Police and Fire

East Orange Man Admits Armed Bank Robbery

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TRENTON, NJ – An Essex County, N.J., man today admitted committing the armed robbery of a PNC Bank in Montclair, N.J., U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Robert Mercedes, 24, of East Orange, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with one count of bank robbery and one count of using a firearm during the commission of crime of violence.

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

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Mercedes admitted using a gun to rob a PNC Bank in Montclair on Dec. 27, 2013. He brandished a gun and demanded that bank employees fill a backpack with money. Mercedes told employees of the bank, “I want 100s and 50s, I want 100s and 50s. You have 13 seconds.” Mercedes was apprehended the same day by members of the East Orange Police Department, with the assistance of the Montclair Police Department and the FBI.

The count of bank robbery carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The count of brandishing a firearm during the bank robbery carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, along with the East Orange and Montclair police departments and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney’s General Crimes Unit in Newark.

 

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