Federal authorities say a man from Passaic County has been convicted by a jury for his role as the gunman in two armed bank robberies in 2020.

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger's office says 52-year-old Jose Soto of Passaic was convicted of two bank robberies, conspiracy to commit bank robbery, and brandishing a firearm during those robberies.

According to court proceedings,

  • On February 6, 2020, Soto and his conspirator entered PNC Bank in Passaic. Soto pointed a gun at customers and employees and began ordering everyone down on the floor. Soto and his conspirator took approximately $35,000 from the bank.
  • On February 27, 2020, Soto and the same conspirator entered Valley Bank in Little Falls. Soto again pointed a gun at customers and employees. From the bank's drawers and vault, the two took approximately $45,000.
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For each bank robbery charge, Soto faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. For the conspiracy charge, Soto faces up to five years and a $250,000 fine. For each count of brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a bank robbery, Soto potentially faces up to life in prison.

Soto's sentencing is scheduled for February 23rd.

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