FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – Raffaele Danise, a member of an armed robbery crew that primarily targeted businesses and homes in Middlesex County, N.J., was sentenced today to 145 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Danise, 25, of East Brunswick, had pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz on Sept. 24, 2010, to a superseding Information charging him with one count of conspiring to obstruct commerce in connection with his role in robbing four premises between March 2009 and June 2009, and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of the robbery.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Danise admitted he conspired with a number of New Jersey residents, including Jonah Paul, 23, of Sayreville; Joseph Passalaqua, 56, of East Brunswick; Joseph Smith, 39, of South Amboy; Dustin Groemm, 24, of Perth Amboy; Rashawn Landin, 24, of Parlin; Erik Prascak, 22, of Milltown; Brian Parolin, 30, of Freehold; and Joshua Lally, 24, of Middlesex Township, to rob a number of premises located in New Jersey and New York from March 2009 through June 2009. Danise admitted he and certain of his co-conspirators robbed: the Chris Michael’s Steakhouse in Woodbridge, N.J., on March 17, 2009; the Ristorante Barolo in New York on May 11, 2009; the home of victims “M.M.” and “P.M.” in Milltown, on May 21, 2009, and the Ritz Diner in Livingston, N.J., on June 5, 2009. Each of the robberies was at gunpoint, and in each case, the victims were bound in plastic zip ties while the robberies took place.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hochberg sentenced Danise to five years of supervised release. Danise was fined $15,000 and ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date.
All of the defendants have previously pleaded guilty. Groemm and Parolin were sentenced by Judge Hochberg on June 22, 2011. Groemm was sentenced to 75 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to make restitution of $20,894. Parolin was sentenced to 79 months in prison, three years supervised release and fined $3,000. Paul and Landin were sentenced by Judge Hochberg on Sept. 27, 2011. Paul was sentenced to 219 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to make restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date. Landin was sentenced to 108 months in prison, three years of supervised release, fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $46,578 in restitution. Lally was sentenced by Judge Hochberg on Sept. 29, 2011. Lally was sentenced to 33 months in prison, two years of supervised release, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $151,317 in restitution. Passalaqua was sentenced by Judge Hochberg on Nov. 14, 2011, to 190 months in prison, three years of supervised release, fined $5,000 and ordered to pay restitution in an amount to be determined at a later date. The remaining defendants await sentencing.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, for conducting the investigation. He also thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Bruce J. Kaplan, the Woodbridge Police Department, under the direction of Director Robert Hubner, the Sayreville Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Zebrowski, and the Milltown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ray Geipel, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa M. Colone and Robert Frazer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: James Patton Esq., Livingston, N.J.