Kareem Powell, 30, of Willingboro, was arrested by federal agents on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in connection with the August 2022 holdups, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on Wednesday.
He joins Carlos Diaz and Edward Porter, both 30 of Paterson, who’ve been in federal custody since last December.
A new indictment names Powell while boosting the charges against the other two.
The masked trio menaced customers with semiautomatic handguns -- ordering them to lie on the floor and threatening to kill one of them -- while robbing a Passaic bodega of about $2,000, a jug containing coins and several boxes of cigarettes on Aug. 22, 2022, federal authorities said.
The robbers hit a liquor store in Passaic the next night, pistol-whipping an employee before stealing $2,500 from the store’s register, another $1,500 from a lottery kiosk and several bottles of Hennessy cognac, a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark says.
Fifteen minutes later, they entered a Paterson bodega and ordered customers to the ground at gunpoint, the complaint says.
Several victims were robbed – one of whom Porter dragged to the floor while tugging at her bag -- and money taken from the register, it says.
Local authorities arrested Diaz and Porter two and a half weeks later after stopping an Acura that they said was identified as the getaway car. Both were sent to the Passaic County Jail.
Federal authorities took over the case, and custody of both men, in December.
No new developments were shared until Wednesday’s announcement of the superseding indictment returned by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in Newark that also names Powell.
It charges all three men with Hobbs Act robbery and with using a firearm during a violent crime, said Sellinger, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey.
Sellinger credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Newark Field Division, the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the Passaic and Paterson police departments with the investigation leading to the charges.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Garrett Schuman of his Criminal Division in Newark is handling the case for the government.
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