Bristol man pleads guilty to string of violent Connecticut robberies

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BRISTOL — A Bristol man admitted in federal court on Tuesday to committing a spree of violent robberies across Connecticut, according to U.S. Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery.

Lonny Cross, 45, entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Kari A.

Dooley in Bridgeport, acknowledging his role in a wave of 37 robberies and attempted robberies that terrorized multiple communities in September and October of last year.

Court documents reveal that between Sept. 5 and Oct. 13, Cross targeted gas stations, convenience stores, mini-markets, and liquor stores in a swath of towns including North Branford, Waterbury, and Orange, extending his criminal activities into Port Chester, New York.

Cross’s method involved an accomplice who would scout the targeted store to assess the number of staff and customers before Cross would brandish a knife or a fake firearm to threaten employees and make off with cash and valuables.

The crime spree ended on Oct. 14 when law enforcement executed search warrants at Cross’s home and on his black 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

The searches turned up clothing linked to the robberies, as well as heroin, crack cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.

Found in possession of these items, Cross, who was already on state parole, was promptly arrested on state charges.

Facing one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery and one count of Hobbs Act Robbery, Cross could receive a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 21.

The investigation was a collaborative effort involving the FBI, Connecticut State Police, the Orange Police Department, the Port Chester (N.Y.) Police Department, along with numerous local law enforcement agencies from the affected towns, and support from Connecticut State Parole.

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