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Hartford Wells Fargo Trial: 1988-89

The Perfect Crime?

The next day Gerena's Buick was found abandoned at a hotel lot elsewhere in Hartford. There was no question that Victor Gerena had carried out the robbery. But with whose help? He had no record as a criminal of any sort, so he must have had accomplices. How else could he have vanished without a trail? And why? No one questioned could come up with any explanation for a motive. Of Puerto Rican origin, he had no known affiliation with any organizations, criminal or otherwise. He even left behind a fianc6e. Yet somehow this ordinary "joe" had managed to carry off the second largest robbery in American history.

As months, then years, passed, the crime vanished from most people's consciousness. There were rumors that Gerena had somehow escaped to Cuba with his money, but this was based more on speculation than any real evidence. Then suddenly, on August 30, 1985, some 250 FBI agents and U.S. marshals, operating from the U.S. Naval Base at Roosevelt Roads in eastern Puerto Rico, descended on homes and offices across Puerto Rico and arrested numerous individuals. Many of those arrested were soon released, but eventually 19 individuals were charged with conspiracy involving a corrupt organization, Los Macheteros ("The Machete Wielders"), and more specifically, with planning and helping to carry out the 1983 Wells Fargo robbery in Hartford. Victor Gerena, however, was not among those apprehended.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988Hartford Wells Fargo Trial: 1988-89 - The Perfect Crime?, Background To The Robbery, Trial Focuses On Conspiracy, Mystery And Controversy Linger On