Feds: North Bergen man gets 30 years in prison for multiple armed robberies

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A North Bergen man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for leading an armed robbery spree of banks and commercial establishments in Bergen and Hudson Counties in July 2013, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.

Federal Court

Gary Bohanan, 47, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi in July 2014 to a superseding indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robberies and Hobbs Act robberies, two counts of armed bank robbery, and two counts of armed Hobbs Act robbery.

Judge Cecchi imposed the sentence on Friday in Newark federal court.

On July 10, 2013, Bohanan and Ramon Lopez, 25, of Union City, donned masks and entered a McDonald’s restaurant in North Bergen. Bohanan brandished a handgun and demanded money from the employees, authorities said.

Bohanan and Lopez then allegedly took $1,600 from the cash registers and fled in a car driven by Josephine Chenet, formerly of North Bergen.

Then on July 18, 2013, Bohanan, Angel Feliu, 22, of North Bergen, Lopez, and Chenet cased Le Chateau restaurant in West New York, in order to rob it, officials said.

After waiting for an employee to close the restaurant, Bohanan and the other individuals allegedly followed the employee home and robbed her at gunpoint of $6,000 in proceeds from the restaurant.

Next on July 22, 2013, Bohanan, Feliu and Chenet robbed the Sovereign Bank (now Santander Bank) in Secaucus. Both men wore latex gloves and masks, authorities said.

Once inside the Sovereign Bank, Bohanan brandished a black handgun, jumped over the counter and proceeded to empty two drawers of money into a black bag, while pointing the handgun at bank tellers, officials said.

Allegedly, as Bohanan emptied the drawers, Feliu stood guard. Bohanan and Feliu then fled the bank and shared the proceeds of the robbery with Lopez and Chenet.

Subsequently on July 26, 2013, Bohanan, Feliu and Chenet robbed a TD Bank located in Fairview. Bohanan and Feliu entered the bank at 9:48 a.m. once again wearing latex gloves and masks, authorities said.

Feliu, however, was captured by the bank’s video surveillance system before he put the mask on his face. During the robbery, Feliu brandished a knife at employees and customers, and Bohanan brandished what appeared to be a black handgun, but what was later identified as an air pistol, officials said.

Bohanan then jumped over the counter and emptied two drawers of money into a black bag, while pointing the air pistol at bank tellers. As Bohanan emptied the drawers, Feliu stood guard and held bystanders back by brandishing the knife, court documents say.

After the robbery, Bohanan and Feliu allegedly fled on foot, however, they were followed by concerned citizens and victims of the bank robbery.

Bohanan then came upon a van, pointed the air pistol at the driver, and ordered the driver out of the van. Bohanan then attempted to flee the area by driving away in the van, but he crashed it into a nearby structure, officials said.

He was then allegedly found hiding under a truck and arrested in possession of a black bag containing an air pistol and money covered with red dye.

The two counts of armed bank robbery to which Bohanan pleaded guilty each carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

The two counts of Hobbs Act robbery each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, while the count of conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24, 2016.

Feliu previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robberies and Hobbs Act robberies and two counts of armed bank robbery.

Lopez previously pleaded guilty in a separate proceeding to one count of conspiracy to commit armed bank robberies and Hobbs Act robberies and two counts of Hobbs Act robberies.

Bohanan, Feliu, and Lopez are detained pending sentencing. Charges that had been pending against Chenet for her role in the robberies were dismissed following her death on June 22, 2014.