"The alleged mastermind" of the 1983 robbery of $7 million from an armored car depot in West Hartford was sentenced to 97 months in jail.
Norberto Gonzalez-Claudio, 67, pleaded guilty to foreign transportation of stolen money and conspiracy to rob federally insured bank funds, to commit theft from interstate shipment, and to transport stolen money in interstate and foreign commerce. He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of illegal possession of a machine gun.
Gonzalez-Claudio will serve "60 months of imprisonment on the Wells Fargo robbery charges, and a concurrent 37-month prison term on the machine gun charge," said David B. Fein, U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. After his time in prison, Gonzalez-Claudio will have three years of supervised release and pay $7.1 million in restitution.
Gonzalez-Claudio, who was 65 at the time of his arrest, was arrested in May 2011 in Puerto Rico after more than 25 years on the run.
According to authorities, Gonzalez-Claudio was allegedly involved in the heist at a West Hartford depot as a member of the militant independence group Los Macheteros. According to authorities, the group then transported the stolen money to Mexico.
The money from the Wells Fargo robbery has never been recovered, according to Fein.
"I commend the FBI in Connecticut and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Marshals Service for their excellent work in apprehending this defendant and others who eluded capture after this substantial robbery," Fein said. "Their work, which continues, demonstrates the resolve of law enforcement in the pursuit of justice."
Gonzalez-Claudio's older brother, Avelino, was sentenced last year to seven years in prison after spending more than two decades as a fugitive for his role in the heist.
In total, 19 people have been charged in this case, however authorities are still searching for Victor Manuel Gerena, who carried out the armed robbery. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $1 million for information leading to his arrest.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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