States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 5, 2010||
AVELINO GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO PLEADS GUILTY TO CHARGES RELATED TO 1983 WELLS FARGO ROBBERY
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that AVELINO GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO, 67, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Hartford to federal charges related to his involvement in a 1983 armored truck robbery of approximately $7 million in West Hartford, Connecticut.
GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO pleaded guilty to Count 12 of a superseding indictment that charges him with one count of foreign transportation of stolen money, and Count 16, which charges him with one count of conspiracy to rob federally insured bank funds, to commit theft from interstate shipment, and to transport stolen money in interstate and foreign commerce.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from April 1983 to April 1984, GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO conspired with others to rob approximately $7 million in cash from the Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation in West Hartford, and to transport the stolen money to Mexico. In pleading guilty, GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO acknowledged that he and other co-conspirators approved and authorized the robbery, which occurred on September 12, 1983. On March 27, 1984, GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO and others transported stolen currency from the United States to Mexico.
The Government alleges that the robbery was perpetrated to fund the activities of Los Macheteros, a clandestine organization that seeks Puerto Rican independence.
GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO, who was a fugitive for more than 22 years, was arrested by FBI Agents and Police of Puerto Rico officers in Manati, Puerto Rico, on February 7, 2008. He has been detained since his arrest.
GONZALEZ-CLAUDIO is scheduled to be sentenced on May 26, 2010, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years and a fine of up to $20,000. In a binding plea agreement, subject to approval by the Court, the parties have agreed that a sentence of seven years of imprisonment and fine of up to $10,000, should the Court find that the defendant is able to pay a fine, is an appropriate disposition of this case.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New Haven and San Juan, with the assistance of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the United States Marshals Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Henry K. Kopel and Paul H. McConnell.
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