What to Know
- A man was unloading his car from an IKEA trip in June when four intruders broke into his family's home and terrorized him, his wife and baby
- The wife managed to alert cops and family via text, using a hidden phone, to the home invasion; the burglars also triggered an alarm and ran
- Cops caught up with them on Route 280; three of the four aren't U.S. citizens and will be deported; all face sentencing in April
Four men have pleaded guilty in connection with a violent home invasion in an upscale New Jersey neighborhood last year -- a gunpoint attack that propelled a husband, wife and infant into a state of abject terror, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The defendants, 33-year-old Edward Bentura, 30-year-old Lidio Martinez Miese, 38-year-old Jesus Quinones and 25-year-old Yodelin Diaz, all of Jersey City, are expected to be sentenced to 15 years in state prison this spring under the terms of their plea agreement to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and other crimes.
Prosecutors say the four men broke into a family's West Orange home on June 8 as the husband was returning from IKEA and unloading the car. They tied the husband up with zip-ties and attacked him, demanding cash, officials say. The wife, who was holding an infant, was threatened at gunpoint. Prosecutors say the robbers began heating a knife on a stove and told the husband they would kill his wife and child if he didn't open a safe, where they believed there was cash.
The wife somehow had a hidden cellphone and managed to text family and police as the attack unfolded. The intruders also inadvertently tripped an alarm when they tried to remove surveillance equipment they hadn't realized was there.
The four defendants were captured on Route 280 by West Orange police with the surveillance equipment, cash, guns, zip ties and masks. Prosecutors say the entire home invasion was captured on cameras that were still intact even though the robbers had taken some of the equipment with them.
The victims were not badly physically harmed in the attack. All four defendants are set to be sentenced in April. Three of the four aren't U.S. citizens and will be deported back to their native Dominican Republic after they serve their prison terms. One defendant, Quinones, is an American citizen. Bentura was the only one with a prior conviction -- for burglary -- prosecutors said. The others had no prior criminal records.
“This just result would not be possible if not for the bravery and vigilance of the victims in the face of danger, as well as the prompt and thorough efforts of the West Orange Police Department,” Assistant Prosecutor Jason Goldberg, who handled the case, said in a statement.