Three Due In Court In Staged Ansonia Postal Truck Heist
by Ethan Fry | Aug 4, 2013 9:10 pm
Three Meriden residents are due in court this week to accept or reject plea deals in the inside job robbery of a delivery truck at the Ansonia Post Office in January.
Details of the plea offers made to the three are not yet public.
Ansonia police were called to the post office on Main Street Jan. 18 by inspectors from the postal service on a report of an armed robbery.
The inspectors had been conducting surveillance of the post office as part of an investigation into prior robberies of privately contracted postal trucks in Cromwell.
Police said that on Jan. 18, the postal inspectors conducting surveillance in Ansonia saw a car matching the description of a getaway vehicle involved in two of the previous heists, then saw a man leave the vehicle and walk toward one of the postal trucks.
The man, who was later identified as Juan Mercado, 28, then “robbed” a truck driven by Edwin Olivo, 25, and was detained while trying to get back to the getaway car, driven by Hecmarie Gomez, 27.
Mercado was found with a backpack that had more than $12,000 in cash and checks from the postal truck, according to police.
He was also carrying heroin and a fake handgun.
Police charged Mercado with first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, illegal use of a facsimile firearm, second-degree threatening, breach of peace, possession of narcotics, and possession of narcotics with intent to sell.
Hecmarie Gomez, the would-be getaway driver, was booked on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree larceny, second-degree threatening, and second-degree breach of peace.
But after interviewing Mercado, Gomez, and Olivo, police said they determined the three knew each other and had hatched the plot to make it appear like a stick-up.
“Based on the investigation as well as interviews we were able to determine it was a planned robbery,” Lt. Andrew Cota said in an e-mail Aug. 2. “It appears as if this was a planned event that was going to be reported as a robbery but the postal inspectors were able to apprehend the suspects and we eventually learned that it was staged.”
Police then charged Olivo with accessory to first-degree robbery and accessory to second-degree larceny.
Olivo, released after posting a $75,000 bond in the case, and Gomez, free on $40,000 bond, are due to appear at Superior Court in Milford Aug. 7.
Mercado, still held on bonds totaling more than $200,000, is scheduled to appear Aug. 8.
Plea deals have been offered to all three, but details of the proposals have not been put on the record in open court, Milford State’s Attorney Kevin Lawlor said Thursday (Aug. 1).
Lawlor said the three are due to accept or reject the deals at their next appearances.
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