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Terrorist Convicted in $7.1-Million Heist

May 06, 1992

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The leader of a Puerto Rican terrorist group was convicted in absentia Tuesday of masterminding the $7.1-million robbery of an armored-car depot in 1983.

Filiberto Ojeda Rios, 59, jumped a $1-million bond in 1990 and is believed to be in Puerto Rico. He faces a sentence of up to 255 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Los Macheteros--the machete-wielders--robbed the Wells Fargo depot in West Hartford, Conn., on Sept. 12, 1983, to finance its activities.

Ojeda was portrayed as the mastermind, along with Juan E. Segarra Palmer III. Segarra is serving a 55-year prison sentence.

Ivonne Melendez Carrion, a co-defendant who was present at the trial, also was convicted Tuesday of helping to transport some of the stolen money to Mexico. Melendez, 37, faces up to 15 years in prison.

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