An Edgewater NJ couple is facing charges for allegedly robbing and assaulting the owner of the apartment building in which they have lived for the past three years.
30-year-old Adonis Sepulveda and 26-year-old Ramona Mercado-Vasquez, residents at the St. Moritz apartment complex, have pleaded not guilty to armed robbery,aggravated assault, kidnapping, armed burglary, and weapons offenses, among other crimes. The weapons possession charges arise from the allegation that police found an unregistered handgun among the suspects’ belongings.
The couple’s lawyers claim that the couple was framed by one of the building’s employees.
According to police, on November 26, four men broke into the apartment of the owner of the building, Fred Daibes, assaulted him, and stole money and other valuables. Following a police investigation, $2 million in cash, as well as items such as gold and jewelry, was discovered in the Sepulveda and Mercado-Vasquez residence. The suspects claim to have never been inside Daibes’ apartment. They say that an acquaintance gave them the bags containing the stolen property, which they claim to have never opened, giving them no knowledge of the bags’ contents.
The couple’s lawyers have pointed to the fact that employees in the building would have both prior knowledge of the valuables in the apartment and the means to enter. Further, the defense lawyers claim that the four suspects were identified as men; thus Mercado-Vasquez does not fit the description but was merely charged because of the stolen property found in her residence.
The other alleged perpetrators have yet to be identified, and no additional arrests have been made.
The couple appeared before Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi in Bergen County Superior Court on December 6. Their bail amounts were set at $1 million each. It remains to be seen if the couple will meet the bail requirements necessary for their release before trial.
For more information pertaining to this case, access the following article: Lawyers: Couple charged in $2M robbery at luxury Edgewater high-rise the victims of ‘inside job’.