NEWARK, N.J. – Two men appeared in federal court Friday to face charges that they attempted to rob a Paterson residence while dressed in Passaic County Sheriff uniforms and wielding a firearm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Clemente R. Carlos, 29, of Newark, New Jersey, and Jason Thompson, 33, of Paterson, New Jersey, were charged in a superseding criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.
Both men appeared Friday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
The complaint also charges Thompson with being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to the complaint: On Aug. 12, 2015 at around 7:00 a.m., Carlos and Thompson, both dressed in Passaic County Sherriff’s uniforms, accosted a female victim and her infant as the victim was leaving her residence in Paterson, New Jersey. The two men, posing as members of the Passaic County Sherriff’s Office, led the victim back into her apartment inside the residence. Once inside, Thompson removed a firearm from a sidearm holster and pointed it at the victim’s brother, who had been sleeping inside the apartment.
Thompson then used a zip-tie to restrain the man’s hands behind his back and instructed him to kneel on the floor. After searching the apartment and failing to find the money they were looking for, Carlos and Thompson then left the residence. In December 2015, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office charged both Carlos and Thompson with multiple crimes arising from the home invasion, including kidnapping, weapons offenses, endangering the welfare of a minor, and robbery.
The Hobbs Act conspiracy charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. The charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.