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Serial robber pleads guilty

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A Newark man pleaded guilty last week to his role in 14 armed robberies — including one in Kearny, one in Belleville and two in Bloomfield — U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The accused, 27-year-old Jamar Darby, a/k/a “Rhino,” entered the plea March 12 before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, Darby conspired with others to rob various commercial establishments from Dec. 29, 2012, through May 10, 2013.

The targets included Shoppers Express in Belleville, which was hit Feb. 2, 2013; Krauszer’s Delicatessen in Kearny, on Feb. 10, 2013; and Krauszer’s in Bloomfield, robbed twice, on Feb. 13 and March 29, 2013.

The other robberies occurred at convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies and other businesses in Newark, Linden, Paramus and Verona.

Darby and his co-conspirators robbed the establishments at gunpoint, taking cash, cigarettes and other items, Fishman’s office said. In 13 of the 14 incidents, the robbers used zip ties or duct tape to restrain their victims. In his plea, the defendant admitted to brandishing a firearm during one of the heists.

Darby faces 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robberies and seven years-to-life for brandishing a firearm during a violent crime. Each count also carries a maximum $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss arising out of the offense.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 17.

Fishman thanked the Kearny, Belleville and Bloomfield police for their work on the case.

– Karen Zautyk

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