A second man from the Garden State has been arrested in connection to seven armed robberies of five different pharmacies around the beginning of the year.

26-year-old Onijee Burgess of Paterson is facing one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.

Burgess made his initial appearance Wednesday in Newark federal court and was detained.

Federal authorities say from last November 2022 through this April, Burgess conspired with Antonio Rivera and others to commit seven separate armed robberies of five different pharmacies in Paterson and Passaic to steal prescription medication.

The Hobbs Act, named after Congressman Sam Hobbs of Alabama, was enacted in 1946. It prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion that affects interstate or foreign commerce. It also forbids conspiracy to do so.
  • Rivera was previously charged by complaint for two of these robberies
  • During those robberies, Rivera fired a gun and pointed it at numerous victims

The conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery carries up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger thanked members of the FBI's New Jersey field office; the Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, and Cedar Grove Police Departments; the Passaic County Sheriff's Office; and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office for their work in this case.

The public is reminded that charges are accusations and all persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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