Bristol Man and Girlfriend Charged with Committing Numerous Violent Robberies Across Connecticut
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment today charging LONNY CROSS, 44, and REBECCA BARBERA, 40, both of Bristol, with conspiring to commit numerous violent robberies across Connecticut in September and October of this year. Cross is also charged with a narcotics distribution offense.
As alleged in court documents, the FBI and Connecticut State Police have been working with state and local law enforcement agencies to investigate more than 30 robberies of gas station convenience stores, mini-markets and liquor stores that occurred from September 5 to October 13 in North Branford, Waterbury, Wolcott, Plymouth, New Haven, North Haven, Orange, West Haven, Wethersfield, Bristol, Southington, Naugatuck, Watertown, Franklin, Norwich, Waterford, Groton City, Stonington, Ledyard, Darien, Norwalk, Stratford and Seymour. Several of the robberies occurred on the same day, often minutes apart. Surveillance videos from the stores show what appears to be the same suspect, identified as Cross, entering the stores, brandishing a knife or gun, and robbing the stores. Witnesses to several of the robberies reported that they saw the suspect flee in a dark-colored sedan.
The indictment alleges that Cross would travel to a victim-store with Barbera, who would enter the store to determine the number of employees and customers in the store, exit
the store, and then report that information to Cross. Cross would then enter the store, display a knife or firearm while threatening employees, and steal cash and other items.
On October 14, 2022, investigators conducted court-authorized searches of Cross’s and Barbera’s residence, and a black 2014 Chevrolet Impala that Cross was known to drive. The search of the residence revealed clothing consistent with clothing worn by the suspect in several of the robberies, as well as 54 bags of suspected heroin, a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, and narcotics paraphernalia. A search of the car revealed 120 bags of suspected heroin, approximately 14 grams of crack, and a knit hat matching the description of one worn by the suspect during a robbery the day before. Cross, who was on state parole, was arrested on state charges on that date. He has been detained since his arrest.
Barbara was arrested on October 28 on a federal criminal complaint and is currently released on a $10,000 bond.
The indictment charges Cross and Barbera with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. Cross is also charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (“crack”) and heroin, an offense that also carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This investigation is being conducted by the FBI, Connecticut State Police, Orange Police Department, Port Chester (N.Y.) Police Department, and numerous other police departments from the municipalities where the robberies occurred, with the assistance of Connecticut State Parole. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah P. Karwan.