Priest, Irish Rebel Convicted in $7-Million Brink’s Heist
A Catholic priest and an ex-guerrilla from Northern Ireland were convicted Monday of charges related to the $7.4-million robbery of a Brink’s armored car depot two years ago.
Two other men, former Brink’s guard Thomas O’Connor and unemployed teacher Charles McCormick, were acquitted.
After a seven-week trial, the jury deliberated 2 1/2 days before reaching a verdict in the nation’s fifth-biggest armored-car robbery.
The Rev. Patrick Moloney and Samuel Millar, who were taken into custody after the verdict, were each convicted of conspiring to possess money from the robbery. The two men could get up to five years at their sentencing Feb. 9.
Millar, a 39-year-old Northern Ireland rebel, and Moloney, a 62-year-old Catholic Melkite priest who runs a youth shelter, had leased a New York City apartment, where police recovered $2.01 million a year ago. About $107,000 had serial numbers linked to the robbery.
McCormick, 30, who subleased the apartment to the priest four months before the stash was found, said federal prosecutors produced “no evidence whatsoever” linking him to the robbery.
“I just want to be with my family,” a solemn-faced O’Connor said as he hurried out of U.S. District Court with his girlfriend.
Prosecutors had argued that O’Connor, 55, a retired Rochester police detective who took a security job at Brink’s in 1990, masterminded the holdup on Jan. 5, 1993.
He was acquitted of robbery, conspiracy and possession charges that carried a maximum 25-year sentence; the others faced a sole charge of conspiring to possess stolen money.
O’Connor maintained that at least three masked gunmen slipped into the depot, tied up all three guards, took him hostage during the getaway and dumped him on a suburban roadside two hours later.
In testimony, he acknowledged smuggling Millar into the United States in August, 1984.