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Justice News

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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Getaway Driver Involved In North Jersey Bar Robbery Pleads Guilty

NEWARK, N.J. – A Rockland County, New York, man today admitted his role in a conspiracy to rob a Hawthorne, New Jersey, bar, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Oscar Avalos-Cortez, 22, of New City, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to a one-count information charging him with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery.

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

On Dec. 25, 2015, Avalos-Cortez drove at least six conspirators to a bar in Hawthorne, where they forcibly robbed the bar and subsequently fled with approximately $200 in cash in Avalos-Cortez’s car.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2017.

Avalos-Cortez was originally charged with Wilbur Jonathan Barahona, 21, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, 19, of Suffern, New York, Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, 19, of Suffern, Juan Chiliseo-Vega, 20, of Suffern, and Jostin Reyes, 21, of Waldwick, New Jersey, in November 2016.

Chiliseo-Vega, Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, and Reyes previously pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to three-count informations in connection with their involvement in the conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, as well as a carjacking and kidnapping in which Avalos-Cortez was not involved. They await sentencing.

Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 18, 2017, for his role in the conspiracy to rob the bar. The charges against Barahona for his role in the robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping are still pending. Both men 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, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne Police Departments, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

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

Defense counsel: Kevin Conway Esq., Spring Valley, New York

Press Release Number: 
Updated April 27, 2017