News and Press Releases

Two men sentenced to more than a century in prison for seven armed robberies, shooting of wayne, n.J., police officer



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2012


 

NEWARK, N.J. – Two men who shot a police officer in the course of robbing seven stores from March 2010 through May 2010 were sentenced to lengthy prison terms today, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Nelson Otero, 48, of Fort Lee, N.J., was sentenced to 174.5 years in prison and Maxcime Cagan, 48, of Floral Park, New York, was sentenced to 172.5 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court. Both defendants were previously convicted of all 15 counts charged in the Superseding Indictment on which they were tried: one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies; seven counts of Hobbs Act robberies; and seven counts of possessing and using firearms in connection with those robberies.

“These two defendants went on a violent rampage through New Jersey,” U.S. Attorney Fishman said. “They beat and pistol-whipped victims, held guns to their heads, and shot a police officer in the head. The sentences handed down today will ensure these two predators will be permanently removed from society.”

“This successful prosecution is due to a cooperative investigation between the FBI, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and local law enforcement,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said. “This sends a clear message that federal, state and local agencies work well together in protecting the public.”

“The entire Wayne Police Department is very happy that the individuals who are responsible for the robberies and the shooting of Police Officer Brian Worell have been sentenced to very long terms in prison,” said Wayne Township Police Chief John T. Reardon. “We hope that these sentences will give Officer Worell some peace of mind and closure for the events of that night. I would like to thank all who participated in the investigation, arrest and trial for their tireless efforts in bringing these very dangerous individuals to justice and putting an end to their numerous crimes.”

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

From March 2010 through May 2010, Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint businesses including convenience stores, gas stations and liquor stores in Bergen, Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, and Union counties. They were also involved in the shooting of Wayne Police Officer Brian Worell during the robbery of the Exxon/ Tiger Mart in Wayne on May 10, 2010. The specific details of those robberies include:

• March 29, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint the Wine Cellar in Elizabeth, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victims to the back of the store and stole their personal belongings. Otero pistol-whipped one of the victims of this robbery.

• April 5, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint the Shell Gas Station/ 7-Eleven in Wayne, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victims to the back of the store and stole their personal belongings.

• April 22, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint the 7-Eleven in Edison, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victim to the back of the store.

• May 5, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed the 7-Eleven in Fair Lawn, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victim to the back of the store and stole his personal belongings.

• May 10, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint the Exxon Gas Station/Tiger Mart in Wayne. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victims to the back of the store and stole their personal belongings. Upon leaving the store, Otero and Cagan encountered Officer Worell, and they both discharged their firearms at him, striking the officer in the head.

• May 14, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed at gunpoint the Krauszer’s store in Hightstown, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victims to the back of the store.

• May 16, 2010 – Otero and Cagan robbed the 7-Eleven in Mt. Laurel, N.J. They robbed the store of its business proceeds and ordered the victims to the back of the store and stole their personal belongings. Otero pistol-whipped one of the victims of this robbery.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Chesler sentenced Otero and Cagan to three years of supervised release and ordered them to pay restitution in an amount to be determined.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, as well as law enforcement officers of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Wayne Police Department, and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacques S. Pierre and Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.


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Defense counsel: Thomas Ambrosio, Esq., Lyndhurst, N.J.
Nelson Otero, defendant pro se

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