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NYC pair arrested for armed check cashing spree including Hackettstown, Parsippany, Old Bridge

NEW JERSEY – Two New York men are charged with three gunpoint robberies of check cashing locations in different parts of New Jersey in 2021 and 2022 and with conspiracy to commit robberies in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Ramel Harris, 40, of Brooklyn, and Neville Brown, 38, of Brooklyn, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, three counts of Hobbs Act Robbery, and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, Sellinger said.

Harris and Brown each made their initial appearance on September 6 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark, III in Newark federal court and were detained, Sellinger said.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on several dates between January 2021 and January 2022, two individuals, later identified as Harris and Brown, attempted to rob a check cashing location in Nanuet, New York, and thereafter successfully robbed check cashing locations in Hackettstown, Parsippany-Troy Hills, and Old Bridge while brandishing a firearm and using zip ties to restrain female employees at each location.

During those robberies, Harris and Brown stole more than $317,159 from the Parsippany establishment, approximately $109,733 from the Old Bridge establishment and at least $151,167 from the Hackettstown establishment.

During the subsequent investigation, law enforcement learned that the conspirators surveilled check cashing locations in the following locations: Mount Kisco, New York, Allentown, Pennsylvania and West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Law enforcement collected an extensive amount of video surveillance footage that ultimately linked Harris and Brown to the robberies.

The Hobbs Act Robbery and conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery counts each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison.  The brandishing of a firearm during a crime of violence count carries a maximum potential penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other term of imprisonment imposed.

Each count also carries a fine of up to $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offenses, whichever is greatest.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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