mellin declined to comment.

She will be sentenced June 14.