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Press Release

Essex County Man Charged with Bank Robbery

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

NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey, man was arrested and charged with bank robbery, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

Sufyan A. Abdullah, 54, of Newark, is charged by complaint with two counts of bank robbery. He appeared on July 20, 2023, before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained.

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

On July 8, 2023, Abdullah entered a bank in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and handed a note to a teller claiming to have multiple firearms and threatening a “mass shooting.” Abdullah fled the bank without obtaining any money. On July 15, 2023, Abdullah entered a bank in Springfield, New Jersey, and placed an object – which he claimed to be an explosive device – on the counter in front of a teller, demanding money and threatening to blow up the bank. The teller gave Abdullah cash, and Abdullah said he would blow up the bank if anyone followed him or he heard sirens. Law enforcement subsequently determined that the purported explosive device was an imitation explosive device.

The counts of bank robbery each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. 

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Springfield Police Department, under the direction of Chief of Police John Cook, and the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Giacommo Sacca, for their assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Fell of the Narcotics/OCDETF Crimes Unit in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Updated July 20, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-211