Ex-Con Charged By FBI With Igniting Explosive Outside Passaic County ATM

A career criminal from Passaic County who's been busted dozens of times in North Jersey in just the past few years used an explosive device to damage an ATM, federal authorities charged.



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Nicolas Torres, 41, of Passaic, has amassed a lengthy rap sheet over much of his adult life, mostly involving business break-ins that local police and county prosecutors have dealt with.

This time, though, the FBI's got him.

Torres was captured on surveillance video igniting the device in front of the Chase Bank ATM on North 6th Street in Prospect Park in the early morning hours of July 5, 2022, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

He's then seen fleeing with two other people in a Dodge Durango, the U.S. attorney said.

In addition to the video, agents collected cell phone data that put him in the area at the time, Sellinger said.

Torres had also traveled to Pennsylvania in the same Durango the day before and bought $1,000 or so worth of fireworks in East Stroudsburg, the U.S. attorney noted.

Evidence collected from the debris revealed cardboard with “MgAl” stamped on it, Sellinger said.

MgAl refers to magnalium, an alloy of magnesium and aluminum, that can be used as fuel for an explosion -- in essence, created an an improvised explosive device (IED).

The FBI charged Torres with "using an explosive to damage real property used in interstate commerce and possession of an unregistered firearm -- namely, the destructive device," Sellinger said.

He was brought before a federal magistrate judge in Newark who ordered him held pending trial.

Torres became a poster boy of sorts for bail reform -- getting arrested, for instance, in no fewer than a dozen towns in four New Jersey counties in 2022 alone -- racking up warrants for not showing up for court and then getting released by judges only to re-offend, records show.

Among the various jurisdictions going back nearly 18 years: Bergenfield, Bloomfield, Boonton, Clifton, Denville, East Rutherford, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Garfield, Glen Rock, Leonia, Little Falls, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Maywood, Montclair, Montville, North Haledon, Nutley, Oradell, Ridgewood, Rutherford, Westwood and Wyckoff.


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