South River Man Charged With Saddle Brook Bank Robbery

NEWARK — A South River man made his initial appearance in federal court Monday following his arrest in connection with a bank robbery, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jorge Rodriguez, 45, is charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark federal court on April 29.

According to the complaint, on April 19, Rodriguez allegedly approached the customer counter at a TD Bank in Saddle Brook, brandishing what appeared to be a handgun in the direction of the teller. He handed the teller a paper shopping bag, and allegedly instructed the teller to put money into the bag, threatening to shoot the teller if she did not comply with his demands. At the time of the robbery, Rodriguez was wearing a baseball cap and glasses and had what appeared to be long hair and facial hair. Rodriguez was apprehended later that same day in a nearby residential neighborhood. Police recovered, among other things, cash, a BB pistol, the baseball cap, wig and fake facial hair, all allegedly worn by Rodriguez during the robbery.

If convicted on the bank robbery charge, Rodriguez faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation leading to the charge. He also thanked the Saddle Brook Police Department for their contribution to the case.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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