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HomeFeatured StoryAvelino González Claudio sentenced

Avelino González Claudio sentenced

In 1983, the clandestine pro-independence group EPB Macheteros took responsibility for expropriating over $7 million of federally insured money from a Wells Fargo armored truck near Hartford, Connecticut, for use in furthering the movement for the independence of Puerto Rico. In 1985 and 1986, the F.B.I. arrested several people, accused them of participating in the action, and extradited them to Connecticut. Avelino González Claudio was one of the people the F.B.I. had hoped to arrest in 1985, but he was not arrested until 2008.

Several of those arrested in 1985 and 1986  negotiated a plea agreement with the U.S., admitting that while the U.S. thought their actions were criminal, they were acting in support of the independence of Puerto Rico. Avelino stuck a similar plea agreement, and on May 26, the court sentenced him to 7 years in prison, as well as to restitution of the money, for the charges of foreign transportation of stolen money and conspiracy to rob federally insured bank funds.

Several family members including his wife and sons, as well as political supporters, were present for the sentencing.

Two others alleged to have participated in the action, Víctor Gerena and Norberto González Claudio, Avelino’s brother, are still wanted by the F.B.I.

Having been in custody since February of 2008, Avelino will serve an additional two and a half years— significant, given that this 67 year old man was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease during his time in jail. The government has not disclosed which prison he will be assigned to.

José A. Delgado, “Siete años de cárcel contra preso político: Fue sentenciado por el robo a la Wells Fargo, El Nuevo Día, May 27, 2010,;

Rosita Marrero, “Siete años de prisión por participar de robo a la Wells Fargo,” Primera Hora, May 26, 2010,;

Stephanie Reitz, AP, “EEUU: 7 años de cárcel a puertorriqueño por robo a camión,” El Nuevo Herald, May 26, 2010,

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