Essex County man indicted for armed robbery of three pharmacies

NEWARK, NJ — On Oct. 14, a federal grand jury indicted an Essex County man for his role in three armed robberies of pharmacies in West Orange, Belleville and East Orange, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Malik Conley, 27, of Newark, is charged with three counts of Hobbs Act robbery, three counts of brandishing firearms in furtherance of the robberies and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Under the Hobbs Act, it is illegal to in any way obstruct, delay or affect commerce through robbery, extortion or threats of physical violence.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, on Oct. 21, 2019, Conley and a conspirator entered a pharmacy in West Orange while wearing face masks. One of the men entered the pharmacy holding a silver handgun pointed at employees. The men demanded cash from the register, as well as prescription medication. Conley and his conspirator fled the pharmacy with stolen medication and cash.

On Dec. 3, 2019, Conley allegedly entered a pharmacy in Belleville while wearing a face covering and pointing a silver gun at employees. He demanded cash from the register as well as prescription medication, and ultimately fled the pharmacy with stolen medication and cash. Law enforcement recovered the firearm believed to be used in this robbery later that day in Conley’s girlfriend’s car.

On Jan. 13, 2020, Conley and a conspirator allegedly entered a pharmacy in East Orange while both wore face masks. One of the men entered the pharmacy holding a gun pointed at employees. Both men demanded cash and prescription medication, and ultimately fled the pharmacy with stolen medication and cash. Conley was arrested later that evening with the car keys to the vehicle believed to be used in the East Orange robbery in his pocket. Law enforcement searched the vehicle and recovered prescription medication traceable to the East Orange pharmacy.

Each count of Hobbs Act robbery carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Each count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a bank robbery carries a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty.

COMMENTS