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New charges against ex-con in North Bergen, West New York armed robberies

Photo Credit: far right
Photo Credit: far right

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A federal grand jury in Newark today brought new armed robbery charges against one North Bergen man after another admitted being his partner in a pair of bank holdups in Fairview and Secaucus.

Federal authorities also announced that a woman who was the third defendant in the bank robberies died last month.

An arraignment date on the superseding indictment will be set for Gary Bohanan, a 44-year-old career criminal who once escaped from the Hudson County Jail.

The new indictment charges him with robbing a North Bergen McDonald’s on July 10 of last year, as well as following and robbing an owner of the Le Chateau restaurant in West New York eight days later.

In the McDonald’s holdup, an armed Bohanan and an unnamed accomplice were wearing masks when they took $1,600 and fled in a getaway car driven by another accomplice, the indictment says.

They later followed the West New York restaurant owner home, pulled a gun on her and took $6,000 in proceeds that she was carrying, it says.

The man accused of being his partner in the bank holdups, Angel Feliu, 20 ( photo, far right ), pleaded guilty today to his role in robbing the TD Bank on Fairview Avenue on July 26, 2013 and of the Sovereign (now Santander) Bank in Secaucus four days earlier.

Bohanan carjacked a van at gunpoint in North Bergen after the Fairview robbery but barely made it down Third Avenue before crashing it into a porch on 91st Street, authorities told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.

Police seized what turned out to be an air gun and several thousand dollars in cash, some of which was covered in dye from an exploding pack.

Much of it was strewn along Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen and returned by citizens who scooped it up.

Feliu, meanwhile, was tracked down in Hoboken Cemetery between 58th Street and Meadowview Avenue and Tonnelle Avenue by two North Bergen police officers.

A third defendant, Josephine Chenet, was later charged with driving a getaway car.

Bohanan escaped from the Hudson County Jail in May 1998 before being captured a month later after robbing a bank in Westchester. He’s spent several years in prison for holdups of banks, check-cashing outlets and a Taco Bell the past 20 years, records show.

He was paroled in November 2012 after serving more than 11 years for convictions that included armed robbery.

Authorities said Bohanan and Feliu entered the Fairview bank wearing latex gloves on their hands and masks over their faces — the same as in Secaucus.

Feliu held people inside Fairview’s TD Bank at knifepoint while Bohanan jumped the counter and collected the cash, they said.

Two DPW workers walked in as the two fled, then began chasing them when those inside shouted that the bank had been robbed, a law enforcement officer with direct knowledge of the incident told CLIFFVIEW PILOT late this afternoon.

The pair ran east on Fairview Avenue, then cut down dead-ended Lincoln Street, with the DPW workers chasing them. They then dashed through an alleyway next to the Dumbbells Health & Fitness, emerging on Kennedy Boulevard, the source said.

A construction worker, seeing what was happening, tried chasing down Bohanan with his GMC Savana van. But Bohanan pointed the gun at him and tried taking the vehicle — only he couldn’t get it into the right gear, authorities said.

After it smashed into the porch, he took off, dropping the pistol and cash, they said.

Fairview Patrolman Flavio Mattessich and a trio of North Bergen officers — Lt. Timothy Faranda, Sgt. Alex Guzman and Detective Michael Derin — said they found Bohanan hiding under a truck in an alley at 8607 First Street.

Feliu, meanwhile, fled in a silver Nissan Altima driven by Chenet and was followed by another civilian to 58th Street, where he abandoned the car and ran into the cemetery next to the Meadowview Village public housing complex, authorities said.

Chenet died on June 22, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman revealed today.

Fishman credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation and thanked Fairview, North Bergen, and Secaucus police for their contributions to the case.

Representing the government is Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro of Fishman’s General Crimes Unit in Newark.

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