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    Wednesday, June 19, 2024

    Bristol man pleads guilty to 37 armed robberies, including six in southeastern Connecticut

    A Bristol man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges connected to a roughly six-week spree in 2022 during which he robbed 37 gas station convenience stores, mini-markets and liquor stores while brandishing either a knife or fake gun.

    The robberies were committed statewide but included stores in Norwich, Franklin, Waterford, Groton, Stonington and Ledyard. The six local robberies occurred in a little less than two hours on the evening of Oct. 7, 2022, according to local police at the time.

    Lonny Cross, 45, will be sentenced Aug. 21 on one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery and one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

    Court documents show Cross admitted to using a knife or facsimile gun when he stole cash and other items valued at $58,774 from Sept. 5 to Oct. 13 of that year. A list included in the plea agreement says he robbed the local establishments of amounts ranging from $3,000 at a Waterford vape shop and a Groton Pump ‘n Munch to $200 at a Ledyard convenience store.

    He went on to rob seven more stores before he was arrested on Oct. 14. That’s when a search of his home and vehicle turned up heroin, crack cocaine and clothing consistent with those worn by the suspect in several of the robberies.

    Authorities said Cross was on parole at the time of his Oct. 14, 2022, arrest. He has been detained since his arrest.

    Rebecca Barbera, of Bristol, was arrested Oct. 28 on a federal criminal complaint and is free on bond. Authorities at the time of the indictment said Barbera’s role in the robberies was to enter the stores to determine the number of employees and customers and report the information to Cross.

    Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. district attorney for Connecticut, said Barbera is awaiting trial, with a change of plea proceeding scheduled this Friday.

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