Federal prosecutors said Monday that a man who had already admitted to robbing three banks at gunpoint was found guilty of robbing an East Orange cell phone store at gunpoint just over two years ago.
A statement from the US Attorney’s Office says that Kenneth Graham, 50, of Newark, was in the store on January 18, 2021, when he took out a gun and pointed it at an employee. He told the worker to put cash from the register and a few phones from the display case into a bag.
The office said that surveillance video near the store showed Graham getting into a black Nissan Altima after robbing the store and driving away. A witness also confirmed that Graham was the person who got into the black Nissan Altima after robbing the store.
Investigators said that Graham’s cell phone was in East Orange near the store around the time of the robbery, and photos on the device showed that he was wearing a sweatshirt with a clear logo. When the robbery was caught on video, he was wearing the same sweatshirt.
In August, he was charged with one count of robbery under the Hobbs Act and one count of using, carrying, and brandishing a gun during and in connection with a violent crime. On Monday, after a one-week trial in federal court, he was found guilty of the same crimes.
The office said that because he already pleaded guilty to the bank robberies, he must serve at least 25 years in prison.
On February 8, 2007, he admitted to robbing a Valley National Bank in Fair Lawn. He also admitted to robbing two other banks with a gun: the Bank of America in Belleville on January 7, 2006, and the PNC Bank in Clifton on February 16, that same year. On June 27, 2007, he was given a prison sentence of 17 years.
But in November 2020, a judge agreed to his request for compassionate release and a shorter sentence, and he was put under home confinement for the same amount of time as the part of his sentence that he hadn’t served yet. At first, he was supposed to get out of jail either the last week of December 2020 or the first week of January 2021.
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