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Three Boston Area Men Sentenced for Attempted Robbery of Armored Car Vault, Reports U.S. Attorney.

BOSTON -- Three men were sentenced today in federal court for their October 2001 convictions by a federal jury of conspiracy, attempted robbery of an armored car vault in Easton, Massachusetts, and related firearms offenses.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Charles S. Prouty, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England, announced today that U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns has sentenced three men, CARMELLO MERLINO, age 68, of 8 Elmwood Park, Quincy; STEPHEN ROSSETTI, age 43, of 138 Waldemar Avenue, East Boston; and WILLIAM MERLINO, age 42, of 19 Lincoln Avenue, Quincy, for their roles in a 1999 scheme to rob the Loomis-Fargo & Co. armored car vault facility in Easton, Massachusetts.

Today, Judge Stearns sentenced ROSSETTI to 51 years and 10 months of imprisonment. On November 22, CARMELLO MERLINO was sentenced to 47 years and 6 months of imprisonment. On November 25, WILLIAM MERLINO was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months of imprisonment. Each defendant was also sentenced to 5 years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

On October 24, 2001, a federal jury convicted each of the defendants of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempting to commit that robbery, and two counts of carrying and possessing firearms, including a hand grenade, in relation to and in furtherance of the conspiracy. ROSSETTI was also convicted of two counts of violating the felon-in-possession statute through the possession of these same firearms. Another defendant, DAVID TURNER, age 35, of 95 Highland Avenue, Randolph, was also convicted on all counts. He will be sentenced at a later date.

According to evidence presented by prosecutors during the sixteen-day trial, the four defendants were arrested in Dorchester, Massachusetts early on February 7, 1999 as they were attempting to meet to prepare for the robbery, which they planned to commit later that morning. The defendants planned to use a grenade, a semi-automatic rifle, and semi-automatic handguns in robbing the Loomis vault of tens of millions of dollars in U.S. currency.

At the time, the defendants believed there were two other co-conspirators, one of whom would participate as a robber and the other of whom was a Loomis guard who would help the defendants gain access to the building to commit the robbery. In fact, however, the person whom the defendants believed was a fifth robber was cooperating with the FBI and recorded a number of conversations with the defendants. The person whom the defendants believed was a Loomis guard was in fact an undercover FBI agent.

ROSSETTI had agreed to provide grenades and other firearms for use in the robbery. ROSSETTI and TURNER were arrested in a red Honda Accord shortly after they were seen transferring items from the Accord to a Chevrolet Tahoe vehicle that TURNER had been operating earlier in the morning. Upon searching the Tahoe, the FBI recovered a hand-grenade, a semi-automatic rifle, three .9 mm semi-automatic pistols, a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, as well as a number of masks, police scanners, bullet-proof vests, and ammunition.

The defendants have been in federal custody since the time of their arrests in 1999.

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys James F. Lang and Theodore D. Chuang in Sullivan's Major Crimes Unit.

CONTACT: Samantha Martin of U.S. Attorney's Office, +1-617-748-3139
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 26, 2002
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