Recently it was announced that two Westchester men have been arrested and charged in connection with an armed robbery that occurred in Newburgh at the beginning of December. This particular incident has garnered quite a bit of attention due to the fact that one of the individuals arrested and charged was an officer of the law.

Newburgh Robbery Details

The announcement of the arrests and charges came straight from U.S District Attorney, Damian Williams, in conjunction with James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”); Joseph Spano, the Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Correction (“WCDOC”); and Jose A Gomerez, Police Commissioner of the City of Newburgh.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

According to the official press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, both Recaldo Fray and Kaheem Palmer allegedly broke into a Newburgh residence on or about December 4, 2023.

Once inside, they restrained two residents and proceeded to rob them at gunpoint. Various items were stolen including a "large quantity of marijuana and approximately $4,500 in cash". It is also stated that weeks after the robbery, Fray allegedly returned to the scene of the robbery to "threaten and intimidate" the victim.

Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash
Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

Corrections to Criminal

Part of why this case had so many high-profile individuals speak on it is because one of the accused individuals, Recaldo Fray, was a corrections officer at the Westchester County Jail located in Valhalla, New York.

Rightfully, officials, responses to Fray facing charges for the crime were strong, to say the least. U.S. Attorney Williams would state that Fray...

a close up of a generic looking police badge.

...betrayed his sworn duty to uphold the law, and he will now experience the justice system not as a partner, but as an accused violent offender.

Assistant Director Smith would also speak on the matter, stating in part...

As a correction officer, Recaldo Fray swore an oath to uphold the law, not break it...

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The other responses from law enforcement officials all continued to reflect the same feelings of disappointment, disgust and betrayal.

Charges Against the Accused

As of right now, no level of guilt has been determined in the case so the charges against both Fray and Palmer are just that, charges. Like any individuals accused of a crime or crimes, they will have the ability and opportunity to prove their innocence in a court of law.

Pattanaphong Khuankaew
Pattanaphong Khuankaew

With that said, the charges against Fray and Palmer would see them serving significant time behind bars if found guilty. Both Fray and Palmer are facing one count of Hobbs Act robbery and one count of use, carrying, and possession of a firearm, which was brandished, in furtherance of a crime of violence. Fray is also facing one count of tampering with a witness or victim.

In total, both Fray and Palmer are potentially looking at multiple decades behind bars. Fray was arrested and presented in court back on January 15 and Palmer was arrested and presented in court a week later on January 22. Both of the accused made applications for bail and both were denied and detained.

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