Ringleader in string of diamond heists across US sentenced to 9 years in federal prison

The mastermind of an interstate diamond-theft ring has been sentenced to 9½ years in federal prison.

Michael Young was the last of nearly a dozen defendants sentenced in the case that stretched from Florida to Oregon.

The crew led by Young stole expensive diamonds from more than 20 stores, typically by using a grab-and-dash approach.

Judge Marco Hernandez described Young on Wednesday as a highly intelligent man who moved his less-savvy co-defendants around like chess pieces.

The owners of Saxon's Fine Jewelers in Bend, Oregon, told Hernandez the theft delayed their retirement, caused their insurance rates to skyrocket and traumatized their salesperson daughter.

Young apologized to his victims and said he wants to heal the wounds he caused.