Alleged Conspirator Arrested, Four Indicted in Armed Robberies of New Jersey T-Mobile Stores
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 22, 2013|
NEWARK, NJ—FBI special agents arrested a Roslyn Heights, New York man near his home this morning to face an indictment charging him and three other men with various offenses in connection with two armed robberies of T-Mobile stores in Linden and Woodbridge, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Leonard Arrington, 27, is charged in the indictment—along with Carl Williams, 29, and Eric Williams, 32, of Brooklyn, New York—with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies, one count of committing a Hobbs Act robbery, and one count of using a firearm during a crime of violence. Terrell McQueen, 29, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, is charged in the indictment with the same offenses, as well as an additional count each of Hobbs Act robbery and using a firearm during a crime of violence.
McQueen, Carl Williams, and Eric Williams (no relation) were initially arrested and charged by criminal complaint with the conspiracy and firearms counts on February 14, 2013. They appeared that day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Falk, who remanded them to federal custody pending trial.
Arrington is expected to appear today before Judge Falk in Newark federal court.
According to the indictment unsealed today and other documents filed in this case:
On September 20, 2012, Carl Williams and another man, brandishing a firearm, walked into a T-Mobile store in Linden. They then tied up the employees in the back of the store, stole approximately 50 to 60 cell phones, and fled in a Land Rover.
McQueen, Eric Williams, and other conspirators then delivered the stolen phones to a cell phone store in Brooklyn.
On October 2, 2012, Arrington entered a T-Mobile store in Woodbridge, carrying a gun, along with another man. After locking the front door, the men took the employees to the back of the store and tied them up and then stole approximately 40 cell phones. One of the robbers then called the getaway driver, who drove them away in a Land Rover. McQueen, Eric Williams, and others delivered the stolen phones to the same Brooklyn store.
The charges of Hobbs Act conspiracy and robbery (counts one, two, and four) carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The charge of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence (counts three and five) carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years for the first count of conviction and 25 years for the second count of conviction, each of which must run consecutively to one another and to any other prison term. Each of the five counts also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.
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 the arrest and charges. He also thanked the Linden and Woodbridge Police Departments in New Jersey, 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 excellent work in this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Osmar J. Benvenuto and Nicholas P. Grippo of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.