A 69-year-old man admitted robbing Blue Stove Antiques in Fair Haven at gunpoint last June, federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday.
Robert A. Fiolka, of Staten Island, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton to an Information charging him with Hobbs Act robbery and use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
He faces up to life in prison at sentencing, scheduled for July 11.
As reported by redbankgreen, Fiolka was also linked to three other robberies dating back to 2007, according to the FBI. Those cases were not mentioned, however, in the announcement of Fiolka’s plea by U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman.
Nor were Fiolka’s priors, which included a 1967 armed robbery of a bank in Matawan in which a bank employee was taken hostage, redbankgreen has confirmed.
From Fishman’s announcement, citing court documents and statements made in court:
On June 2, 2012, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Fiolka entered Blue Stove Antiques in Fair Haven wearing a hat and flesh-colored face mask and brandishing a handgun. Fiolka approached the store owner, pointed the handgun at him and demanded that he open the stores safe. After the owner opened the safe, Fiolka ordered him to the ground and then proceeded to empty the safes contents into a satchel that he had with him. After filling the bag with the safes contents, Fiolka exited the store with approximately $200,000 worth of jewelry.
The Hobbs Act robbery charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison; the charge of use of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of life in prison. Each charge carries a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross loss or gain.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents with the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez in Newark, with the investigation leading to todays guilty plea; he also thanked the Colts Neck Police Department, Fair Haven Police Department, Old Bridge Police Department, Wall Township Police Department, and the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office.
A federal Bureau of Prisons record shows that a Robert Fiolka, 69, was released from prison in 2005, though no explanatory information is available online.