06/18/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2019 13:48
TRENTON, N.J. - Two men have been charged in connection with the armed robbery of a convenience store in Mercer County, New Jersey, on June 16, 2019, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Omar Feliciano-Estremera, 42, and Gabriel Lopez, 31, both of Trenton, are each charged by complaint with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and will make their initial court appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert in Trenton federal court on a date to be determined.
According to the complaint:
Lopez entered a convenience store in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, displayed a black handgun to the clerk and demanded the money in the store's register. Law enforcement officers conducting surveillance observed Lopez exiting the convenience store immediately after the robbery and heading toward a minivan belonging to Feliciano-Estremera, who was a suspect in an earlier robbery in which his minivan was captured on camera while acting as the getaway car.
In addition to the surveillance, law enforcement officers were tracking Feliciano-Estremera's cellular phone. As Lopez exited the convenience store, he observed law enforcement vehicles with their lights activated and he ran to a nearby wooded area. Law enforcement officers pursued and apprehended Lopez, who resisted arrest and threatened to shoot an officer. Officers then placed Feliciano-Estremera, who was seated in the driver's seat of the minivan, under arrest as the suspected getaway driver. Law enforcement officers searched the wooded area through which Lopez had fled and recovered a black handgun matching the description of gun Lopez allegedly carried during the robbery. The convenience store's video camera also captured Lopez conducting the robbery.
The count of Hobbs Act robbery carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark; the Hamilton Police Department, under the direction of Chief James M. Stevens; and the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri, with the investigation leading to today's charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Ramey of the Criminal Division in Trenton.
The charge and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.