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Press Release

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Man Pleads Guilty To Interstate Burglary Scheme

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

TRENTON, N.J. – A Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, man today admitted his role in transporting goods stolen through a string of commercial burglaries throughout northern and southern New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Eliezer Medina, 37, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce.

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

From November 2013 through August 2014, Medina conspired with his brother, Jose Medina, 38, to steal money by burglarizing stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, and then transport the stolen money across state lines. He admitted burglarizing at least three stores in Paramus, New Jersey, and Pennsauken, New Jersey, and to stealing approximately $625,000. The burglaries followed the same general pattern, including advance surveillance, disabling of the alarm systems and the use of pry-bars and vertical cuts to gain access to the stores’ safes.

The conspiracy charge to which Medina pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of his plea agreement, Medina must pay $625,000 in restitution. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22, 2015.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI in Newark, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel, and special agents of the FBI in Philadelphia Branch, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Paramus, New Jersey; Wayne, New Jersey; and Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, police departments; the N.J. State Police; and the Lancaster City, Pennsylvania; East Lampert, Pennsylvania; Manor Township, Pennsylvania; Manheim Township, Pennsylvania; and East Hempfield, Pennsylvania, police departments for their work on the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.

Jose Medina remains charged by complaint with conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce. The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant remains innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel: John Yauch Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Updated July 20, 2015

Press Release Number: 15-278