Albanian National Sentenced To Nine Years In Prison For Robbing Two TD Banks In Passaic And Bergen Counties
NEWARK, N.J. – An Albanian national who was living in Clifton, N.J., was sentenced today to 108 months in prison for robbing two TD Bank branches while armed with a gun in late 2011, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Arlind Hyseni, 31, also known as “Shpend Mazari” and “Luie Belushi,” previously pleaded guilty to an information charging him with two counts of bank robbery. One of the robberies occurred on Nov. 2, 2011, in Clifton in Passaic County, N.J., and the other on Dec. 30, 2011, in Wallington in Bergen County, N.J.
Hyseni pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas. He was initially charged as Mazari, but admitted at his plea hearing that Hyseni is his real name. Judge Salas imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Nov. 2, 2011, Hyseni entered a TD Bank in Clifton armed with a handgun and disguised with a baseball cap and a mask covering the lower part of his face. He ordered two bank employees to go to the vault and turn over cash, which they placed into a dark nylon bag.
Hyseni left the bank with the money, which included several “bait” bills and a dye pack. Hyseni discarded the money a short distance from the scene after the dye pack exploded.
On Dec. 30, 2011, Hyseni entered a TD Bank in Wallington shortly after it opened. He vaulted over the teller counter wearing a mask and armed with a handgun. He again ordered bank employees to go to the vault and hand over cash before fleeing with the money.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Hyseni to serve three years of supervised release. Hyseni was also ordered to pay $20,715 in restitution.
In arguing for an increased sentence, the government noted Hyseni was convicted in absentia in Albania of robbery resulting in death and illegal possession of military weapons and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Andrew M. McLees, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mala Ahuja Harker of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender David Holman Esq., Newark