FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2014
TRENTON, N.J. – Two New Jersey men admitted this week to participating in an armed robbery of a Target Store in Union, N.J., on “Black Friday” in November 2012, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced today.
Maryland Liggins III, 29, of Newark, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery. On May 20, 2014, Darrell A. Carter, 24, of Irvington, N.J., pleaded guilty before Judge Thompson to an information charging him with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
Carter, Liggins and two other men – Lavell Jones, 28, of East Orange, N.J., and DaQuaan Vaughn, 36, of Newark – were arrested on June 19, 2013, and charged by complaint in connection with the Target robbery. On April 29, 2013, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against Jones and Vaughn charging both men with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, and charging Vaughn with one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Nov. 23, 2012, Carter and Liggins allegedly participated in an armed robbery of the Target store on Springfield Avenue in Union on Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – which is considered to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year. Carter and Vaughn allegedly entered the store and robbed the store’s employees at gunpoint and Liggins served as the getaway driver. Jones allegedly posed as a shopper and served as a lookout inside the store.
While in the store, Carter and Vaughn restrained Target employees with zip ties and robbed them at gunpoint, stealing more than $50,000 from a cash cart and safe located in the cash room. The two men then fled the store and ran out to a vehicle driven by Liggins that was parked on the shoulder of nearby Route 78.
The charge of Hobbs Act robbery is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years, which must run consecutively to any other prison term. Each of these counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing for Liggins is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2014; sentencing for Carter is scheduled for Sept. 24, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the Union Police Department for its role in the investigation and Target corporate security for its cooperation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas P. Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Romankow, acting deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit.
Carter: Peter Carter Esq., Newark
Liggins: Joseph Rotella Esq., Newark
Vaughn: Timothy Donohue Esq., West Orange, N.J.
Jones: Richie Roberts Esq., Newark