Alleged Bank Robber Pleads Not Guilty, Held on $200,000 Bail

  • Stephen Lynch, a former Windsor man, enters Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, to be arraigned on a charge of larceny from a person related to a robbery at a Mascoma Bank branch on Monday. Lynch was held on $200,000 bail. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 1/11/2019 3:35:10 PM

White River Junction — A 28-year-old former Windsor resident was ordered held on $200,000 bail after pleading not guilty on Friday to robbing the Mascoma Bank branch on Maple Street in White River Junction.

Stephen Lynch, who told police he is part of an active gang in Hartford, Conn., appeared on Friday in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction for an arraignment on a count of larceny from a person stemming from the bank robbery on Monday.

Meanwhile, a newly filed affidavit asserts that Lynch was a longtime, large-scale heroin dealer in Vermont, sometimes making multiple trips to Connecticut a day to purchase drugs.

Assistant Windsor County State’s Attorney Ward Goodenough sought the high cash or surety bail, which Judge Timothy Tomasi agreed with.

Goodenough cited the strength of the state’s case, Lynch’s prior criminal record, his lack of ties to Vermont and his prior failures to appear in court as reasons to keep him in custody.

Lynch’s attorney, Nikki South, didn’t argue for a lower bail amount on Friday, and instead said she’d reserve the right to revisit the topic at another time.

South told the judge that Lynch is struggling with a drug addiction, and asked that he be allowed to go to an inpatient treatment facility if a bed were to open up.

Tomasi said Lynch must come before the court again before he would be allowed to do that.

The charge Lynch faces is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. In Vermont, there is no state law specific to a bank robbery, which is why he faces a larceny charge, Goodenough said.

Goodenough added that more charges are anticipated in the case. Lynch allegedly entered Mascoma Bank, handed a note to the teller and fled to a waiting car with $5,000 cash.

Lynch and Katelyn Grizzaffi, 23, of Lebanon, who allegedly was the getaway driver for Lynch, were pulled over on Interstate 91 in Massachusetts about 90 minutes after the incident. They both were arrested on suspicion that they received stolen property and were arraigned in a Massachusetts court earlier this week.

They both pleaded not guilty and were held on bail. Grizzaffi made $750 bail; Lynch was extradited to Vermont.

Andrea Gilbert, 29, and Corey Riendeau, 26, of Wilder, also were in the car that day, but weren’t arrested.

Lynch told police they were on their way to Connecticut to purchase heroin, according to a police affidavit by Hartford police officer Scott Moody.

In a supplemental affidavit also written by Moody, Lynch told police in an interview that he is part of the “Los Solidos” gang in Connecticut. Moody wrote that the gang’s “main source of income is from the sale of illicit controlled substances, primarily heroin, and that they have a propensity toward violence.”

Lynch told Moody that he has been a part of the gang and selling drugs since he was 8 years old, according to the affidavit.

Lynch also told police he has been traveling to Connecticut several times a week — sometimes several times a day — for “an extended period of time” to purchase “large amounts” of heroin to sell in Vermont. Heroin is cheaper in Connecticut, so he makes a larger profit in the Green Mountain State, the affidavit said.

Lynch also said he is using between 30 and 40 bags of heroin per day, according to the affidavit.

The receiving stolen property counts that Lynch and Grizzaffi face in Massachusetts allege that they had $1,700 and $1,020 on them, respectively, at the time of their arrest, money that Lynch is suspected of robbing from the bank around 2:15 p.m. on Monday, according to police. They stopped in White River Junction after the bank robbery to pay a large drug debt and “order” methamphetamine, the affidavit said.

Grizzaffi isn’t facing charges in Vermont. Grizzaffi told police that she knew Lynch was planning to rob a bank and that she drove him and the others to White River Junction, where Lynch selected a bank at random, the affidavit said.

Lynch didn’t have a gun in his possession at the time, although he told the teller he did, according to police.

Lynch was out on bail in New Hampshire at the time of the robbery. He has convictions in Connecticut, Goodenough said during the hearing.

Lynch will appear next in the White River Junction courthouse on Feb 12.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.




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