His accomplices each got more than 10 years in federal prison, but Jimmy “Flip” Cooper can expect a few years less -- thanks to a plea deal -- for his role in the gunpoint robbery of $26,084 from a Passaic nightclub.
Cooper, 33, of Irvington became the last of the trio to accept q government offer to plead guilty for his role in the Sept. 6, 2015 holdup, which was followed by a high-speed chase through Passaic, Newark, and East Orange.
There’s no parole in the federal prison system, which means that Cooper -- along with Keontrae “Taz” Lawrence of South Orange, and Shaheed “Aboo” Blamahsah of Newark, both 30 -- must serve nearly their entire sentences.
Lawrence got 135 and Blamahsah 150 months.
U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo scheduled Cooper’s sentencing for Dec. 10 in federal court in Newark after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to robbery and conspiracy. He faces 60 to 70 months in federal prison under his plea deal.
After the trio agreed to rob the club, Cooper sent text messages to an unnamed conspirator’s phone “coordinating the timing of the robbery and discussing how to smuggle the gun into the club,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
They ambushed the lone employee working in the club’s office, threatened to kill him, then stuffed the contents of an open safe into two purses they found there, the U.S. attorney said.
They then “ordered the employee to the ground and told him to count to 100 as they lowered the lights and fled in a getaway car stolen by Cooper and one of the robbers less than a week before,” Carpenito said.
The robbers led police on a pursuit before abandoning the car in East Orange and fleeing on foot, he said.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI and members of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas. He also thanked the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office and the Passaic and Newark police department for their assistance.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine K. Lou and Mary E. Toscano of Carpenito’s Criminal Division in Newark.
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