NEWARK — A Union County man who allegedly robbed one bank and attempted to rob another at gunpoint has been charged federally, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced.
Marlon Peek, 39, of Plainfield, has been charged by complaint with one count of bank robbery, one count of attempted bank robbery, and one count of using and brandishing a firearm during the commission of the attempted bank robbery.
Peek was arrested by the Linden Police Department on May 6, 2015.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is adopting the case for federal prosecution.
Peek will have his initial court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Hammer in Newark federal court at a date to be determined.
According to the complaint: On April 21, 2015, Peek allegedly robbed a PNC Bank in South Plainfield of cash, including certain bills whose serial numbers had been recorded in advance, also known as bait money.
Later that day, at an address associated with Peek, law enforcement observed a vehicle registered to Peek. The defendant exited his vehicle and fled on foot. Law enforcement later found some of the bait money from the PNC Bank robbery as well as Peek’s driver’s license, among other items, in the vehicle.
On May 6, 2015, Peek allegedly attempted to rob a Bank of America in Linden. He allegedly entered the Bank of America, pointed a gun directly at a teller, and demanded money. Due in part to the Bank of America branch having bullet-proof glass in front of the teller station, the teller refused to turn over money to Peek.
Peek fled the bank and allegedly attempted to carjack three cars, all at gunpoint, on or near Route 1 in Linden. After the three unsuccessful attempts to commandeer a car, Peek took a hostage and held a gun to the hostage’s head.
Officers of the Linden Police Department, who had by then arrived on the scene, ordered Peek to drop his gun. Peek complied and was taken into custody. A loaded firearm was recovered.
The bank robbery and attempted bank robbery charges each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of brandishing a weapon during the attempted robbery of Bank of America carries a mandatory seven-year sentence to be served consecutively with any other sentence.
Fishman praised special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Richard Frankel, for the investigation leading to the arrest and charges. He also thanked the Linden, Edison, South Plainfield, Middlesex, Dunellen, and Springfield Police Departments for their excellent work in this case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elisa Wiygul of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
The charges and the allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.