NEWARK, N.J. – Federal authorities charged four gang members from Bergen and Rockland counties with carjacking, kidnapping and robbing a local cab driver in Ridgewood after holding up a bar in Hawthorne.
Jostin Vidal Reyes of Waldwick, Wilbur J. Barhona, 20, of Ridgewood, Guillermo Carillo-Iraheta and Juan Chiliseo-Vega, both 19 of Suffern, got into a cab in Paterson around 3 a.m. last Dec. 26 for a ride to Waldwick, authorities told Daily Voice.
All four were members of what’s known as the 18th Street Gang, U.S. Attorney Paul S. Fishman said.
The crew members “hit the taxicab driver in the head with a beer bottle, and sliced his throat with a knife before leaving him on the side of the New York State Thruway near Woodbury, New York,” Fishman said. “The taxicab driver survived.”
Hours before, all four robbed a Hawthorne bar at gunpoint, while a fifth defendant, Avalos-Cortez, drove the getaway car, the attorney general said.
A multi-agency task force that cracked the cases was made up of agents from the FBI and ICE, investigators from the New Jersey State Police, New York State Police and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, and members of the Ridgewood, Mahwah, Hawthorne and Waldwick.
Barahona and Reyes were charged with conspiracy, robbery, kidnapping, carjacking and using a firearm during a violent crime.
Balmore Carillo-Iraheta, 19, and Avalos-Cortez were charged with conspiracy
All six defendants, with the exception of Avalos-Cortez, were detained, Fishman said. Avalos-Cortez was released on a $150,000 unsecured bond, he said.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, as well as the Ridgewood and Hawthorne police departments, with the investigation leading to the charges, presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen D. Stringer of his General Crimes Unit in Newark.