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Gang Member Gets 39 Months In Fed Pen For Hawthorne Bar Robbery

Carrillo-Iraheta's co-defendants (clockwise from top left): Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, Oscar Avalos-Cortez, Wilbur Barahona, Jostin Reyes
Carrillo-Iraheta's co-defendants (clockwise from top left): Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta, Oscar Avalos-Cortez, Wilbur Barahona, Jostin Reyes Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Various jurisdictions

HAWTHORNE, N.J. – A purported gang member from Rockland County got a 39-month federal prison sentence Wednesday for his role in the robbery of a Passaic County bar two Christmases ago.

Balmore Carrillo-Iraheta, 19, previously admitted holding up the Hawthorne bar of $200 with a group of accomplices in 2016 in exchange for leniency.

There is no parole in the federal prison system -- meaning Carrillo-Iraheta must serve just about all of his sentence.

His five co-defendants took pleas, as well. Several of them admitted also carjacking, kidnapping and leaving a local cab driver for dead after the bar robbery.

Oscar Avalos-Cortez of New City told a U.S. District Court judge in April that he drove members of Paterson's 18th Street Gang to the bar in his car.

Other gang members admitted they later got into a cab in Paterson -- without Avalos-Cortez or Carrillo-Iraheta -- and took control of the vehicle in Ridgewood, then hit the driver in the head with a beer bottle, and sliced his throat with a knife before leaving him for dead on the side of the New York State Thruway near Woodbury, N.Y.

The taxicab driver survived, authorities said.

A multi-agency task force that cracked the cases was made up of agents from the FBI and ICE, investigators from the New Jersey State Police, New York State Police and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, and members of the Ridgewood, Mahwah, Hawthorne and Waldwick.

Besides Avalos-Cortez and Balmore Carillo-Iraheta, authorities busted Jostin Reyes of Waldwick, Wilbur J. Barhona of Ridgewood and Guillermo Carrillo-Iraheta and Juan Chiliseo-Vega, both of Suffern.

Reyes admitted his role in the crimes in April, a month after Guillermo Carillo-Iraheta took a plea deal from prosecutors . Chiliseo-Vega also pleaded guilty in March. Barahona took his plea in May.

Getting more than 10 years in prison each were Carrillo-Iraheta (150 months) and Chiliseo-Vega (168 months).

Still awaiting sentencing are Barahona, Reyes and Avalos-Cortez.

Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne police departments, with the investigation leading to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine K. Lou and and Karen D. Stringer of his General Crimes Unit in Newark.

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