Four people accused of committing seven violent armed robberies in Nassau County late this summer have been indicted by a grand jury, acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas' office said Tuesday.
Defendants Henry Armando-Hernandez, 18, of Hempstead; Cecilia Vallecillo, 36, of Roosevelt; Juan Vallecillo, 33, of Roosevelt; and Jaime Machado, 30 of Hempstead; are charged with committing the seven robberies of people and businesses between Aug. 30 and Sept. 9 in Hempstead, Baldwin, Rockville Centre and Uniondale using knives and B.B. guns, Singas' office said.
The spree started on Aug. 30 at 3:10 p.m. when they robbed a multiservice store in Hempstead with a B.B. gun and a knife, prosecutors said. Then, either together or in some combination, they robbed two Hempstead delis, a Baldwin deli, a person in Rockville Centre, a Hempstead salon and a Uniondale deli, officials said. Each time, they were armed, Singas' office said.
In the indictment, Armando-Hernandez was charged with 36 counts, including three counts of third-degree robbery, 16 counts of second-degree robbery, 14 counts of second-degree menacing and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Cecilia Vallecillo was charged with 30 counts, including three counts of first-degree robbery, 10 counts of second-degree robbery, 14 counts of second-degree menacing and three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Juan Vallecillo was charged with 26 counts, including two counts of first-degree robbery, 11 counts of second-degree robbery, 11 counts of second-degree menacing and two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Machado was charged with 39 counts, including three counts of first-degree robbery, 15 counts of second-degree robbery, 14 counts of second-degree menacing, three counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Armando-Hernandez, Juan Vallecillo and Machado were arraigned on the indictment charges Tuesday before acting state Supreme Court Justice Helen Gugerty. Bail was continued for Machado at $160,000 bond or $80,000 cash, for Juan Vallecillo at $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash, and for Armando-Hernandez at $140,000 bond or $70,000 cash. The three are due back in court Dec. 2.
Cecilia Vallecillo will be arraigned on the indictment charges on Nov. 5, Singas' office said.
The maximum sentence the four face on the top charge is up to 25 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Juan Vallecillo and Machado were arrested by Nassau County police detectives, with the help of Hempstead police, on Sept. 10. Cecilia Vallecillo and Armando-Hernandez were arrested by Nassau police detectives, with help from Hempstead police, on Sept. 11.
At the time of the arrest, Nassau police said two toy guns and a machete were found, along with two vehicles used in the heists, a Hyundai and a Jeep.
"It's by the grace of God nobody was hurt in this spree," acting Nassau County Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said at the time of the arrests.
The robbers netted between $40 and $3,000 at each business, police said.
Cecilia Vallecillo, who is married to co-defendant Juan Vallecillo, was the getaway driver during six of the robberies, police officials said. She entered the business during the final robbery in Uniondale, Krumpter said at the time.
Steven Barnwell, the Mineola attorney for Armando-Hernandez, said Tuesday his client is from El Salvador and has political asylum in the United States. "We're waiting for some discovery, we will take a look at it and we're going to defend against the charges vigorously," Barnwell said.
Attorneys for Machado and Juan Vallecillo could not immediately be reached for comment. The attorney listed for Cecilia Vallecillo declined to comment on the charges.