Essex County, New Jersey, Man Pleads Guilty To Armed Robbery And Carjacking
NEWARK, N.J. –A Newark man today admitted robbing a Newark jewelry store and then stealing a car at gunpoint immediately afterwards, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Orlando Nieves-Velez, 29, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of carjacking, and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Dec. 1, 2016, Nieves-Velez robbed a jewelry store in Newark while brandishing a firearm. During the robbery, Nieves-Velez pressed a gun to the back of an employee’s neck and threatened to shoot him if the other employees didn’t give him jewelry.
After leaving the store with more than $20,000 in jewelry, Nieves-Velez stepped in front of a 2006 Nissan Altima. Nieves-Velez pointed his gun at the driver and ordered the driver out of the car. Nieves-Velez fired his gun into the air before fleeing in the Altima.
The charge of Hobbs Act robbery carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. The carjacking charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. Nieves-Velez also faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years in prison for discharging his weapon in connection with the carjacking, which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Each of these counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2018.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos in Newark, and the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Anthony F. Ambrose, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
Defense Counsel: Kevin Carlucci Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark