Defendant Sentenced To Over 19 Years In Prison For Participating In 11 Armed Robberies Of Luxury Watches

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that VICTOR RIVERA was sentenced yesterday to 235 months in prison in connection with his participation in a robbery crew that targeted owners of luxury watches worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each between October 2019 and November 2020.  On January 19, 2022, RIVERA pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery.  U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein imposed this sentence.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Victor Rivera committed nearly a dozen robberies of unarmed and defenseless victims, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars of jewelry in the process.  During one of these robberies, he shot the victim in front of the victim’s own home.  This lengthy sentence holds Rivera accountable for these terrifying acts of violence.”

According to the Indictment, court documents, and based on statements made in open court:

From at least in or about October 2019 up to and including November 2020, VICTOR RIVERA and others known and unknown agreed to rob victims of luxury watches worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars each.  The watches owned by victims targeted in the robberies included Richard Mille, Rolex, Audemars Piguet, and Patek Philippe watches owned by jewelers as part of the jewelers’ businesses, which were based in Manhattan’s Diamond District.  RIVERA used guns to commit several of the robberies, and in one robbery, shot a victim, who survived. 

The 11 robberies and attempted robberies included the following: 

  1. On October 3, 2019, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Long Island City, New York, of, among other things, a Richard Mille watch worth over $250,000.
  2. On October 25, 2019, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Jamaica, New York, of, among other things, a Rolex watch worth over $150,000.
  3. On December 10, 2019, RIVERA and two co-conspirators robbed a jeweler in Brooklyn, New York, of, among other things, a Patek Philippe watch worth over $160,000 and a diamond necklace worth over $77,000.  During the robbery, a firearm was shown to the victim.
  4. On January 14, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Rego Park, New York, of, among other things, a Richard Mille watch worth over $500,000.
  5. On February 16, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Jamaica Estates, New York, of, among other things, an Audemars Piguet watch worth over $28,000.
  6. On February 20, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed an individual in Long Island City, New York, of, among other things, an Audemars Piguet watch worth over $125,000.
  7. On June 11, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Brooklyn, New York, of, among other things, a Richard Mille watch worth over $148,000.  During the robbery, a firearm was shown to the victim, and a victim was shot.
  8. On July 6, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in Hoboken, New Jersey, of, among other things, a Richard Mille watch worth over $81,000.  Following the robbery, RIVERA and others transported the stolen watch from New Jersey to New York.
  9. On July 20, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator participated in an attempted robbery of a jeweler in Queens, New York, attempting to steal a Richard Mille watch worth over $180,000.
  10. On August 2, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed an individual in the vicinity of Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, of, among other things, a Richard Mille watch worth over $250,000.  During the robbery, a firearm was shown to a victim.  Following the robbery, RIVERA and others transported the stolen watch from New Jersey to New York.
  11. On October 27, 2020, RIVERA and a co-conspirator robbed a jeweler in the vicinity of Woodbury, New York, of, among other things, an Audemars Piguet watch worth over $26,000 and assorted jewels and gold links worth over $60,000.  During the robbery, a firearm was shown to a victim.

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In addition to his prison term, RIVERA, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release.  In addition, RIVERA was ordered to pay $1,380,800 in restitution and $1,380,800 in forfeiture.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Special Agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the New York City Police Department.  Mr. Williams also thanked the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, the Englewood Cliffs Police Department, the Weehawken Police Department, and the Nassau County Police Department for their assistance.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mathew Andrews and Andrew K. Chan are in charge of the prosecution.