A federal jury convicted an Essex County, New Jersey, man for his role in the knifepoint robbery of a Harrison, New Jersey, taxi company.
Alfuquan Turner, 46, of Newark was convicted on June 7, 2022, of Hobbs Act robbery following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court.
The first is the Hobbs Act, a 1946 law that makes it a federal crime to commit robbery (or attempt to do so) in a way that affects interstate commerce.
The Hobbs Act defines robbery as unlawfully taking another person’s property “by means of actual or threatened force.”
According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger and the evidence at trial, Turner walked into the Harrison Cab Company armed with a knife and his face covered with a plastic bag on Sept. 23, 2019.
He demanded money from the cab company’s dispatcher, who informed Turner that there was no money in her office, but he continued his threats and demands.
Ultimately, after Turner attempted to stab the dispatcher and the victim fought back, Turner took her cell phone and attempted to leave.
When the victim tried to get her phone back, Turner hit her in the face, pushed her to the ground, and asked her if she wanted to die.
Turner then choked the victim until she lost consciousness, after which he stole her jewelry, cell phone, and other items.
The count of Hobbs Act robbery is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 25, 2022.