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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Career Bank Robber Gets 12½ Years For Paterson, Clifton Holdups

He wore a Los Angeles Rams football camp and a polo shirt in the attempted Saddle Brook holdup, police said. Photo Credit: SURVEILLANCE PHOTO: Courtesy SADDLE BROOK PD
James Maurice Chestnut Photo Credit: COURTESY: Saddle Brook PD

An ex-con who served separate prison sentences for robbing banks eight years apart is headed back after being sentenced Wednesday to 12½ years for holding up banks in Paterson and Clifton last summer.

There's no parole in the federal prison system, meaning that 63-year-old James Maurice Chestnut will have to serve just about all of the sentence before he can be released.

Chestnut, of Paterson, admitted in federal court last December that he robbed a TD Bank branch in Paterson on June 30, 2017 and then an Investors Bank in Clifton less than a week later.

FBI agents trailing Chestnut took him into custody in Passaic on July 6.

They said he'd handed the Paterson teller a note that said: “Put 100s and 50s in the envelope. No dye pack.”

Chestnut also admitted pointing a gun at an Investors Bank teller on July 5 and saying: “Open your drawer. Give me your money. All the 100s. Don’t call the cops or I’ll shoot you.”

Chestnut -- who previously went to prison for robbing banks n 1996 and 2004 -- also entered the Chase Bank on Market Street in Saddle Brook in between the Clifton and Paterson holdups and made what authorities said was an "incoherent" demand for money.

A teller chased him off and called police.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI with making case that led to Chestnut's plea and Wednesday's sentence, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine K. Lou and Heather Suchorsky of his Criminal Division in Newark.

Carpenito also thanked police in Paterson, Saddle Brook, Clifton and Passaic and credited the FBI Violent Crime Task Force, comprised of law enforcement officers from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the Roxbury Police Department, the Paterson Police Department and State Police.

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