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Press Release

Bergen County Man Admits Robbery Of New Jersey Bar, Carjacking, And Violent Kidnapping Of Taxi Driver

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County man today admitted that he participated in the December 2015 robbery of a North Jersey bar and the violent carjacking and kidnapping that took place shortly afterwards, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Jostin Reyes, 21, of Waldwick, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Reyes admitted that on Dec. 25, 2015, he and others forcibly robbed a bar in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and subsequently fled with approximately $200 in cash.

Afterwards, in the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2015, Reyes and others hailed a taxi in Paterson, New Jersey, and forcibly took the taxi from the driver. Reyes admitted that he and others forced the driver into the back of the vehicle and took over driving. Reyes also admitted that he and others caused seriously bodily injury to the driver by hitting him in the head with a beer bottle and slicing his throat with a knife before eventually leaving him on the side of the road in New York. The taxicab driver survived.

The kidnapping charge carries a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment. The carjacking charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 25 years in prison. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2017.

Reyes and five other defendants were originally charged by federal criminal complaint in November 2016. Reyes, Wilbur Jonathan Barahona, 21, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, 19, of Suffern, New York, and Juan Chiliseo-Vega, 20, of Suffern, are charged with the bar robbery, as well as the carjacking and kidnapping that took place afterwards. Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, 19, of Suffern, and Oscar Avalos-Cortez, 23, of New City, New York, are only charged with the bar robbery.

Chiliseo-Vega and Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta previously pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to separate informations in connection with their involvement in the conspiracy. They await sentencing.

The charges against Barahona, Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, and Avalos-Cortez are still pending, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne Police Departments, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine K. Lou and Karen D. Stringer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Michele Ann Adubato Esq., Bayonne, New Jersey

Updated April 18, 2017

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 17-118