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Essex County Suspect Charged with Armed Robbery


Charles Johnson of Essex County, New Jersey, has been charged with three counts of Hobbs Act Robbery and three counts of using, carrying, and displaying a firearm during the commission of a crime. For each count of the Hobbs Act, he faces up to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine determined by the court. Using and brandishing a firearm carries a penalty of a minimum of seven years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gain/loss from the offense for each count.

According to court documents, Johnson robbed three New Jersey pharmacies. During each robbery, Johnson supposedly forced employees to give him oxycodone, promethazine, and other prescription medications using a gun to threaten the pharmacists and others in the store. The prosecution claims that surveillance footage linked Johnson to the armed robberies; however, it is important to note that claims have been made the assailant wore a mask.

What Is the Hobbs Act?

The Hobbs Act, which is codified as 18 U.S.C. § 1951, is a federal statute enacted in 1946 that illegalizes actual or attempted robbery as well as conspiracy to commit robbery or extortion. Under this statute, robbery is considered taking another person’s goods or property using threatened or real force.

What Are the Penalties for Armed Robbery in NJ?

Under New Jersey law, armed robbery can be charged as a first- or second-degree offense, and those convicted of the offenses are ineligible for early release (in most cases). Bail in armed robbery cases is often set at or exceeds $150,000.

In New Jersey, second-degree armed robbery is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and first-degree armed robbery is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Both first- and second-degree armed robbery convictions also carry hefty fines.

If you or a loved one have been charged with armed robbery, the Law Offices of Joseph R. Donahue, LLC is here and equipped to help you build a solid defense. Call (201) 574-7919 or reach out online today to schedule an initial consultation.
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