Hudson County, New Jersey, Man Charged With Bank Robbery
NEWARK, N.J. – A Jersey City, New Jersey, man who was arrested yesterday while robbing a Wells Fargo Bank made his initial appearance today in federal court, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Billy Le, 25, is charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery. Le appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court and was detained.
According to the complaint:
On April 25, 2017, Le entered a Wells Fargo Bank in Jersey City wearing a black gas mask and holding a black duffle bag in one hand and a long metal rod with a red tip in the other hand. Waiving the metal rod, Le approached a teller and yelled, “Give me your money. Give me all your money.” A different bank employee immediately called the police.
Still wielding the metal rod, Le climbed onto the teller’s counter and threatened the teller with violence. A bank customer approached Le from behind, pulled him off the counter, and held him down until law enforcement officers arrived minutes later.
Law enforcement officers arrested Le at the scene and recovered the duffle bag and the metal rod, which appeared to be a pipe bomb. The officers evacuated the bank, after which Emergency Service Unit officers examined the device and determined that it was not an explosive. The duffle bag contained, among other things, a large knife.
The bank robbery count carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under Prosecutor Esther Suarez; and the Jersey City Police Department, under the direction of Chief Philip D. Zacche, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark