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Last convict in botched Ridgefield Park heroin robbery of undercover Bergen detective headed to prison for 12 years

Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia
Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia

ONLY ON CVP: The last of four men involved in a botched attempt to rob an undercover Bergen County detective posing as a heroin dealer in the parking lot of a Ridgefield Park hotel must spend nearly 12 years in prison before he’ll be eligible for parole.

A judge in Hackensack yesterday sentenced Brandon Segar to 14 years followed by five years of supervised release.

Segar, 33, of New York City, was arrested with two others at the Ridgefield Park Hampton Inn in October 2011 after one of them put a gun to the officer’s head, only to be surrounded by backups.

Segar posted bail, then went on the lam for more than two years before being arrested this past August.

Another defendant, Yohan Balcacer of Queens, escaped in another car, menacing police and crashing into vehicles on Route 46 before being arrested the next day.

Both were part of a scheme hatched by Jose Rodriguez of Union City and Ronald Green, also of Queens. Green, a friend of Segar’s, invited him along the morning of the botched robbery. Both Green and Balcacer were convicted at trial.

Segar, like Rodriguez, took a plea.

He’d have faced as much as 20 years on an armed robbery charge alone if he’d been convicted at a trial, along with additional time for being an ex-con in possession of a handgun, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor James Santulli said.

Segar admitted engaging in the conspiracy to offer cornmeal wrapped to look like heroin to the undercover buyer, then surprise him and steal his money at gunpoint.

He drove a silver Chevy Malibu to the hotel, with Green as his passenger and a Smith and Wesson handgun on the seat, he said.

“Yes, sir, it was a working gun,” Segar told the judge.

The purpose, he said, was to intimidate the victim so that he would give them the money.

As back-up units moved in, a Toyota Camry driven by Balcacer suddenly barreled toward the officers, hitting several cars in heavy traffic before speeding off.

Defense attorney Michael DeBliss admitted that his client had made mistakes.

“He did abscond, jumping $350,000 bail,” the lawyer said. “He learned his colleague had been convicted and he left.”

DeBliss nonetheless asked the judge for “some milk of human kindness on this sentencing day, so [Segar] can have some hope. His record doesn’t seem all that bad. He has children.”

Assistant Bergen County James Santulli said it isn’t that simple.

“I feel sorry for his family, for him — but he took part in an atrocious crime that could have been much worse,” Santulli said.

“You would think a lightning bolt would come to him and say, ‘I’ve got to change my life.’ He was prepped ready for trial and he absconded.

“And what did he do during that period? He committed more crimes.”

Assistant Bergen County James Santulli, defense attorney Michael DeBliss, Brandon Segar (STORY / PHOTOS: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Courthouse Reporter Mary K. Miraglia)

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