Medford couple arraigned in crime spree
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A Medford couple who prosecutors said "terrorized" Suffolk County businesses during a monthlong armed-robbery spree were arraigned Wednesday.
Christopher E. Marino, 29, and his girlfriend, Jamie Greco, 23, were indicted Monday by a grand jury each on 13 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of second-degree attempted robbery, court papers show.
Prosecutors said the couple robbed Subway restaurants, gas stations and other stores at gunpoint in Lake Ronkonkoma, Medford and other areas between Dec. 9 and Jan. 7.
Suffolk County Court Judge Stephen Braslow ordered Marino held on $1.5 million cash bail or $3 million bond; Greco was held on $500,000 cash bail or $2 million bond.
"These are exceedingly serious charges," Braslow said after Marino's arraignment in Suffolk County Court.
Attorneys for the two entered not-guilty pleas on their behalf in separate arraignments. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Opisso said the two "terrorized" businesses.
Victor Velazquez, the Legal Aid attorney for Marino, declined to comment after the arraignment. Greco's court-appointed attorney, Steve Fondulis of Port Jefferson, again denied his client was involved in the robberies. "She wasn't in any of these stores," he told Braslow.
Prosecutors said Greco drove the getaway car.
The couple was arrested Jan. 15. In court papers, Marino and Greco confessed to committing the robberies to buy heroin.
Authorities said the couple were living above an auto body shop in Medford, where Marino worked. The two used vehicles from the shop, sometimes switching license plates, as getaway cars, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
In court, Opisso said two vehicles had been taken to a scrap yard. One, a Hyundai Elantra, was recovered; the other, a Ford Expedition, was scrapped.
Opisso said Suffolk authorities investigating the robberies noticed that the license plates of the Hyundai the couple used to case a Subway on Jan. 6 were registered to a Ford Expedition registered to Marino.
Both vehicles had been used in robberies, Opisso said.
Spota said "the surveillance footage of the early crimes led police forensic experts to believe Marino was probably using different handguns for the robberies, and one of the weapons was likely a .45-caliber pistol."
Opisso said a BB gun was recovered at the body shop; a second BB gun was found near a crime scene.
With John Valenti