Guilty Plea in 1983 Armored Truck Heist


A man pleaded guilty Friday to a 1983 armored truck robbery in West Hartford.

Prosecutors argued Avelino Gonzalez-Claudio,67, made off with close to $7 million in the heist.

Gonzalez-Claudio admitted to one count of foreign transportation of stolen money, and one count of conspiracy to rob federally insured bank funds, to commit theft from interstate shipment, and to transport stolen money in interstate and foreign commerce.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Gonzalez-Claudio conspired with others to rob approximately $7 million in cash from the Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation in West Hartford, and to transport the stolen money to Mexico. In pleading guilty, Gonzalez-Claudio acknowledged that he and other co-conspirators approved and authorized the robbery on September 12, 1983.

Gonzalez-Claudio was a fugitive for more than 22 years before being arrested by FBI agents in Manati, Puerto Rico, in February 2008.

He stole the money to fund the activities of Los Macheteros, a clandestine organization that seeks Puerto Rican independence, according to prosecutors.

As part of the plea agreement, Gonzalez-Claudio will be sentenced to seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine in May.

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