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Fugitive from Valley Stream armored car robbery surrenders, prosecutors say

The armored car was driven away from the Valley Stream armored car company in November and abandoned; its three bags of money were removed, authorities said.

Police with the armored truck on South Central

Police with the armored truck on South Central Avenue in Valley Stream. Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

An accused enforcer for a bike gang who evaded arrest since being indicted for his part in a multimillion-dollar theft of an armored car in Valley Stream in November has surrendered to the FBI, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Raymond Soto Jr., of Richmond Hills, Queens, had been indicted with two others — his father, Raymond Soto Sr., and Alexis Laguerra,  an employee of the GardaWorld armored car company, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.  Soto Jr.'s attorney was not immediately available to comment.

Laguerra, 30, of Brooklyn, a GardaWorld driver, devised a scheme with Soto Jr., 28, also known as “Rambo,” and his father, Soto Sr., 48, also known as “Razor,” of Richmond Hill, to steal the armored car while Laguerra and another employee delivered money to automated teller machines inside the bank, prosecutors said. The armored car was driven away from the location and abandoned; its three bags of money had been removed.

Soto Sr. was arrested last month and arraigned before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson in Central Islip. He pleaded not guilty. Soto Sr. is free on bond and Laguerra was arraigned Friday and is free on $250,000 bail, authorities said.

Soto Jr. pleaded not guilty and was ordered detained by U.S. Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields at an arraignment hearing Wednesday. The bail hearing will continue Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. 

The junior Soto had initially refused to surrender during a telephone conversation with the FBI after a Dec. 21 arrest warrant was issued for him, prosecutors said in asking that he be denied bail. He has a violent criminal history, evaded capture for weeks, and has the means and incentive to flee, they said.

“Defendant has significant assets to finance flight in part from the $510,000 stolen from the armored car,” prosecutors said.

Only $130,000 was recovered from Soto Jr.’s listed residence during a search that also uncovered illegal drugs, glassine bags, heat sealers and a weapon with ammunition next to it, they said.

“Moreover, Defendant is a danger to the community because he organized not only the theft of the armored car with $3.6 million in U.S. currency on it as charged in Count One of the Indictment but also the conspiracy to obstruct justice as charged in Count Two of the Indictment,” prosecutors said. 

Further, prosecutors charged that the bank larceny conspiracy, which they continue to investigate, began well before Soto Jr.’s parole after a 2-year sentence for a conviction on first-degree attempted gang assault ended on Oct. 21. And, prosecutors said, Soto Jr. is the “Enforcer for the Unknown Bikers Motorcycle Club.”

Prosecutors noted Soto Jr. could face a sentence of 78 to 97 months, adding: “Clearly, Defendant cannot be trusted to follow any Order of the Court.” 

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