SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A man has pleaded guilty to seven robberies and thefts in five western Massachusetts cities.

The Republican reports 37-year-old Joseph Richey, of Ludlow, entered the plea Tuesday in connection to thefts in Holyoke, Springfield, Chicopee, Agawam and West Springfield.

Richey’s lawyer says the crimes show the “insidious nature of drug addiction.” He says Richey has periods of productivity when sober, but then relapses into cocaine and heroin use.

The prosecution and defense recommended an 18-year sentence, but Richey’s attorney asked that sentencing be delayed so Richey’s family can visit him in the local jail during the holidays. He says they won’t be able to visit him in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28.

Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/

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