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Press Release

New Britain Man Sentenced to 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 GILBERTO DELEON, 57, of New Britain, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 34 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for committing eight robberies of convenience stores and smoke shops in Connecticut in 2022.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between February 27 and March 16, 2022, Deleon and two associates, 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 robbery in Farmington on February 27, 2022, Deleon, who was serving as a “lookout,” took a banana off of the counter.  When he exited the store, surveillance cameras recorded Deleon peeling and eating the banana, and then disposing the banana peel in a receptacle near the gas pumps.  Investigators seized the banana peel and submitted it laboratory testing, which returned a match for Deleon’s DNA.

Deleon has been detained since his arrest on April 19, 2022.  On October 18, 2022, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery.

Steven Galarza, of Seymour, and Efrain Deleon, of New Britain, also participated in these robberies and pleaded guilty to related charges.  On July 20, 2023, Galarza, who also committed three additional robberies in Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire, was sentenced to 78 months of imprisonment.  Efrain Deleon awaits sentencing.

This investigation has been 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Keefe.

Updated December 14, 2023

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime