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Press Release

Woodbridge Man Sentenced to More Than 11 Years in Federal Prison for Drug-Related Robbery

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

Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RONALD CHRISTOPHER SPEAR-ZULETA, also known as “Chris,” 47, of Woodbridge, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to 135 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a drug-related robbery.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Spear-Zuleta, his wife, Aninha Spear-Zuleta, and Maritza Torres robbed an associate of Chris Spear-Zuleta, who Chris Spear-Zuleta claimed owed him money in relation to narcotics transactions.  On November 28, 2017, Aninha Spear-Zuleta invited the associate’s girlfriend to the Spear-Zuleta’s Woodbridge residence, where Chris Spear-Zuleta physically assaulted the girlfriend.  At Chris Spear-Zuleta’s instruction, Aninha Spear-Zuleta and Torres then transported the girlfriend to a residence she shared with the associate in Milford, where Aninha Spear-Zuleta and Torres stole several items, including cash, a firearm and several items of expensive clothing.

On April 4, 2018, Chris Spear-Zuleta’s associate was shot to death in front of Spear-Zuleta’s residence.  The homicide investigation is ongoing.

Spear-Zuleta was arrested in San Francisco on December 22, 2018, where he had been living and travelling under a variety of false identities.  He has been detained since his arrest.

Spear-Zuleta’s criminal history includes convictions for drug offenses and multiple assault offenses, including assaults involving a firearm, an assault on a law enforcement officer, and an assault on state personnel while he was incarcerated for a prior offense.

On September 11, 2019, Chris Spear-Zuleta pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery.  Aninha Spear-Zuleta and Maritza Torres pleaded guilty to related charges and are scheduled to be sentenced on April 22 and 23, respectively.

This matter has been investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation, Connecticut State Police and Woodbridge Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Boyle and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Vizcarrondo.

Updated April 21, 2021

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime