U.S. Attorney's Office
District of New Jersey
(973) 645-2888
June 24, 2015

Three Somerset County, New Jersey Men Charged with Armed Bank Robbery

NEWARK, NJ—Three Somerset County, New Jersey, men were charged today with the armed bank robbery of the Somerset Savings Bank in Somerville, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Luis Castaneda, 38, of Bound Brook, New Jersey; Carmelo Soto Jr., 24, of Manville, New Jersey; and Jamie Lee Ayuso Jr., 38, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, were each charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery. Castaneda and Soto were also charged with one count each of using a firearm during the commission of crime of violence. All three men are scheduled to make their initial appearances this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements court:

On June 12, 2015, Castaneda and Soto entered the Somerset Savings Bank while Ayuso stayed behind in the getaway vehicle. Castaneda drew a handgun while Soto jumped over the teller counter and demanded money from the bank tellers. After leaving the bank with the stolen money, Castaneda and Soto got in the getaway vehicle. Law enforcement officers immediately pulled over the getaway vehicle and arrested all three men.

The bank robbery count carries a maximum potential penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The brandishing a firearm during the bank robbery count carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison, which must be served consecutive to the other count.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark; the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Geoffrey D. Soriano; the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey; and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Anthony P. Kearns III, with the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Somerville, Manville, Middlesex Boro, Piscataway, Readington, Bridgewater, Clinton Township and Bound Brook police departments for their work on the case.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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