TRENTON – A Long Island, N.Y., man admitted today to participating in seven armed robberies of electronics stores in New Jersey and New York, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Leonard Arrington, 27, of Roslyn Heights, N.Y., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
The Hobbs Act is a 1946 federal law that prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce “in any way or degree.”
Arrington was arrested on May 22, originally charged in an indictment in connection with the Oct. 2, 2012, robbery of a Woodbridge T-Mobile store. He has been in custody since his arrest.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between May 30, 2012, and Oct. 2, 2012, Arrington conspired with others to commit a series of gunpoint electronics store robberies during which he and accomplices stole merchandise for illegal resale. Typically, store employees were threatened at gunpoint and restrained during the robberies.
In pleading guilty to the gun charge, Arrington admitted that on Oct. 2, 2012, he entered a T-Mobile store in Woodbridge, brandishing a firearm, along with another man. After locking the front door, the men took the employees to the back of the store and tied them up, then stole approximately 40 cell phones. One of the robbers then called the getaway driver, who drove them away in a Land Rover. Accomplices delivered the stolen phones to a cell phone store in Brooklyn.
Arrington also admitted participating in the Sept. 20, 2012 robbery of a T-Mobile store in Linden and five other electronics store robberies in New York between May 30 and June 21, 2012.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. The firearm charge carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must run consecutively to one another and to any other prison term. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2014.
Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation. 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.
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