CAMDEN, N.J. – A New Jersey man today admitted robbing a Camden barbershop at gunpoint, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Benjamin Daye, 34, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler to an information charging him with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Nov. 23, 2019, Daye entered a barbershop in Camden armed with a loaded handgun. He grabbed a juvenile customer, pointed the gun at the customer’s head, and demanded cash and belongings from employees and customers. Daye fled and was apprehended shortly thereafter next to a bag containing the handgun and the stolen items.
The Hobbs Act charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The brandishing a firearm charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years which must be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 9, 2021.
This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensured that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson in Newark; the Camden County Police Department, under the direction of Chief Joseph Wysocki; and the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer, with the investigation leading to today’s charges. This investigation was a joint effort of the ATF Camden Field Office and the Camden County Police Department (CCPD) Shooting Response Team (SRT). ATF and CCPD have formulated a partnership composed of special agents, detectives, and intelligence analysts that investigate shooting incidents in real time.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.