FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 13, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A former New York City police officer was sentenced today to 87 months in federal prison for conspiring to commit the armed robbery of a Carlstadt, N.J., perfume warehouse, in which he, other active New York Police officers, and others stole approximately $500,000 of perfume while holding 11 employees hostage, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Richard LeBlanca, 27, of New York, previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls. Judge Walls also imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
LeBlanca admitted that from December 2009 to February 2010 he conspired with NYPD officers Kelvin L. Jones, 30, of Yonkers, N.Y., and Brian Checo, 26, of New York; former NYPD officer Orlando Garcia, 27, also of New York; and others to rob the In Style USA warehouse. LeBlanca stated that on Feb. 9, 2010, he and others entered the warehouse while carrying firearms, displaying NYPD-issued badges, and announcing themselves as NYPD officers. LeBlanca also admitted that during the course of the robbery, 11 employees were held hostage while the conspirators loaded hundreds of boxes of perfume onto trucks that were used to transport the stolen perfume. After leaving the warehouse, LeBlanca met Jones, Checo, Garcia and others in New York, where they developed a plan to conceal the crime after some of the conspirators had been arrested at the robbery site by Carlstadt authorities.
LeBlanca admitted that, in an effort to conceal his involvement, he falsely reported to his bank that his ATM debit card had been stolen – the same card he had used earlier that day to pay for rental of one of the two trucks used in the heist.
Checo and Garcia previously pleaded guilty before Judge Walls to conspiring to commit armed robbery. Jones was convicted by a jury last December on all four counts charged in the Indictment – conspiring to commit armed robbery, armed robbery, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and interstate transportation of stolen merchandise – and was sentenced on Sept. 7, 2011, to 195 months in prison. Checo was sentenced the same day to 75 months in prison. Garcia was sentenced yesterday, Sept. 12, 2011, to 51 months in prison.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced LeBlanca to three years of supervised release. A universal restitution hearing before Judge Walls will be held for all defendants Nov. 9, 2011.
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 Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of John L. Molinelli, as well as the Carlstadt Police Department and the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric T. Kanefsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Robert W. Ray Esq., New York