TRENTON, N.J. – Two New York men were charged today with conspiracy to commit extortion using threats of force, violence, and fear, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Francis A. Garzon, 30, and Endrit Kllogjeri, 26, both of Brooklyn, New York, are each charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion. Both individuals appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From Dec. 1, 2019, through Dec, 9, 2019, Garzon and Kllogjeri, along with another unidentified individual, conspired to extort a resident of Monmouth County, New Jersey, -- “Victim 1” – and the resident’s son, who resided in Brooklyn. Victim 1 was allegedly threatened with physical harm if Victim 1 did not recover a bag containing property allegedly valued at $100,000 from Victim 1’s son, identified in the complaint as “Victim 2.” Garzon further demanded an additional payment of $100,000 as “interest” for Victim 2’s possession of the bag. In connection with issuing oral threats against Victim 1, including assuring that Victim 1 did not “know who [Victim 1 was] dealing with,” Garzon additionally brandished a revolver, pointing the weapon at Victim 1 before cocking the revolver’s hammer. In a series of telephone and in-person conversations over several days following the visit to Victim 1’s home, Garzon continued to threaten Victim 1, even sending Victim 1 cellphone messages containing photographs and videos of Victim 2 and Victim 2’s family.
The count of conspiracy to commit extortion carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, New Jersey, and the Marlboro Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Peter Pezzullo, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric A. Boden of the U.S. Attorney’s Trenton Office.
The charge and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.