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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

Monday, April 18, 2011

Charlottesville Man Sentenced For Robbing Pawn Shop

Carl Cutro To Serve More Than 100 Months In Prison

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA -- A Charlottesville man who broke into a Greene County pawn shop to steal handguns, jewelry and money in order to fuel his heroin addiction, was sentenced today in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

Carl Joseph Cutro, 26, of Charlottesville, previously waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of being a previously convicted felon illegally in possession of a firearm, one count of burglary of a Federal Firearms Licensee and one count of transporting in interstate commerce stolen property valued at more than $5,000. This morning, Cutro was sentenced to 84 months in federal prison for those three counts.

In addition, Cutro previously pleaded guilty to one count of witness retaliation. This morning, he was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison, to run consecutive to the 84 month sentenced ordered for the three gun-related counts.

“Mr. Cutro’s 2009 crime spree jeopardized the lives of others,” United States Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said today. “He stole guns from a federal firearms dealer and dangerously put them in the hands of drug sellers. He then attempted to corruptly persuade potential witnesses to that crime to withhold information from law enforcement. While his actions were motivated by a serious addiction, Mr. Cutro’s persistent, significant criminal conduct merited a harsh response. The Court’s stiff sentence in these cases should serve as a reminder of the vigor with which we will pursue gun crime and obstruction of justice.”

Cutro previously admitted that in December 2009 he entered the JS Pawn Shop through a large hole in the rear bathroom wall that separates the pawn shop from an adjoining, unoccupied business. Once inside, Cutro admitted to stealing more than $30,000 of jewelry, six handguns and cash. The defendant later traveled to Maryland, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia to pawn the jewelry and trade the guns for heroin.

After being arrested on the gun charges, Cutro became aware that a fellow inmates was linking him to a local drug conspiracy. In particular, Cutro became aware that this fellow inmate had notified law enforcement that Cutro had made previous attempts to sell firearms to a member of the drug conspiracy. As retaliation for his cooperation, Cutro assaulted the witness, leaving him with head and rib injuries.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Greene County Sheriff’s Office, the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s Office and the Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Ronald Huber and University of Virginia third-year law student Elizabeth Hereford are prosecuting the case for the United States.

Updated April 10, 2015