Newark Man Pleads Guilty to Multiple Carjackings
NEWARK—A Newark man today admitted his role in three gunpoint carjackings and an attempted carjacking within a one-week period and to firing his gun during one of the robberies, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Corey Thermitus, 22, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to an information charging him with three counts of theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation; one count of attempted theft of a motor vehicle by force, violence, and intimidation; and one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On December 21, 2012, Thermitus was a passenger in a car that had stopped on a street in the Ironbound section of Newark. Thermitus and several other men exited the car and approached two people standing next to a Toyota Corolla that had just parked. Thermitus brandished a gun at the victims, while another man searched the victims and took the keys to the Toyota Corolla. Once the men had the keys, Thermitus and the other men fled the scene in both vehicles.
He also admitted that on December 26, 2012, he and another man were in the area of 6th Avenue and N. 9th Street in Newark when they approached a Nissan Altima. Thermitus approached the passenger side of the vehicle, where one of the victims was seated, and attempted to open the door, but the victim resisted and attempted to hold the door closed. Thermitus then told an accomplice to shoot a second victim who was standing next to the car. In response, both victims stepped away from the Nissan Altima, and the other man fled the area in the vehicle.
Thermitus admitted that on December 28, 2012, he took a Honda Accord at gunpoint from a victim who was seated in the car in the driveway of a Newark residence. Once the victim got out of the car, Thermitus and two other men fled the area in the Honda Accord. Approximately one hour later, the three men traveled to Midland Place in Newark in the carjacked Accord, where he and one of the other men attempted to carjack a Nissan Pathfinder at gunpoint. Thermitus and another man approached the Nissan Pathfinder while one of the victims in the vehicle was parking it in the garage of a residence. Thermitus pointed a gun at the victim and demanded the victim get out of the vehicle. The victim resisted and drove down the driveway and down the street to escape the carjacking attempt. Moments later, the victim returned to the residence to find Thermitus and the other two men attempting to escape in the carjacked Honda Accord. When another person came outside one of the residences on the street to check on the commotion, Thermitus fired a shot at the person. The three men fled the scene in the carjacked Honda Accord. No one was injured in the attack.
Each carjacking and attempted carjacking charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 15 years in prison. The discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison, which must be consecutive to any term imposed on the underlying carjacking offenses. Each charge carries a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000, twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense. Thermitus must also pay restitution to the carjacking victims. Sentencing is scheduled for September 10, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark; the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray; and the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Director Sheilah A. Coley and Chief Ivonne Roman, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Aquila Govan of the Organized Crimes/Gangs Unit in Newark.