By Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2020

BOSTON (AP) - Two Connecticut men have been charged with stealing 17 guns during a break-in last month at a Massachusetts gun store, federal prosecutors said in a statement Monday.

Fernando Rivera, 24, and Christian Castro, 29, were each charged Friday with stealing guns from a federal firearms licensee, according to the office of the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, Andrew Lelling.

Both were held without bail pending trial.

Rivera’s attorney said via email that he had no comment on the case.

An email seeking comment was left with Castro’s attorney.

Rivera and Castro were among several people in two cars who drove from Connecticut through Massachusetts to Vermont and New Hampshire stealing or trying to steal from ATMs along the way, prosecutors said.

On their way back to Connecticut on Aug. 29, they stopped at a West Springfield gun store. Three men got out of the cars and broke into the store by using a crowbar to smash the door, authorities said.

They stole 17 guns, then returned to Connecticut where one of the cars, which had been reported stolen, was abandoned.

The suspects were tracked through surveillance video and cellphone location data, according to court documents.

They face up to 10 years in prison of convicted, prosecutors said.

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