hobbs act robbery

NYC Men Steal $578,000, Bind Women With Zip Ties in Armed Check Cashing Spree: Feds

The men, 40-year-old Ramel Harris and 38-year-old Neville Brown, are also accused of canvassing check cashing locations in other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, over the course of an alleged two-year scheme, the U.S. Attorney for the District of NJ said

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Two Brooklyn men are charged with stealing more than a half-million dollars in three armed robberies of New Jersey check cashing locations that saw female employees bound with zip ties, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

The men, 40-year-old Ramel Harris and 38-year-old Neville Brown, are also accused of canvassing check cashing locations in other states, including New York and Pennsylvania, over the course of an alleged two-year scheme, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey said.

The three robberies linked to the duo through video surveillance happened on different dates between January 2021 and January 2022. Harris and Brown first allegedly tried to hit a check cashing location in Nanuet, New York, and when that turned up empty, prosecutors say they set their sights on New Jersey and targeted three locations in different areas.

Each time, prosecutors allege the two showed guns and tied up women working in the locations. They allegedly stole more than $578,000 in the three robberies -- and law enforcement officials say they also canvassed check cashing locations in Mount Kisco, Allentown, Pennsylvania and West Chester, Pennsylvania, to potentially extend the scheme.

Both Harris and Brown are charged by complaint with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, Hobbs Act Robbery and brandishing a gun during a violent crime. They were each detained after an initial court appearance earlier this month.

The Hobbs Act Robbery and Conspiracy to Commit Hobbs Act Robbery counts alone each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence could land them in prison for life. Heavy fines also accompany the charges. Attorney information for the men wasn't immediately clear.

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