YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A violent Albanian national who went by the nicknames “Shpend Mazari” and “Luie Belushi” was sentenced today in Newark to 108 months in federal prison for robbing two TD Bank branches of $20,715 at gunpoint – one in Wallington and the other in Clifton, where he was living.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Esther Salas sentenced Arlind Hyseni, 31, to serve three years of supervised release and pay back the banks he robbed.
Hyseni took a plea deal from the government and admitted knocking off the TD branch in Clifton on Nov. 2, 2011 and the branch in Wallington nearly two months later, on Dec. 30.
In the Clifton holdup, the FBI said, Hyseni wore a baseball cap and a mask on the lower part of his face. Pointing a gun, he ordered employees to fill a dark nylon bag with cash retrieved from the vault.
His haul included several marked bills – as well as a dye pack that exploded.
Eight weeks later, he vaulted the counter at the Wallington Bank wearing a mask and carrying a handgun. He again ordered employees to get money from the vault.
Although he robbed $468,000 in all, Hyseni was left with a small portion of that after he dropped the dye pack money and police found huge sums of stolen cash in his apartment.
Federal prosecutors noted that Hyseni was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in absentia in Albania for a robbery, using military weapons, that resulted in death.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said Hyseni will be turned over to Albanian authorities to complete that sentence once he serves his time here.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. Presenting the case for the government was Assistant U.S. Attorney Mala Ahuja Harker of Fishman’s Criminal Division in Newark.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.