Lawrence Men Arraigned in Regional ATM Robbery Operation
Two Lawrence men were arraigned in Lawrence District Court before Judge Kevin Gaffney today on multiple counts of larceny, conspiracy, and receiving stolen property in connection with a multi-state ATM robbery operation uncovered by a team of investigators led by the Essex District Attorney’s Office. The two men are alleged to have committed 10 break-ins since October, 2015 and have stolen property valued over $400,000.
David Barker, 39, and Efrain Montero, 40, were arrested this morning by Massachusetts State Police and Lawrence Police following a 10-month long investigation involving local police departments from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Mr. Barker is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Larceny from a Depository, Larceny from a Depository (4 counts), Possession of Burglarious Tools (4 counts), Receiving Stolen Property Over $250 (2 counts), Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (2 counts) and Money Laundering. His bail was revoked on a violation of his probation in another case and bail was set for $500,000 in this case.
Efrain Montero is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Larceny from a Depository, Larceny from a Depository (4 counts), Larceny over $250, Possession of Burglarious Tools (5 counts), Receiving Stolen Property Over $250 (2 counts), Receiving Stolen Motor Vehicle (3 counts), Money Laundering and Possession of a Firearm. He was held on $500,000 cash bail.
In October of 2015, Essex District Attorney’s commenced an investigation after receiving an e-mail through a law enforcement information-sharing group from Mansfield, Massachusetts police reporting a break-in at an Apple retailer concerning stolen phones that were connected to Lawrence. The Essex DA’s Office contacted Mansfield Police and began working with them to solve the case. Over the course of the 10 months, as the suspects conducted more alleged break-ins, including one in Wellesley supported by a fingerprint match, each local police department whose towns had been targeted by these criminals, joined in the investigation to share evidence, identify the pattern and build the case. The investigation culminated in the execution of search warrants today at 3 locations where police seized $82,400 in denominations consistent with those used in ATMs, a 9 mm firearm, and the tools, clothing and masks associated with the alleged break-ins.
[In April 2015, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the Organized Retail Crime statute that allows the District Attorney to charge property or larceny crimes from multiple jurisdictions in one county if they are connected by an organized enterprise.]
“This case represents an extraordinary collaborative effort by all of the law enforcement agencies involved,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “By joining forces and building a single case against these defendants, we can more effectively dismantle this sophisticated criminal enterprise. I commend the hard-work and dedication of all the officers and their respective agencies for their contributions to this case.”
The investigative team consisted of local police departments from Andover, Billerica, Hanover, Haverhill, Lawrence, Mansfield, Shrewsbury, and Wellesley (Massachusetts); Concord, Pelham, and Tilton (New Hampshire); Berwick, Maine; and Burlington and Killington, Vermont, and the Massachusetts State Police, the New Hampshire State Police and the Belknap County Sheriff’s Department. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine and the Portland, Maine Field Office of the FBI also provided assistance.
The defendants are scheduled to return to Lawrence District Court on August 29, 2016 for a Probable Cause hearing. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty.