Three Charged with Stealing Cash and Cigarettes in Robbery Spree
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of 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, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment yesterday charging STEVEN GALARZA, 24, of Seymour; EFRAIN DELEON, 58, of New Britain; and GILBERTO DELEON, 56, of New Britain, with committing eight robberies of convenience stores and smoke shops across Connecticut earlier this year.
As alleged in the indictment and other court documents, between February 27 and March 22, 2022, Galarza, Efrain Deleon and Gilberto Deleon, using facsimile firearms 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
The indictment charges each of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery and eight counts of Hobbs Act Robbery. If convicted, Galarza, Efrain Deleon and Gilberto Deleon face a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count.
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.
Galarza, Efrain Deleon and Gilberto Deleon were arrested on April 19, 2022, on a federal criminal complaint emanating from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Efrain and Gilberto Deleon are detained and Galarza is released on a $50,000 bond.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police, and the Farmington, Stonington, East Windsor, Southington, Windsor, Wethersfield and Stamford Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brendan Keefe and Rahul Kale.
Updated June 16, 2022