NEWARK, NJ – A Newark man was convicted in federal court last week for his role in the September 2017 armed robbery of a jewelry exchange located in Elizabeth.

According to Attorney Craig Carpenito, William Valentin, 43, of Newark, was found guilty of one count of conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robbery, one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of conspiring to use a firearm during a crime of violence. Valentin was convicted following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.

Authorities said that according to documents filed in the case and the evidence at trial:

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On the morning of Sept. 5, 2017, four masked individuals, including Valentin, entered a jewelry exchange located in Elizabeth. Valentin then brandished a firearm at an employee while the other conspirators unloaded the contents of the store’s safes into large bags. Video surveillance showed Valentin and other conspirators entering the mall, approaching the jewelry exchange, and running out with the bags of jewelry. Afterward, Valentin and his conspirators jumped into a black Audi and drove away.

According to authorities, in January 2018, Valentin was arrested in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with a backpack containing jewelry stolen from the Elizabeth exchange in his possession.

The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must be imposed consecutively to any other sentence imposed. The Hobbs Act, Hobbs Act conspiracy, and conspiracy to use a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence charges each carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI in Newark, Elizabeth Police, and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, with the investigation leading to the guilty verdicts. He also thanked the Holyoke Police Department, for its assistance.

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