Published On: Thu, Feb 21st, 2019

Newark Man, William Valentin Convicted of Armed Jewelry Heist in New Jersey

A Newark man was convicted in federal court today for his role in the September 2017 armed robbery of a jewelry exchange located in Elizabeth, New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

William Valentin, 43, was found guilty of one count of conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robbery, one count of Hobbs Act robbery, one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, and one count of conspiring to use a firearm during a crime of violence. Valentin was convicted following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.

Photo/Stefan Schweihofer

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

On the morning of Sept. 5, 2017, four masked individuals, including Valentin, entered a jewelry exchange located in Elizabeth. Valentin then brandished a firearm at an employee while the other conspirators unloaded the contents of the store’s safes into large bags. Video surveillance showed Valentin and other conspirators entering the mall, approaching the jewelry exchange, and running out with the bags of jewelry. Afterwards, Valentin and his conspirators jumped into a black Audi and drove away.

In January 2018, Valentin was arrested in Holyoke, Massachusetts, with a backpack containing jewelry stolen from the Elizabeth exchange in his possession.

The count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must be imposed consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The Hobbs Act, Hobbs Act conspiracy, and conspiracy to use a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence charges each carry a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, the Elizabeth Police Department, under the direction of Chief Ronald Simon, and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdicts. He also thanked the Holyoke Police Department, under the direction of Chief James Neiswanger, for its assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lauren E. Repole and Cari Fais of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

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