With this in mind, officers tailed the stolen truck with the belief that the occupants would try to use it to rob an armored car.
The stolen pickup truck stopped nearby and investigating officers saw three men in the truck put on ski masks in what they believe was preparation to rob the armored car, Slinkard said. The suspects in the stolen truck began to drive away and two marked police units with members of the SWAT team in them followed and tried to pull them over. Two suspects in the truck tried to flee on foot and were quickly caught by officers.
The sentences of months and 60 months were to run concurrently with one another but consecutive to the sentence for the other convictions. The cooperator told the others that he had an insider at the armored car depot who would help them commit the robbery.
The plan was for Rossetti to provide firearms, a grenade, an assault rifle, and other firearms, as well as bullet-proof vests, walkie-talkies, police scanners and other hardware for use in the robbery. The robbery was planned for Feb. Carmelo Merlino was arrested when he arrived and William Merlino was arrested a short time later. The government argued that the sentencing guidelines do not adequately capture the seriousness of the offense because the guidelines do not take into account the number of firearms the robbers planned to use, the fact that they had a grenade that they planned to employ if necessary, or the fact that they intended to engage in a violent confrontation with the police if confronted.
The most recent came on Friday morning, when a gunman drove off in an armored van on the University of Houston campus and later abandoned the vehicle nearby. The authorities did not say how much money was taken.
In years past, robbers would typically point guns at armored-car crews and order them to drop the money bags. This year, the culprits have been more aggressive, seemingly unafraid to pull the trigger. GardaWorld has been targeted four times this year — two guards were shot by robbers in January and October, and none were harmed in two other attacks. It was a rare score: Robbers succeeded in escaping with cash in 4 of the 11 robberies this year.
But the company guards have been shooting back. One shot and killed a gunman who tried to enter an armored truck outside a movie multiplex in January. Another who was shot near a drive-through A. Yet another guard protected a money bag by dropping to the ground and opening fire at a group of armed robbers.
Hatchett, one of two company executives who have been speaking to the news media. GardaWorld said it had been particularly outspoken about the Houston problem because of the frequency and violence of the robberies. Armored-truck companies typically refrain from commenting publicly after a robbery, leaving the police to take the lead.