New York Man Admits Participating in Armed Robberies of Electronic Stores in New Jersey
TRENTON, NJ—A New York man today admitted participating in armed robberies of electronics stores in New Jersey, including armed robberies in Linden, Paramus, and Woodbridge, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Eric Williams, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to a superseding information that charged him with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies.
Williams was arrested on Feb. 14, 2013, and charged in a superseding indictment—along with Carl Williams, 31, and Unique Randolph, 28, both of Brooklyn—in connection with several armed robberies of electronic stores in New Jersey. Eric Williams has been in custody since his arrest.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Sept. 20, 2012, Carl Williams and Leonard Arrington, 28, of Roslyn Heights, New York, walked into a T-Mobile store in Linden brandishing a firearm, while Eric Williams and other conspirators served as lookouts and get-away drivers. Carl Williams and Arrington then tied up the employees in the back of the store, stole 50 to 60 cell phones and fled in a Land Rover. Eric Williams and other conspirators then delivered the stolen phones to a cell phone store in Brooklyn.
On Oct. 2, 2012, Arrington entered a T-Mobile store in Woodbridge, brandishing a firearm, along with another man. After locking the front door, the men took the employees to the back of the store and tied them up, then stole approximately 40 cell phones. One of the robbers then called the getaway driver, who drove them away in a Land Rover. Eric Williams and others delivered the stolen phones to the same Brooklyn store.
Eric Williams participated in the planning of a subsequent robbery of an electronics store in Paramus, which took place on Jan. 16, 2013. Randolph and another individual entered an electronics store and, after forcing employees and a customer into the back of the store, Randolph tied them up using zip-ties, while his conspirator held them at gunpoint. As Randolph and his conspirator were looting the store of cell phones, a UPS employee walked into the backroom. Randolph forced him onto the ground and used zip-ties to tie him up. Randolph and his conspirator then fled, along with Carl Williams who was waiting outside as a lookout.
The charge of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Carl Williams, Arrington and Randolph have previously pleaded guilty.
U.S. Attorney Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. He also thanked the Linden, Paramus, and Woodbridge police departments, as well as the New York City and Nassau County police departments and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office in New York for their work in this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar J. Benvenuto of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.