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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

Monday, May 22, 2017

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Pleads Guilty To Armed Robbery Of Passaic, New Jersey, Club

NEWARK, N.J. – An East Orange, New Jersey, man today admitted his role in the September 2015 armed robbery of a club in Passaic, New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Shaheed Blamahsah, a/k/a “Aboo,” 29, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to a two-count information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

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

On Sept. 6, 2015, Blamahsah and at least two other conspirators agreed to rob a club in Passaic at gunpoint. During his plea hearing, Blamahsah admitted that he knowingly and willfully participated in the robbery and that he and another conspirator brandished a firearm and threatened to use violence against a club employee. He also admitted that he and the other conspirator took $26,084 in cash from the club before fleeing in a getaway car.

The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and that sentence must be consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The Hobbs Act conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. Blamahsah’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11, 2017.

Blamahsah was originally charged with Jimmy Cooper, a/k/a “Flip,” 32, of Irvington, New Jersey, and Keontrae Lawrence, a/k/a “Taz,” 28, of South Orange, New Jersey, in November 2016. Cooper and Lawrence were indicted by a federal grand jury on March 24, 2017 for their alleged roles in the robbery of the Passaic club. The charges against Cooper and Lawrence are merely allegations, and they are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and members of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, the Passaic Police Department, and the Newark Division of Public Safety for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Kevin Buchan Esq., Holmdel


Press Release Number: 
Updated May 22, 2017