Men who broke into Smithfield Target store sentenced

Men who broke into Smithfield Target store sentenced

PROVIDENCE – The second of two New York men who admitted to cutting their way through a roof into the Smithfield Target store in October 2017 was sentenced in federal court on Thursday to time served.

Liridon Gashi, 33, of New York City, had been held in federal custody since his arrest on March 7, 2018. He pleaded guilty last September to one count each of conspiracy to commit larceny from a financial institution, bank larceny, conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances, and burglary involving controlled substances.

Gashi was one of two men accused of opening an ATM inside the store and stealing more than $14,000, then cutting through a wall into a CVS Pharmacy located inside the store and stealing a controlled substance.

At sentencing, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William Smith also ordered Gashi to serve three years of supervised release and to pay restitution of $6,500 for damage to the ATM. Gashi remains detained on unrelated charges brought by law enforcement in Pennsylvania.

A co-defendant in this matter, Epirot Krasniqi, 27, also of New York City, was arrested in November 2017. Krasniqi pleaded guilty last May to one count each of conspiracy to commit larceny from a financial institution, bank larceny, conspiracy to commit burglary involving controlled substances, and burglary involving controlled substances. He was sentenced by Judge Smith on Jan. 11 to time served, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $6,500 for damage to the ATM. He remains detained on unrelated charges brought by law enforcement in Pennsylvania.

The sentences are announced by United States Attorney Aaron Weisman, Smithfield Police Chief Richard St. Sauveur Jr., and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph Bonavolonta.

According to court documents, in the early morning hours of Oct. 10, 2017, Gashi and Krasniqi, equipped with hand tools and two-way radios, cut through the roof of the Target store and then forced open an ATM from which they stole $14,720. The two men then cut through the wall of a CVS Pharmacy inside the store, broke open a locked cabinet holding controlled substances and stole a prescription package of Oxycodone. The two men then fled to the roof of the store.

While the burglary and robbery were taking place, Smithfield police officers responded to a report of an electronic burglary alarm and began to search the premises. After discovering the hole in the roof, officers began searching approximately 30 air conditioning units located on the roof. The two men were found hiding inside separate units. Also discovered inside the store and in various air conditioning units on the roof were the tools used in the break-in of the store and the ATM, the cash stolen from the ATM, and the drugs stolen from the pharmacy.

The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ly Chin.

The matter was investigated by the Smithfield Police Department, with the assistance of the FBI Rhode Island Safe Streets Task Force.