DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Vanessa Roberts Avery
, United States Attorney

Two New Haven Men Charged With Offenses Stemming From Multiple Gunpoint Robberies in 2022

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and James Ferguson, Special Agent in Charge, ATF Boston Field Division, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned an indictment charging CHRISTIAN BORRERO, 20, and ROBERT SMITH, also known as “Robbie,” 20, both of New Haven, with offenses related to the gunpoint robberies of Connecticut convenience stores and an armed carjacking last summer.

As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, ATF and the New Haven Police Department have been investigating a series of gunpoint robberies and a carjacking that occurred in late June and early July 2022. The investigation revealed that Borrero committed an armed robbery of a Citgo Gas Station located at 957 Foxon Road in East Haven on June 29, 2022; an armed carjacking followed by an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven Convenience Store located at 1089 Campbell Avenue in West Haven on July 3, 2022; and an armed robbery on an Xpress Mart Gas Station located at 180 Wakelee Avenue in Ansonia on July 7, 2022. In addition, on July 6, 2022, Borrero and Smith committed an armed robbery of a Shell Gas Station located at 195 State Street in North Haven.

The indictment, which was returned on June 28, 2023, charges Borrero with four counts of interference with commerce by robbery (Hobbs Act robbery), an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count; one count of carjacking, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 15 years; and two counts of carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, an offense that mandatory consecutive term of imprisonment of at least seven years.

The indictment charges Smith with one count of aiding and abetting Hobbs Act robbery and one count of aiding and abetting the carrying, using, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Borrero and Smith appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector in New Haven and entered pleas of not guilty. Borrero has been detained in state custody since July 13, 2022, and Smith has been detained in state custody since January 3, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with the assistance of the New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, Ansonia, and North Haven Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel J. Gentile.

U.S. Attorney Avery thanked the State’s Attorneys for the Judicial Districts of New Haven and Ansonia/Milford for their cooperation in investigating and prosecuting this matter.

The prosecution is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In May 2021, the Justice Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

Boston Field Division