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Press Release

Woman Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Robbing West Hartford Bank

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

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JALANIA PANTANO, 28, formerly of Middletown, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for robbing a West Hartford bank last year.

According to court documents and statements made in court, on July 20, 2022, Pantano and her boyfriend, Gino Rizzo, entered the People’s United Bank located inside the Stop & Shop at 176 Newington Road in West Hartford and presented to two different tellers notes stating “Give us the money with no dye packs or GPS.”  The tellers provided Pantano and Rizzo with approximately $1,599 in cash and they exited the bank and supermarket.

Rizzo, using notes demanding cash, had previously robbed People’s United Bank branches located in Stop & Shop supermarkets in Glastonbury on July 16, 2022, and in Newington on July 18, 2022.

Rizzo was arrested on July 21, 2022, and Pantano was arrested on August 30, 2022.  On April 11, 2023, while on pre-trial release, Pantano and Rizzo each disconnected their GPS electronic monitoring bracelets and absconded from their court-mandated rehabilitation centers.

Pantano has been detained since her rearrest on May 24, 2023.  On August 23, 2023, she pleaded guilty to one count of bank robbery.

Rizzo has been detained since his rearrest on May 22, 2023.  He pleaded guilty on July 25, 2023, and is awaiting sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Middletown, Glastonbury, Newington, and West Hartford Police Departments.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie T. Levick and Robert S. Dearington.

Updated December 5, 2023

Violent Crime