YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: As expected, a grand jury in Hackensack returned indictments today against four people charged in the home-invasion robbery of developer Fred Daibes at his Edgewater high-rise apartment.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT reported exclusively on Tuesday that the indictments would be coming after a judge in Hackensack ordered all four to submit to DNA testing (SEE: Indictments due, DNA samples ordered in Edgewater luxury high-rise home invasion).
Jorge Valencia — a Colombian national who authorities say masterminded the scheme — is charged along with Ramona Mercado-Vasquez, Adonis Sepúlveda, and Alexander Suarez in the 19-count indictment in connection with the Nov. 26 overnight holdup at the luxury high-rise that Daibes built.
The indictment, which includes several first-degree counts, charges them with:
• confining Daiies “for a substantial period to facilitate the commission of a crime or flight thereafter,” as well as inflicting “bodily injury to terrorize him,” before failing to release the well-known developer to a safe place;
• using force to injury Daiies and an employee of his, Marino Castillo, threatening to harm them while pointing a gun at them “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life”;
• conspiring to commit kidnapping, armed robbery, or armed burglary;
• stealing $75,000 from him;
• hindering their apprehensions, prosecutions and convictions by concealing or destroying surveillance equipment, along with “data, clothing, burglary tools including booties, masks and gloves, and lying to law enforcement.
The indictment says the group “met, planned, discussed and agreed to participate in kidnapping, armed robbery or armed burglary.”
It also says they “on more than one occasion attempted to carry out the offenses.”
Authorities to this point had made no mention of a previous attempt.
The indictment says they “assisted one another in kidnapping both victims and taking property from Daibes’ apartment, and assisted each other in removing or concealing surveillance equipment and burglary implements from the crime scene.”
The crew entered Daibes’ apartment “armed with or displaying what appeared to be a handgun, and purposely inflicted bodily injury on [him],” it adds.
The indictment also charges all four with weapons offenses.
Sepulveda is charged separately with threatening to kill Daiies or putting him “in imminent fear of death.”
He and Mercado-Vasquez also face separate counts of handgun possessio without a permit.
Suarez, meawhile, is charged separately wth hindering, by attempting “to remove proceeds from the burglary” that were in an apartment in the building shared by Mercado-Vasquez and Sepulveda and by lying to law enforcement.
He was also charged as convicted felon with illegal weapons possession, having previously been convicted of drug possession in a school zone.
Valencia is charged with eluding for fleeing to the Boston area as detectives closed in.
All four defendants remained held on $1 million bail each in the Bergen County Jail.
Federal authorities also have slapped a detainer on Valencia (photo below, far right), who had been working as a building superintendent at the St. Moritz, where Daibes, Mercado Vasquez and the two other co-defendants live.
Daiies was tied up with a bag over his head so he couldn’t see what they were doing, prosecutors said. His ribs were broken and $2 million in cash, gold and jewelry was taken during what became a nearly three-hour ordeal.
At one point, the thieves lured the doorman upstairs during the robbery, then tied him up, as well, prosecutors said. Then they took the surveillance video from the doorman’s station, they said.
All of the stolen merchandise was found in the apartment at the St. Moritz building where Vasquez lived with boyfriend and co-defendant Sepulveda, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello said earlier this year.
Authorities began searching for Valencia almost immediately after busting Mercado Vasquez and Sepulveda (photo below, second from right) the day after the robbery. They later arrested Suarez of the Bronx, on Dec. 11.
After learning of Valencia’s whereabouts, detectives from Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli’s office alerted the Boston Police Fugitive Unit and U.S. Marshal’s Office, who took him into custody in Massachusetts on Jan. 9.
A defense attorney earlier this year claimed that Valencia fled to the Boston area after being threatened by Daibes’s family. She claimed that Valencia was willing to work with police but didn’t trust that he’d be protected.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor David Calviello said he didn’t know of any threats. He also said that Valencia bolted from the rent-free apartment given to him by his former boss of 17 years once he knew that investigators were interested in him.
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YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Judges in different Hackensack courtrooms today both refused to cut the $1 million bails for two of four defendants charged in the home invasion robbery of developer Fred Daibes at his St. Moritz high-rise apartment. Meanwhile, a prosecutor disclosed additional details about the holdup. READ MORE….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: With attorneys for his co-defendants in attendance, the alleged mastermind of a home invasion robbery of developer Fred Daibes at his St. Moritz high-rise apartment was arraigned in Hackensack late this afternoon. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A 46-year-old Colombian national charged in the home invasion robbery of developer Fred Daibes at his St. Moritz high-rise apartment is behind bars in Bergen County. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A picture has finally begun emerging of a 20-year-old Edgewater man quietly arrested and charged in the luxury high-rise home invasion robbery of developer Fred Dabies. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A six-week manhunt ended yesterday with the arrest of a fourth suspect in the luxury high-rise home-invasion robbery of developer Fred Daibes in Edgewater, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this morning. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A judge this afternoon ordered that an Edgewater couple charged with breaking developer Fred Daibes’s ribs while taking $2 million in cash, gold and jewelry during a luxury high-rise home invasion remain held on $1 million each — with no 10% option. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The victim of a luxury high-rise home invasion in Edgewater was pulled from his bed by four gunmen who broke his ribs while beating him, then tied him up and spent three hours stealing $2 million in cash, gold and jewelry, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon, in formally announcing the arrests of two neighbors. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli confirmed a CLIFFVIEW PILOT report yesterday that a couple charged in a gunpoint home invasion at a luxury Edgewater high-rise were arrested by his detectives and ordered held on $1 million bail each. READ MORE ….
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The victim of a luxury high-rise home invasion in Edgewater was pulled from his bed by four gunmen who broke his ribs while beating him, then tied him up and spent three hours stealing $2 million in cash, gold and jewelry, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said this afternoon, in formally announcing the arrests of two suspects who live in the same building. READ MORE ….
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