Skip to main content
Press Release

Essex County, New Jersey, Carjacker Sentenced To 135 Months In Prison

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark, New Jersey, man who was identified by the “find my iPhone” feature on a cell phone he stole during an armed carjacking was sentenced today to 135 months in prison, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Lee Caraballo, 28, was previously convicted of both counts in the indictment against him: theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence and intimidation and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. Caraballo was convicted following a three-day trial before U.S. District Esther Salas, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On Nov. 30, 2012, Caraballo carjacked a Rutgers law student at gunpoint in the driveway of the student’s home. After stealing the victim’s wallet and cell phone, Caraballo fled in the victim’s Toyota Corolla. A Roselle Park police officer stopped Caraballo, who was driving his own car, later that day. In that car, law enforcement found the victim’s cell phone and car keys as well as various items of clothing the victim later identified. While Caraballo was in police custody, the carjacking victim located his phone remotely using the “find my iPhone” feature and called the police station. He later identified the defendant.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Salas sentenced Caraballo to five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; the N.J. State Police, Newark Police Department and Roselle Park Police Department, as well as criminal investigators from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented Assistant U.S. Attorneys Barry A. Kamar and Adam N. Subervi of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Gary Leo Cutler Esq., Newark

Updated February 24, 2016

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 15-123