Newark man faces serious robbery charges under the Hobbs Act

In late September 2013, a federal grand jury submitted a 19-count indictment against a man from Newark who has been linked to a series of commercial establishment robberies in Essex, Union and Bergen Counties.

The defendant, 26, is facing a charge for conspiring to carry out a Hobbs Act robbery, nine other charges related to laws concerning the Hobbs Act and an additional nine counts for purportedly flaunting a gun during a violent crime.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office indicates that the man and two others purportedly entered a local Subway Restaurant. The suspects were wearing dark clothing, including masks and gloves. Prosecutors allege that the primary defendant brandished a handgun. After employees were allegedly restrained with plastic zip ties, the individuals took cash from the restaurant’s registers and left the scene.

The charges additionally link the man to some of the following local robberies, which were conducted in the period from December 2012 through May 2013:

Pat’s Deli in Newark.
Delta Gas Station in Newark.
Shoppers Express in Belleville.
Linden Stationary in Linden.
Krauszers in Bloomfield.

These are just a few of the suspected locations. Charges suggest that the man flaunted a weapon in all robberies.

What is the Hobbs Act?

The Hobbs Act brings about a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each charge. If a person brandishes a gun during a commission of a crime involving violence, a conviction can result in a maximum sentence of prison for life. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years behind bars for a first offense. For each following offense, the brandishing of a gun during a crime involving violence attaches a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years locked behind bars. Moreover, there is a maximum fine of $250,000 associated with each charge. In some cases, offenders are responsible for twice the gain (the offender’s) or twice (the victim’s) loss associated with the crime.

Despite the level of charges faced by the New Jersey man, he remains innocent until proven otherwise. The indictment is merely an accusation. This means that prosecutors will have to prove that the defendant is physically linked to all reported crimes in the Newark area. Moreover, evidence will need to demonstrate that the man waived a gun during each crime.

In the aforementioned case, it appears that multiple suspects are targeted in the ongoing investigations of this federal crime. When a defendant is up against such egregious charges involving multiple players, it is imperative to have adequate legal protection.

If you, too, face serious criminal charges in the Newark area, contact a legal professional with ample experience in criminal matters. A lawyer will have familiarity with applicable laws and help assess your available rights and criminal justice protections.