CAMDEN, NJ — A 33-year-old Camden man was arrested Tuesday for allegedly robbing an East Camden barbershop at gunpoint last November, said U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Benjamin Daye was previously was convicted of three crimes — each carrying a prison term of more than one year. He was charged Tuesday by complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
"On Nov. 23, 2019, Daye entered a barbershop in Camden armed with a loaded handgun,” according to documents filed in the case and statements made in Camden federal court. “He grabbed a juvenile customer, pointed the gun at the customer’s head, and demanded cash and belongings from employees and customers."
Daye was apprehended by police shortly after he fled the barbershop on the 2700 block of Federal Street. He was reportedly next to a bag containing the handgun and stolen items.
The months-long investigation that led to the arrest is part of a renewed focus on prosecuting gun crimes, which the Department of Justice announced last fall.
“Eliminating illegal firearms, and the carnage they create, in our community is my number priority,” said Camden County Police Chief Joe Wysocki. “The violent crime tied to these guns has a destabilizing impact on our neighborhoods and residents. Furthermore, crimes committed with these weapons and the individuals that carry them will have our agency’s undivided attention. I want to thank all of our partners, local, state and federal, for their assistance in this arrest and forthcoming prosecution.”
Daye faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge associated with the Hobbs Act, and up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 for possessing a firearm as a felon.
“We are working with our partners at Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local law enforcement to investigate gun crimes and bring offenders to justice swiftly," said Carpenito. "Today’s complaint describes a defendant who not only was prohibited from possessing a gun, but who allegedly was all too quick to use one in furtherance of a violent crime.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Charlie Patterson said, “ATF is proud to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Camden County Police Department to stop the city's most violent offenders, especially those who use firearms to commit senseless acts of crime."