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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Connecticut

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 18, 2020

Indictment Charges Three Men with Violent Robbery of Stamford Jeweler

Two of the defendants face life imprisonment, or the death penalty, for murder

United States Attorney John H. Durham, Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., FBI Special Agent in Charge David Sundberg, Stamford Police Chief Timothy Shaw and Greenwich Police Chief James J. Heavey, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned a superseding indictment yesterday charging ROBERT RALLO, 56, of Brooklyn, New York, THOMAS LIBERATORE, 62, of White Plains, New York, and PAUL PROSANO, also known as “Tony Pro,” 60, of Brooklyn, with federal offenses in connection with the March 28 robbery of Marco Jewelers in Stamford, Connecticut.  During the robbery, the owner of Marco Jewelers was shot and killed.

As alleged in court documents, on March 28, 2020, at approximately 2:48 p.m., Stamford Police Officers responded to Marco Jewelers, located at 16 Sixth Street in Stamford.  When officers arrived, they found evidence of a robbery and encountered the storeowner, Mark Vuono, lying on the ground in front of an open safe.  Emergency medical personnel arrived and pronounced Vuono deceased.

It is further alleged that investigators collected and analyzed surveillance video from Marco Jewelers, surrounding businesses and Stamford city cameras.  Video obtained from Marco Jewelers revealed that, on March 28, Prosano drove Rallo and Liberatore in a black Jaguar to Marco Jewelers.  Rallo and Liberatore then entered the store.  Rallo, armed with a handgun, engaged in a physical altercation with Vuono, while Liberatore stole items from the display cases.  Vuono, who also possessed a firearm, and Rallo struggled next to a large open safe.  During the more than three-minute struggle, Rallo reached into the safe and pulled out a third firearm, a .357 Magnum revolver.  Rallo subsequently shot and killed Vuono with the .357 revolver.

It is alleged that, following the robbery, law enforcement located the black Jaguar in Staten Island and maintained surveillance on the vehicle.  On March 30, at approximately 5:30 p.m., a black BMW X3, driven by Prosano, pulled up beside the black Jaguar.  Rallo exited the rear door of the BMW and entered the driver’s door of a black Jaguar.  The two vehicles then left the area and rapidly accelerated.  The Jaguar crashed on Tompkins Street.  Rallo attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly apprehended.  The BMW crashed into a tree and parked car at the intersection of Daniel Low Terrace and Corson Avenue.  Prosano also attempted to flee and was apprehended.

A search of the BMW revealed 63 rings, eight bracelets, two tie pins, an earring and a cufflink, and a search of Prosano’s residence revealed 23 pairs of earrings and three rings.  It is alleged that these items were stolen from Marco Jewelers on March 28.  Liberatore also was arrested on March 30.

The defendants have been detained in New York on state parole violation charges since their arrests.

The superseding indictment charges Rallo, Liberatore and Prosano with interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), an offense that carries a maximum term imprisonment of 20 years, and with interstate transportation of stolen property, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.

The indictment also charges Rallo, aided and abetted by Liberatore, with using a firearm to cause a death during a robbery.  If convicted of this offense, Rallo and Liberatore face a mandatory term of imprisonment of life, or death if the government seeks the death penalty in this matter.

It is alleged that prior to the Marco Jewelers robbery, on March 18, 2020, Liberatore drove a Honda Civic he had stolen from a car dealer in Yonkers, New York, to Byram Jewelers in Greenwich, Connecticut.  He entered the store at approximately 4:45 p.m. and asked a store employee to show him engagement rings.  He then pointed a pistol at the employee, stole several rings, smashed a display case with his pistol and stole other items before exiting the store.

On June 3, 2020, Liberatore was charged in a separate indictment with one count of interference with commerce by robbery, one count of possession and brandishing of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and one count of interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.  If convicted of the firearm charge, Liberatore faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, which must be imposed consecutively to any other sentence.

It is alleged that each defendant has an extensive criminal history and the three men met while serving their respective sentences within the New York State Department of Corrections.

U.S. Attorney Durham 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stamford Police Department and Greenwich Police Department, with the assistance of the New York Police Department, Yonkers (N.Y.) Police Department and New Rochelle (N.Y.) Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn Courtney Kaoutzanis and Rahul Kale.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated June 18, 2020