Five charged with murder in failed robbery attempt in Mount Vernon

Five people are facing federal charges, less than 48 hours after investigators said a robbery gone wrong left two people dead in Mount Vernon.

Jonathan Gordon

Mar 20, 2024, 11:43 AM

Updated 26 days ago


Five people are facing federal charges, less than 48 hours after investigators said a robbery gone wrong left two people dead in Mount Vernon.
"The defendants’ alleged brazen actions demonstrated extreme disregard for public safety and posed a significant threat to the community," FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said.
Ilario Contreras, 23, Jerpi Diaz-Feliz, 25, Jhoan Diaz-Feliz, 23, Victor Jimenez, 35 and Joseph Perez, 26, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act Roberry, one county of conspiracy to engage in drug trafficking, one count of possessing and discharging a firearm and murder.
They all face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Investigators accuse the five of attempting to rob at gunpoint a warehouse that sold large quantities of unlicensed marijuana and nicotine products located at 137 S. Fifth Ave. in Mount Vernon.
According to the complaint, two customers placed a large order for vapes and hookahs around 10 p.m. on Monday. It took employees roughly two hours to put the order together but when they went to help move the products to the customers' car, 10 to 15 people -including all five defendants - ambushed the employees and customers with weapons and forced them back into the warehouse at gunpoint.
Then a gunfight between the armed robbers and the store employees broke out. One of the employees and one of the robbers were killed.
Investigators still have not released either of their identities.
The suspect who died at the scene had a gunshot wound to the head. The warehouse employee who later died at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital was found under a shelving unit with one gunshot wound to his chest and another to his lower abdomen.
Mount Vernon Police found an AR-15, four AR shell casings, and three 9mm shell casings at the warehouse, according to the complaint.
Law enforcement tracked the suspect who was killed back to an apartment in the Bronx. Through video surveillance, they identified the van that was part of the ambush. Further video evidence linked all five defendants to the apartment complex in the Bronx as well as the warehouse in Mount Vernon.
A confidential informant who participated in the attempted robbery told the FBI that the group expected to rob the warehouse of $8 million and six kilograms of cocaine to sell the drugs.
Police arrested the five defendants during a traffic stop in the Bronx near Fordham University around 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Police are still searching for additional suspects including the suspected gunman who was identified as a man "possibly named Marcos."
The investigation is ongoing.

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