NEWARK, N.J. – A Passaic man admitted Tuesday to robbing a Union Wells Fargo bank and five other banks in Hudson, Union, and Passaic counties in June and July of 2016, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Quentin Morales, a/k/a “Quinton Morales,” 27, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to an information charging him with three counts of bank robbery. He also admitted to robbing two additional banks and attempting to rob another. Prior to his arrest in August 2016, Morales was one of Newark FBI’s most wanted bank robbers.
According to the U.S. District Attorney, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Morales robbed the Union Wells Fargo Bank at 1057 Stuyvesant Avenue on July 25, 2016. In the month prior to the Union robbery, he also robbed, or attempted to rob, the following New Jersey banks:
The Wells Fargo Bank in Kearny, June 24; Capital One Bank (attempt) in Elizabeth, June 27; the Kenilworth Wells Fargo Bank, June 30; Wells Fargo Bank in Linden on July 6; and the Wells Fargo Bank in Clifton on July 13.
According to the U.S. District Attorney, at each bank, Morales presented a note demanding cash from bank tellers. During the June 24 robbery, Morales handed the teller a note stating, “You are being robbed. Give me all the large bills you have, no alarms, no noise.” On at least two occasions, Morales said he had a gun and urged bank tellers to hurry. He was apprehended on Aug. 2, 2016, by officers of the N.J. State Parole Board.
The bank robbery charges to which Morales pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for May 14.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Violent Crimes/Interstate Theft Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s plea. He also thanked the N.J. State Parole Board and the Kearny, Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Linden, Clifton, Union Township and Newark police departments, as well as the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office for their efforts in the investigation and apprehension of Morales. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Veronica Allende of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.