Newark — Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino announced today that four men have entered guilty pleas, admitting their role in a West Orange home invasion in which a husband and wife and a young child were terrorized.
The defendants Eduard Bentura, 33, Yodelin Diaz, 25, Lidio Martinez Miese, 30, and Jesus Quinones, 38, all of Jersey City, pled guilty today before the Honorable Martin Cronin, Judge of the Superior Court. Under the terms of the plea agreement they are expected to be sentenced to 15 years in New Jersey State Prison with an 85 percent period of parole ineligibility. They are scheduled to be sentenced on April 6.
Three of the four defendants are not U.S. citizens and will be deported back to the Dominican Republic after they serve their prison term. One defendant, Quinones is an American citizen. Only Bentura had a prior conviction for burglary. This is a first offense for the others.
“This just result would not be possible if not for the bravery and vigilance of the victims in the face of danger, as well as the prompt and thorough efforts of the West Orange Police Department,” said Assistant Prosecutor Jason Goldberg, who handled the case.
According to Assistant Prosecutor Goldberg, on June 8, 2017 the four armed men broke into the family home as the husband was returning from IKEA and unloading the car. They tied the husband up with zip-ties and assaulted him demanding cash. The wife, who was holding an infant, was threatened at gunpoint. They began heating a knife on the stove and threatened the husband that they would kill his wife and child if he didn’t open a safe, where they believed there was cash.
During the course of the incident, the wife bravely alerted family and the police via text with a hidden cell phone. Realizing there was a surveillance system, the intruders demanded the equipment before fleeing, tripping an alarm.
The four were captured on Route 280 by West Orange police with the video equipment, cash, guns, zip ties and masks. Although they took part of the surveillance equipment the entire incident was captured on cameras that were still intact.
In 2017, an Essex County grand jury indicted the defendants on 17 counts of conspiracy, robbery, burglary, criminal restraint, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and tampering with evidence.
Yesterday, they pled guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery, armed robbery, burglary, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Acting Prosecutor Laurino commended the West Orange Police Department for their exceptional work in this case.