NEWARK, NJ – The US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey announced the sentencing of Wilbur Jonathan Barahona to 65 months in prison for the violent robbery of R.D. Bender’s Bar in Hawthorne, carjacking, and the kidnapping of a taxi driver in a series of crimes which occurred on Christmas and December 26, 2015.

The 22 year-old Ridgewood resident pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping.  The sentence was passed by US District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court.  In addition, Linares imposed a five year supervised release and a fine of $1,500.00.

Barahona, with Guillermo Carillo-Iraheta, Juan Chiliseo-Vega, Jostin Reyes, Barlmore Carillo-Iraheta, and Oscar Avalos-Cortez had robbed R.D. Bender’s Bar on Lafayette Avenue at gunpoint with Cortez driving a waiting getaway vehicle at about 7:20 p.m. on December 25, 2015.  The robbers stole approximately $200 and a cell phone from the bartender.

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Hours later, at about 3:00 a.m., Barahona, Carillo-Iraheta, Chiliseo-Vega, and Reyes took a taxi in Paterson.  Barahona admitted that he and others forced the driver into the back seat.  

According to a November 16, 2016, statement by US Attorney Paul J. Fishman Fishman, the perpetrators robbed the driver of $80 at gunpoint, struck the driver on the head with a bottle, and cut his throat with a knife.  The driver, who survived, said he heard the assailants contemplate his murder.  Afterward, they abandoned the viciously wounded victim on the N.Y. Thruway near Woodbury, NY.

Previously, Balmore Carillo-Iraheta was sentenced to 39 months in prison and three years of supervised release.  Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta was sentenced to 150 months in prison, Juan Chiliseo-Vega was sentenced to 168 months.  Avalos-Cortez, of New City, NY, was not involved with the robbery and attack on the taxi driver, and was sentenced to 2 years in prison with 3 years supervised release.

“U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Dennis Calo, and the Ridgewood and Hawthorne Police Departments, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing,” read a statement from the US Attorney’s Office – District of New Jersey.


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