FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2013
NEWARK, N.J. – Two Essex County, N.J., men appeared in Newark federal court today in connection with charges arising out of three carjackings that occurred on the same day in March 2012 in Essex and Hudson counties, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Louis Holmes, 24, of Newark, is charged in a five-count Complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking; three counts of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation; and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Rosendo Perez, 24, of Irvington, is charged in the same Complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit carjacking; one count of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation; and one count of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Both were already in state custody when they were charged by Complaint on Dec. 20, 2012. They both made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court today.
According to the criminal Complaint:
On the afternoon of March 27, 2012, Holmes and Perez approached two individuals who were sitting in a parked 2009 Acura TL in the area of South 17th Street in Newark. Holmes pointed a firearm at the victims, and both Holmes and Perez ordered the victims out of the car. Holmes and Perez then fled the area in the carjacked vehicle.
That night, Holmes accosted an individual who was approaching a parked 2010 Nissan Maxima, in which another individual was sitting. The car was parked in a McDonald’s parking lot on Communipaw Avenue in Jersey City. Holmes pointed a firearm at the victims, demanded the car keys, and ordered one victim out of the car. Holmes then fled the area in the carjacked vehicle.
One hour later, Holmes approached an individual who was standing near a 2008 Nissan Altima in the area of Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Newark. Holmes pointed a firearm at the victim and demanded the car keys. Holmes then fled the area in the carjacked vehicle.
The next day, police observed the 2009 Acura TL, which was carjacked during the afternoon of the prior day. A motor vehicle pursuit ensued through the cities of Newark and East Orange until Perez, the driver of the carjacked vehicle, lost control of the car and crashed. Holmes was a passenger of the carjacked vehicle. Both Holmes and Perez exited the carjacked vehicle and attempted to flee the area, but were apprehended shortly after the crash. Just before he was apprehended, Holmes allegedly threw a handgun loaded with six hollow-point rounds to the ground.
The charge of conspiracy to commit carjacking (Count One) is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The carjacking counts (Counts Two, Four, and Five) each are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The charge of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence (Count Three) is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other prison term. Each of the five counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Police Director Samuel A. DeMaio and Chief Sheilah A. Coley; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Thomas J. Comey; the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Gaetano T. Gregory, as well as criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa M. Colone of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Holmes: Peter Carter Esq. Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark
Perez: Robert Olejar Esq., Randolph, N.J.