NEWARK, NJ – An Essex County, New Jersey man was indicted today by a federal grand jury for his role in a January 2021 robbery at gunpoint at a cell phone store in East Orange, New Jersey, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Kenneth Graham, 49, of Newark, is charged by indictment with one count of robbery under Hobbs Law and one count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in connection with a crime of violence. He will be convened on a date to be determined.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On January 18, 2021, Graham was in a cellphone store when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at a store employee. Graham ordered the employee to place several cell phones from the display case and cash from the till into his bag. CCTV footage near the store showed Graham getting into a black Nissan Altima after the theft and driving off. Witnesses confirmed that Graham was the person who entered the Nissan Altima after robbing the store.
The count of using, carrying and brandishing a firearm in a violent crime carries a potential maximum sentence of life imprisonment. He also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison in the case, as Graham was previously convicted of the same crime in 2007 in connection with three armed bank robberies in New Jersey. The sentence for this charge must be consecutive to any other sentence imposed. The Hobbs Law robbery charge carries a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, which is double the gain or loss resulting from the offense.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited FBI special agents, under Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., and members of the East Orange Police Department, under Chief Phylis Bindi, with of the investigation that led to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the Violent Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are only accusations and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.