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Press Release

New Britain Man Sentenced to 79 Months in Federal Prison for Stealing Cash and Cigarettes in Month-Long Robbery 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 EFRAIN DELEON, 61, of New Britain, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 79 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for committing nine robberies of convenience stores and smoke shops in Connecticut and New Hampshire in 2022.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between February 27 and March 16, 2022, Efrain Deleon, Gilberto Deleon, and Steven Galarza, using BB guns that are designed to appear similar to real firearms, robbed the following retail locations of cash, cigarettes and other items:

  • February 27 – Scott’s Village Mobil Gas Station, 843 Farmington Avenue, Farmington
  • March 2 – Mystic Mobil Gas Station, 66 Whitehall Avenue, Mystic
  • March 3 – Shell Gas Station, 168 Bridge Street, East Windsor
  • March 3 – Food Bag, 960 Meriden Waterbury Turnpike, Southington
  • March 5 – Valero Gas Station, 1 Main Street, Ellington
  • March 5 – Sunoco Gas Station, 446 Bloomfield Avenue, Windsor
  • March 8 – Smoker’s Discount World, 636 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield
  • March 16 – Cove Smoke Market, located at 841 Cove Road, Stamford

During the robberies, Efrain Deleon typically interacted directly with the store clerk and took the cash and tobacco products.  Gilberto Deleon acted as the “lookout” and Galarza acted as the “getaway” driver.  At times, their roles overlapped.

On March 19, 2022, Efrain Deleon and Galarza also robbed a 7-Eleven in Salem, New Hampshire.

Efrain Deleon has been detained since his arrest on April 19, 2022.  On May 9, 2023, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery.  Deleon’s criminal history includes seven prior robbery convictions.

Galarza, of Seymour, and Gilberto Deleon, of New Britain, pleaded guilty to related charges.  On July 20, 2023, Galarza, who also committed two additional robberies in Connecticut and New York, was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment.  On December 14, 2023, Gilberto Deleon was sentenced to 34 months of imprisonment.

This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police, and the Farmington, Stonington, East Windsor, Southington, Windsor, Wethersfield, Stamford, New Britain, Salem (N.H.), and Somers (N.Y.) Police Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Keefe.

Updated January 16, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime