Orleans County man pleads guilty in federal court to local robbery spree
Press Release, U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross
ROCHESTER – U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that John Cecchini, 28, of Albion pleaded guilty to bank robbery and four counts of Hobbs Act robbery before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean C. Eldridge, who is handling the case, stated that between April 2 and April 5, 2021, Cecchini, a former Medina resident, committed robberies at five locations across Clarkson, Lyndonville, Albion and Medina:
- On April 2, 2021, Cecchini robbed the Five Star Bank branch at 2 West Avenue, Clarkson. He handed a bank employee a note which read, “Please do not make me hurt you. I need all of your money in your drawer and hurry up. You delay, I’ll start shooting.” Before the teller could read the note, Cecchini said, “give me all of the money in the drawer before I start shooting.” The teller complied and gave him cash, and Cecchini fled the area.
- On April 3, 2021, Cecchini robbed the Discount Groceries and More at 11 South Main Street, Lyndonville. He entered the store and handed a store employee a note that read “I don’t want anyone to get hurt” and verbally demanded all of the money in the cash drawer. The employee complied with Cecchini’s demands and handed him cash, and Cecchini left the store and fled the area.
- On April 4, 2021, Cecchini robbed the Alexander’s Mobil Gas Station at 4118 Lake Road, Clarkson. He told an employee that he had a taser and said “This is a stick up. Keep your hands on the counter, act normal.” The employee handed Cecchini cash from the cash register while Cecchini placed his hand in his sweatshirt pocket as if he had a gun. Cecchini took the cash, exited the store, and fled the area.
- On April 5, 2021, Cecchini robbed the Crosby’s Gas Station at 202 North Main Street, Albion. He showed an employee a taser gun and demanded money, saying that the taser had probes in it and he wasn’t afraid to use it if the employee didn’t hurry up. The employee handed Cecchini cash, and Cecchini fled the area.
- Later in the day on April 5, 2021, Cecchini robbed the Family Dollar at 11322 Maple Ridge Road, Medina. Cecchini asked a store employee “have you ever been robbed before?” while holding an object in his hand as if it were a weapon. The employee handed Cecchini cash, and he fled the area in a car. After a brief chase, Cecchini was apprehended.
The plea is the result of/culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Major Crimes Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter; the Medina Police Department, under the direction of Chief Chad Kenward; the Albion Police Department, under the direction of Chief David Mogle; the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Eugene Staniszewski; the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Christopher Bourke; and the Orleans County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of District Attorney Joseph Cardone.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 16, at 3 p.m. before Judge Geraci.