Canadian woman who robbed Newport Rite Aid twice gets 8 months less than accomplice husband

Posted Sept. 25, 2013, at 7:21 p.m.
Sydney Duff
PENOBSCOT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Sydney Duff
Jonah Masse
PENOBSCOT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Jonah Masse

BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian woman who twice robbed the Rite Aid in Newport last year was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 33 months in federal prison — eight months less than the sentence her accomplice and now husband will serve.

Sydney Duff, 21, and Jonah Masse, 26, both of Dixmont, pleaded guilty earlier this year to robbing the pharmacy at the corner of Routes 2, 7 and 11 in Newport on Aug. 16, 2012 and again a month later on Sept. 16.

U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Masse, who presented a threatening note both times to the pharmacist and fled with oxycodone and hydromorphone pills while Duff waited in the car, to 41 months in federal prison Tuesday. Woodcock initially said he felt the two were equally culpable in the crimes.

He compared Duff, who had penned both notes, to Lady Macbeth, the woman who encourages her husband to murder a king in William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” After Duff told the judge that was not an apt comparison, he imposed the lesser sentence.

Woodcock also ordered the couple, who were married Sept. 18 at the Somerset County Jail where they have been held since their arrests, to pay restitution of $1,777.

Because Duff is likely to be deported after completing her prison term, Woodcock did not impose a term of supervised release. On Tuesday, the judge sentenced Masse to three years of supervised release.

Woodcock said Wednesday he was unsure if the couple would ever be able to live together as husband and wife. Duff most likely would not be allowed to return to the U.S. after deportation, and Canada is unlikely to allow Masse to live in that country due to his convictions, the judge said.

Duff and Masse each faced up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charges.

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