NEWARK, NJ – A South Orange man was sentenced to 135 months in prison for his participation in the September 2015 armed robbery of a club in Passaic, stated U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito in a press release on March 2.
Keontrae Lawrence, a/k/a “Taz,” 29, previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Judge Arleo imposed the sentence on March 2 in Newark federal court, stated the release.
According to the indictment and other documents filed in this case, the press release stated that on "Sept. 6, 2015, Lawrence and others agreed to rob a club in Passaic at gunpoint. During his plea hearing, Lawrence admitted that he knowingly and willfully participated in the robbery and that he and another conspirator brandished a firearm and threatened to use violence against a club employee. He also admitted that he and the other conspirator took $26,084 in cash from the club before fleeing in a getaway car."
In addition to the prison term, Lawrence was sentenced to five years of supervised release, stated the release.
Lawrence was originally charged with Jimmy Cooper, a/k/a “Flip,” 32, of Irvington, and Shaheed Blamahsah, a/k/a “Aboo,” 30, of East Orange, in November 2016. Cooper and Lawrence were later indicted by a federal grand jury on March 24, 2017, for their roles in the robbery.
Blamahsah pleaded guilty to his role in the robbery and was sentenced Oct. 6, 2017, to 150 months in prison. The charges against Cooper are still pending, and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, stated the release.