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February 07, 2008
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FBI arrests man in 1983 militant robbery

By The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The FBI said Thursday it has arrested one of three alleged Puerto Rican militants sought in a 1983 Connecticut robbery that authorities said was among the largest in U.S. history.

Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, 65, an alleged member of a Puerto Rican independence group, the Macheteros, was arrested Thursday morning while driving in the northern town of Manati, according to FBI special agent Luis Fraticelli.

Fraticelli said officials believe Gonzalez has been living as a fugitive in Puerto Rico ever since the group robbed a Wells Fargo armored truck depot in West Hartford, Conn., of some $7 million.

Authorities said Gonzalez has taught at a private school in the U.S. Caribbean territory.

The FBI is still seeking his brother, Norberto Gonzalez Claudio, and Victor Gerena, who is believed to be in Cuba.

The Macheteros, or Cane Cutters, were suspected of carrying out a series of bombings and attacks in the 1970s and 1980s aimed at gaining independence for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory whose residents are American citizens who cannot vote for president.






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