A 24-year-old Peabody woman was charged as an alleged accomplice to her boyfriend Monday in court for an armed robbery at a Hamilton package store on Saturday.
Ashley Mazac, 24, of Peabody, and boyfriend Michael Gallella, 30, were both arraigned at Ipswich District Court in Newburyport. The pair each face a charge of armed robbery and a total of six other charges in Hamilton. Judge Alan Swan ordered both of them held without bail and scheduled a dangerousness hearing for Thursday.
Gallella was arrested minutes after allegedly robbing in Hamilton at knifepoint and is possibly responsible for other area robberies in recent months, according to police.
Hamilton police said on Monday that there is an “extensive investigation” focused on Gallella in connection to his possible role in robberies in Marblehead, Reading, Saugus and Wakefield.
And the robber in surveillance footage from and looks similar to Gallella, including images from Wakefield where he is holding a knife to the face of the clerk.
Prosecutors told Swan that Gallella is drug dependent and a search of his car by Hamilton police allegedly found cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia including hypodermic needles, baggies and a stainless steel measuring cup with burn marks and brown residue on it – all indications of drug use.
Gallella, who first told police he was homeless, lists an address in Stoneham.
After Gallella’s arrest, it took into the evening for police to positively identify him after he gave his name as a former friend who works for the Transportation Security Administration. And that was actually the second fake name Gallella allegedly gave police. After first providing a different, fake name and date of birth, a computer records check by police found that nobody existed with the name and date of birth he provided.
It was after police searched Gallella’s Hyundai that they found his driver’s license with his real name. And later police called the TSA to speak with the person whose name Gallella originally provided. Part of Gallella’s attempted ruse was talking about his work for the TSA, police said. In the end, Gallella admitted to using the same name, date of birth and address of the former friend in the past.
Gallella also had an outstanding warrant for not showing up to a court hearing in an armed robbery case from July 2007 in Tewksbury as well as a warrant charging him with uttering a false check and larceny under $250 in November 2010 in Malden, where he falsely told Hamilton police he lived before his true identity was discovered.
Mazac is being represented by attorney Michael Cioffi of East Boston and Gallella is being represented by attorney John B. Bjorlie of Gloucester.