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Ex-Con Gets 11+ Years For $2,000 Passaic Nightclub Robbery

Keontrae “Taz” Lawrence
Keontrae “Taz” Lawrence Photo Credit: COURTESY: Milford (CT) police

PASSAIC, N.J. -- An ex-con who admitted robbing a Passaic nightclub of $26,084 at gunpoint with two accomplices was sentenced Friday in federal court in Newark to more than 11 years in prison.

Because there's no parole in the federal prison system, 29-year-old Keontrae “Taz” Lawrence of South Orange must serve just about all of the sentence.

Both Lawrence and another confessed accomplice -- Shaheed "Abbo" Blamahsah, also of South Orange – made the employee dump the contents of two safes into two purses at gunpoint and then count to 100 as the trio left the club on Sept. 6, 2015.

Police chased the getaway car through Passaic, Newark and East Orange before the occupants bailed out.

Lawrence and Jimmy “Flip Cooper, 32, of Irvington were arrested two months later.

Blamahsah, who was later arrested for a Jan. 30, 2016 killing, received 12½ years in federal prison for the robbery.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, the Passaic Police Department, and the Newark Division of Public Safety for their assistance.

Handling the case for the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou of Fitzpatrick’s Criminal Division in Newark. 

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