Man Sentenced for Role in Attempted Robbery of New Haven Restaurant Where Employee was Shot

Man Sentenced for Role in Attempted Robbery of New Haven Restaurant Where Employee was Shot

Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that TREIZY LOPEZ, 25, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to 108 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in the attempted robbery of a New Haven restaurant, during which he shot an employee, in April 2015.

According to court documents and statements made in court, at approximately 11:00 p.m. on April 11, 2015, Lopez, Tythrone Ford and another man entered the Smokin’ Wings restaurant on Congress Avenue in New Haven and demanded money at gunpoint.  Lopez subsequently discharged a firearm and shot a female employee in the stomach.  Lopez, Ford and their associate then fled the restaurant.  Responding New Haven Police officers subsequently located a .22 caliber revolver in a nearby trash can. 

Approximately eight hours before the Smokin’ Wings robbery, Lopez, Ford and another man traveled together to Bridgeport.  Lopez and the other individual, armed with handguns, entered Sapiaos Market on Lexington Avenue and demanded money.  During the attempted robbery, the owner of the market, Jose Salgado, was shot and killed.  Ford waited in a car outside of the market during the attempted robbery.  After the murder, the three men traveled back to New Haven together.  Hours later, Ford and Lopez participated in the gunpoint robbery at Smokin’ Wings.

Forensic analysis of the revolver found in the trash can in New Haven, and projectiles collected from the scene of both attempted robberies, revealed that the gun was used in both shootings.  DNA collected from the gun revealed that both Lopez and Ford possessed the gun.

Lopez has been detained since his arrest on December 12, 2019.  On September 23, 2021, he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted interference with commerce by robbery.

In March 2018, Lopez was found guilty of first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit first degree robbery for his role in the Sapiaos Market robbery and homicide.  On August 16, 2018, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison for those offenses.  Judge Meyer ordered Lopez to begin serving his federal sentence after he completes his state sentence.

Ford pleaded guilty to attempted interference with commerce by robbery for his role in the Smokin’ Wings robbery.  On March 15, 2022, was sentenced to 110 months of imprisonment for that offense.  Ford was not charged in relation to the Sapiaos Market robbery.

This matter stemmed from a cold case investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the New Haven Police Department, with the assistance of the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jocelyn C. Kaoutzanis and Nathaniel J. Gentile through the Justice’s Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program and Project Longevity.

PSN, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts, is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Project Longevity is a comprehensive initiative to reduce gun violence in Connecticut’s major cities.  Through Project Longevity, community members and law enforcement directly engage with members of groups that are prone to commit violence and deliver a community message against violence, a law enforcement message about the consequences of further violence and an offer of help for those who want it.

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