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Press Release

Brooklyn Man Convicted Of Strongarm Extortion Scheme

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

TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn man was convicted of conspiring with others in a week-long strongarm extortion scheme in 2019, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Endrit Kllogjeri, 29, was convicted on June 27, 2023, of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and attempt to commit Hobbs Act extortion following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton federal court. On June 13, 2023, co-defendant Francis Garzon pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court to his role in the scheme.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial:

From Dec. 1, 2019, through Dec. 9, 2019, Kllogjeri and Garzon conspired and attempted to extort a resident of Monmouth County, New Jersey, and the resident’s son, who lived in Brooklyn, New York. The victim was threatened with physical harm if the victim did not recover a bag containing property allegedly valued at $100,000 from the victim’s son. Kllogjeri and Garzon further demanded an additional payment of $100,000 as “interest” for the son’s possession of the bag. In connection with issuing threats against the victim, including threats to the victim’s family members, Garzon additionally brandished a revolver, pointing the weapon at the victim and cocking the revolver’s hammer. Over the ensuing week, Kllogjeri and Garzon communicated regularly with the victim telephone, continuing to threaten victim. Kllogjeri and Garzon were arrested together in a vehicle on Dec. 9, 2019 in Brooklyn. Moments before the arrest, Garzon had attempted to send the victim a text message confirming the victim’s plan to pay the demand.

Kllogjeri faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years on each count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act extortion and attempted Hobbs Act extortion. Each count also carries a potential $250,000 fine. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the conviction. He also thanked the Marlboro Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Peter Pezzullo; and the New York City Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden, Attorney-in-Charge of the Trenton Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ian D. Brater of the Trenton Office.

Updated July 6, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-196