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Christmas Carjacker: Getaway Driver Gets Sentencing In Hawthorne Heist

Oscar Avalos-Cortez
Oscar Avalos-Cortez Photo Credit: MUGSHOT

HAWTHORNE, N.J. — A Rockland County, N.Y. man was sentenced Wednesday to 24 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to rob a bar in Hawthorne two Christmases ago, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Oscar Avalos-Cortez, 23, of New City, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery.

Judge Linares imposed the sentence Wednesday in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

  • On Dec. 25, 2015, Avalos-Cortez drove at least six conspirators to a bar in Hawthorne, where they forcibly robbed the bar and subsequently fled with approximately $200 in cash in Avalos-Cortez’s car.
  • In addition to the prison term, Judge Linares sentenced Avalos-Cortez to three years of supervised release.
  • Avalos-Cortez was originally charged with Wilbur Jonathan Barahona, 21, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, 20, of Suffern, New York, Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, 20, of Suffern, Juan Chiliseo-Vega, 20, of Suffern, and Jostin Reyes, 21, of Waldwick, New Jersey, in November 2016.
  • Chiliseo-Vega, Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta and Reyes previously pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to three-count informations in connection with their involvement in the conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Robbery, as well as a carjacking and kidnapping in which Avalos-Cortez was not involved. On July 7, 2017, Chiliseo-Vega was sentenced to 168 months in prison and Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta was sentenced to 150 months in prison. Reyes is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18, 2017.
  • Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 18, 2017, for his role in the conspiracy to rob the bar. The charges against Barahona for his role in the robbery, carjacking, and kidnapping are still pending. Both men are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne Police Departments, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine K. Lou and Karen D. Stringer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.

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