Criminal Justice News

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two Members of Armed Robbery Crew Sentenced in Connection with Middlesex County Thefts

NEWARK, NJ—Jonah Paul and Rashawn Landin, members of an armed robbery crew that primarily targeted businesses and homes in Middlesex County, were sentenced today to 219 months and 108 months in prison, respectively, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Paul, 23, of Sayreville, N.J., had pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz on April 18, 2011, to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiring to obstruct commerce in connection with his role in robbing four premises from between March 2009 and June 2009, and one count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of the robbery. Landin, 24, of Parlin, also pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Shwartz on April 18, 2011. Landin pleaded guilty to one count of an indictment charging him with conspiring to obstruct commerce in connection with his role in robbing a home in May 2009. U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Paul admitted he conspired with Landin and others, including Raffaele Danise, 25, of East Brunswick; Joseph Smith, 39, of South Amboy; Joseph Passalaqua, 56, of East Brunswick; Dustin Groemm, 24, of Perth Amboy; Brian Parolin, 30, of Freehold; Erik Prascak, 22, of Milltown, and Joshua Lally, 24, of Middlesex Township, to rob a number of premises located in New Jersey and New York from March 2009 through June 2009. Specifically, Paul admitted he and certain of his co-conspirators robbed: the Chris Michael’s Steakhouse in Woodbridge, on March 17, 2009; the Ristorante Barolo in New York, N.Y., on May 11, 2009; the home of victims “M.M.” and “P.M.” in Milltown, on May 21, 2009, and the Ritz Diner in Livingston, on June 5, 2009. Landin also admitted he robbed the home of victims “M.M.” and “P.M.” with Paul and other co-conspirators. Each of the robberies was at gunpoint, and in each case, the victims were bound in plastic zip ties while the robberies took place.

In addition to the prison terms, Judge Hochberg sentenced Paul to five years and Landin to three years of supervised release. Landin was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $46,578 in restitution. Restitution in Paul’s case will be determined at a later date.

All of the defendants have previously pleaded guilty. Groemm and Parolin were sentenced by Judge Hochberg on June 22, 2011. Groemm was sentenced to 75 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to make restitution of $20,894. Parolin was sentenced to 79 months in prison, three years’ supervised release and fined $3,000. The remaining defendants await sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark, for conducting the investigation. He also thanked the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Bruce J. Kaplan, the Woodbridge Police Department, under the direction of Director Robert Hubner, the Sayreville Police Department, under the direction of Chief John Zebrowski, and the Milltown Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ray Geipel, for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa M. Colone and Robert Frazer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel:
Jonah Paul: Timothy R. Anderson Esq., Red Bank, N.J.
Rashawn Landin: John P. McGovern Esq., Newark, N.J.

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