A Newark, New Jersey, man today admitted trying to rob a Paterson, New Jersey, residence while dressed in a Passaic County Sheriff’s uniform, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Clemente R. Carlos, 29, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Carlos admitted that on Aug. 12, 2015, he conspired with Jason Thompson, 33, of Paterson, and another individual to rob a Paterson home because they believed the resident kept cash proceeds from his distribution business at that location. Carlos and Thompson both dressed in Passaic County Sherriff’s uniforms in order to gain entry into the residence, while the third individual waited outside in a getaway vehicle.
During the robbery, one of the conspirators broke open a piece of furniture in search of the cash proceeds. In addition, the conspirators threatened to kill the residents if they did not comply with their instructions during the robbery. Carlos admitted that during the robbery one victim was physically restrained.
The Hobbs Act conspiracy charge to which Carlos pleaded guilty carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4, 2017.
Thompson was charged by complaint on July 21, 2016 with Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The allegations against him are merely accusations, and he is innocent unless and until proven guilty.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and members of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the Paterson Police Department for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.