Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mercer County Man Pleads Guilty to Robbing the Same Bank Twice, Carjacking, and Shooting Two People

TRENTON, NJ—A Mercer County, New Jersey man today admitted to robbing a bank and then carjacking a vehicle nine months later, robbing that same bank later that day, and shooting two people in the course of that conduct, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jeffrey Garrett, 34, of Trenton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to counts one, three, five and six of an indictment charging him with two armed bank robberies, carjacking, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

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

Garrett robbed the Chase Bank, in Hamilton, New Jersey, on November 10, 2010. He handed the teller a note that stated, “I have a gun, give me all the 50 and 100 dollar bills.” He displayed a black handgun before fleeing with the cash. Surveillance cameras revealed clear images of Garrett, and FBI agents determined that Garrett used his own Visa card at the Chase Bank’s ATM just moments before the robbery. Federal authorities charged Garrett by complaint two days later and obtained an arrest warrant, but Garrett remained at large.

Nine months later, on August 23, 2011, Garrett robbed the same bank. To get to the bank, he carjacked a car at 5:30 a.m. in Trenton, New Jersey. He pistol-whipped the victim, and the gun discharged, causing the victim a serious head wound. Garrett locked the bleeding victim in the trunk of the car and shortly thereafter bound his hands with cable and threatened his life.

Garrett arrived at the same Chase Bank in Hamilton in the stolen vehicle around 10 a.m., after driving around for hours. He wore a dark baseball cap and sunglasses when he entered the bank. Showing a chrome revolver, he demanded that the teller give him all the money. When she complied, he asked for more money and threatened to shoot her if she turned any keys at her station. The handgun discharged and the teller was shot in the abdomen.

Garrett drove off in the stolen car and later abandoned it in a shopping mall parking lot in Moorestown, New Jersey, with the bound carjacking victim still locked in the trunk. Both victims survived.

Garrett was arrested in Florida on October 17, 2011.

Under the plea agreement accepted today by the court, Jeffrey Garrett will receive 30 years’ imprisonment for his crimes and faces up to a $1,000,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for November 26, 2012. Garrett is in federal custody ,pending his sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; officers of the Hamilton Township Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief James W. Collins; officers of the Trenton Police Department, under the direction of Acting Police Director David Armitage; and the U.S. Marshals Service with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys R. Joseph Gribko and John E. Clabby of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Trenton.

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