NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Four former city Parking Authority valets have pleaded guilty to stealing more than $500 in parking fees, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
If a judge accepts the plea deals, none would face any jail time. But each would be sentenced to probation, required to pay $200 in restitution and permanently blocked from working a public job.
Karran Buchhan, a 19-year-old from the Somerset section of Franklin, Joshue Castillo-Mendoza, a 26-year-old from the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick, and Ferrad West, a 23-year-old from east Brunswick, all pleaded guilty yesterday, March 6, to a third-degree count of conspiracy to commit theft.
The men are scheduled to appear before state Superior Court Judge Aberto Rivas on May 22 for sentencing.
A fourth defendant, Atis Mir-Merced, a 19-year-old from the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy. That individual has already been accepted into a pre-trial intervention program for first offenders, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The valets were charged with taking cash from New Brunswick Parking Authority customers and then illegally parking the cars in the closed Wolfson Deck. Prosecutors claim the scheme ran from January 2016 to March 4, 2016.
Parking Authority officials reportedly learned of the plot and then contacted New Brunswick police.
Police Det. Harry Lemmerling found evidence that the four defendants “worked as parking valets at two Dennis Street restaurants and conspired to sell parking spots to motorists,” according to the prosecutor’s office.
The defendants struck the plea agreements with Assistant Prosecutor Christine D’Elia, according to the announcement.