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Ex-Con Charged In Gunpoint Essex Drugstore Robbery Spree

Malik Conley
Malik Conley Photo Credit: MUGSHOT

Key pieces of evidence led to federal charges against an ex-con for robbing pharmacies in Belleville, East Orange and West Orange at gunpoint, authorities said Wednesday.

Police recovered a gun in his girlfriend’s car that Malik Conley, 27, of Newark, used in the second holdup last December in Belleville, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

Conley and an accomplice struck again a month later, this time in East Orange, Carpenito said, adding that keys to the vehicle used in that robbery were found in his pocket.

Conley apparently acted alone in the Dec. 3 robbery in Belleville, an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Newark says.

As in the other holdups, Conley was wearing a face mask when he pointed a silver gun at employees, demanded cash and prescription medications and fled with the goods, it says.

Two months earlier, Conley and a conspirator who also wore a mask robbed a West Orange pharmacy of prescription meds and cash, Carpenito said.

Conley also had an accomplice during a similar holdup in East Orange, the U.S. attorney said.

Police caught him later that night with the car keys to the vehicle used in the robbery in his pocket, Carpenito said.

Medication stolen from the pharmacy were found in the car, he said.

Conley remained held on three counts of Hobbs Act robbery, three counts of “brandishing firearms in furtherance of the robberies” and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and police from West Orange, East Orange and with the investigation leading to the indictment, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Emma Spiro.

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