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Press Release

Bergen County Man Sentenced to 65 Months in Prison for 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, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 65 months in prison for participating in the December 2015 robbery of a North Jersey bar and the violent carjacking and kidnapping that took place shortly afterwards, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Wilbur Jonathon Barahona, 22, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to a three-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping. Judge Linares imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Barahona 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.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 26, 2015, Barahona and others hailed a taxi in Paterson, New Jersey, and forcibly took the taxi from the driver. Barahona admitted that he and others forced the driver into the back of the vehicle and took over driving. Barahona also admitted that during the carjacking, other conspirators 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. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Barahona to five years of supervised release and fined $1,500.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo, and the Ridgewood and Hawthorne Police Departments, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

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.



Updated May 23, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-183