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Press Release

Man Sentenced to 28 Years in Federal Prison for Violent Robbery and Carjacking Spree

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CHRISTIAN LUIS VELEZ-RUIZ, 25, formerly of New Britain, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sarala V. Nagala in Hartford to 336 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for robbery, carjacking, and firearm offenses stemming from a violent crime spree in 2021.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between September 2021 into December 2021, Velez committed 28 armed robberies of convenience stores, six armed carjackings, and three additional car thefts, throughout Connecticut.  Velez began his crime spree shortly after he walked away from a halfway house where he was completing a state sentence for larceny and burglary offenses, and he continued committing his crimes after the FBI’s announcement in early November 2021 of a $25,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

On December 17, 2021, law enforcement located Velez in a car in a parking lot in New Britain.  Velez attempted to escape by ramming police vehicles and he ultimately fled on foot.  A K9 pursuit ensued, and Velez was captured after he attempted to steal another vehicle.  He has been detained since his arrest.

On December 14, 2022, Velez pleaded guilty to one count of carjacking, two counts of interference with commerce by robbery, and two counts of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  The carjacking occurred on September 2, 2021, when Velez stole at gunpoint a 2020 white Jeep Grand Cherokee from the driveway of a victim in Southington.  One of the robberies occurred on September 26, 2021, when Velez robbed at gunpoint a store located at a Sunoco gas station in Bristol.  Velez pistol-whipped the store employee and stole U.S. currency and cigarettes from the store.  The other robbery occurred on October 7, 2021, when Velez robbed at gunpoint a store located at a Citgo gas station in Southington.  Velez brandished a pistol at the store employee and stole cash and cigarettes from the store.  In pleading guilty, Velez took responsibility for all the offenses he committed during his crime spree.

This matter was investigated by the FBI, the Connecticut State Police, the Greater Hartford Regional Auto Theft Task Force, and the New Britain, Waterbury, Berlin, Bristol, Cromwell, East Hartford, Enfield, Farmington, Glastonbury, Manchester, Meriden, Middletown, Newington, Norwich, Plainville, Southington, Windsor, Wolcott, and Woodbridge Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert S. Ruff.

Updated August 30, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Violent Crime
Firearms Offenses