ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A Brinks manager who allegedly came within minutes of pulling off the largest armored car robbery in U.S. history said he needed the money to pay off a debt, according to an FBI affidavit.

Jose Alfaya, a branch manager in Tampa, told one of his cohorts “he feared for the safety of his family” because of the $3,000 debt, Special Agent John C. Bonner Jr. wrote in an affidavit.

Alfaya, 31, and Victor Moscoso, 34, were arrested in New Smyrna Beach Monday evening, moments before they allegedly were about to make off with the armored truck carrying $50.3 million.

Alfaya and Moscoso were charged with interfering with interstate commerce and could serve 10 to 15 years if convicted.

At a hearing before a U.S. magistrate Thursday, Alfaya waived his detention hearing while Moscoso was released on $50,000 bond. Prosecutors have until noon Friday to appeal the bond.

Neither man’s attorney nor prosecutors commented after the hearing.

Still being sought are two other suspects, allegedly the drivers of a pair of getaway vans. “We’ve got leads on who they are,” FBI Special Agent Jeff Westcott said.

The FBI would not release any other details about the suspects.

Alfaya told Moscoso that he owed $3,000 to a Miami man named “Chino,” according to the affidavit. He added that the last time he was in south Florida, a picture of his family was placed on his car’s windshield with a threatening note.

The Brinks truck was returning to Tampa from the Federal Reserve Bank in Jacksonville, with the money on board headed for banks throughout central Florida. As a Brinks manager, Alfaya knew about Brinks trucks’ comings and goings, and he was recognized by the driver, who obeyed his order to pull over, the affidavit said.

The FBI believes Alfaya’s crew was minutes from success when they were foiled by a New Smyrna Beach police officer, who saw someone climbing into the truck and heard an alarm along a dirt road.

Sgt. John Kosorok told all the men to get out of the truck and ordered them to lie on the ground. Kosorok then held them at gunpoint until help arrived.

The four other people in the truck were identified as the armored car crew and were released after questioning.



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