Ridgewood Gang Member Admits Role In Cab Carjacking, Bar Robberies

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. – A gang member from Ridgewood admitted Tuesday that he participated in carjacking, kidnapping and leaving a local cab driver for dead after he and four fellow crew members robbed a Hawthorne bar.

Wilbur J. Barahona
Wilbur J. Barahona Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

Wilbur J. Barahona became the last of six defendants to accept a plea deal from federal prosecutors in Newark.

He told a U.S. District Court judge there on Tuesday that he and other members of the 18th Street Gang got into a cab in Paterson around 3 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2015 for a ride to Waldwick.

The crew members took control of the cab in Ridgewood, hit the driver in the head with a beer bottle, then sliced his throat with a knife before leaving him on the side of the New York State Thruway near Woodbury, N.Y., federal authorities said

The taxicab driver survived, they said.

Hours earlier – on Christmas – the gang members members robbed a Hawthorne bar at gunpoint.

The total take from the holdup: $200.

A multi-agency task force that cracked the cases was made up of agents from the FBI and ICE, investigators from the New Jersey State Police, New York State Police and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, and members of the Ridgewood, Mahwah, Hawthorne and Waldwick.

Also arrested were Jostin Vidal Reyes of Suffern, Guillermo and Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, both of Suffern and Juan Chiliseo-Vega, also of Suffern. Another defendant, Oscar Avalos-Cortez of New City, drove the getaway car in the Hawthorne holdup, authorities said.

Guillermo Carillo-Iraheta admitted his role in the crimes last month. Chiliseo-Vega pleaded guilty a week earlier.

Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta pleaded guilty on May 15.

Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne police departments, with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou and and Karen D. Stringer of his General Crimes Unit in Newark. 

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