Two Brooklyn, 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.
Ramel Harris, 40, of Brooklyn, and Neville Brown, 38, of Brooklyn, are charged by complaint 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.
Harris and Brown each made their initial appearance on September 6, 2022 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark, III in Newark federal court and were detained.
According to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, 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.
They also successfully robbed three check cashing locations in different parts of New Jersey while brandishing a firearm and using zip ties to restrain female employees at each location.
During those robberies, Harris and Brown stole over $578,00.
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.