PRINCETON: Homeless felon pleads guilty to robbing local bank

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Wesley Gugliuzza

By Philip Sean Curran, Staff Writer
A homeless felon with a long rap sheet that includes more than 10 prior convictions pleaded guilty on Monday to robbing a bank in Princeton in 2014.
Wesley Gugliuzza, 30, faces 10 years in state prison for the second-degree robbery of a TD Bank on Route 206, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said. He entered his guilty plea before Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro J. Jimenez Jr., sitting in Trenton
Mr. Gugliuzza is being held in South Woods State Prison. His sentencing was scheduled for March 11.
Public Defender Jenna Casper, Mr. Gugliuzza’s lawyer, did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Mr. Gugliuzza has been in trouble with the law for years, a felon with 13 prior convictions that include receiving stolen property, drug possession and weapons offenses. He got in trouble again when he entered the bank alone on Sept.15, 2014 around 11:30 a.m., handed a teller a note saying he was armed and made off with an envelope containing $2,700.
He avoided arrest, only briefly. Tipped off by a family member who saw his photo on the news, authorities located him in Old Bridge, Middlesex County, the next day. He was arrested without incident, and indicted in March 2015 on charges of second-degree robbery and fourth-degree tampering with physical evidence.
In November, Mr. Gugliuzza spurned a plea offer from the Prosecutor’s Office, a decision that seemed to put him on track to stand trial for the robbery. Having a change of heart, he took a negotiated plea calling for him to do 85 percent of the 10-year-sentence before becoming parole eligible.
Tim Ward, the assistant Mercer County Prosecutor who handled the case, said Tuesday that Mr. Gugliuzza would have to pay back in restitution to the bank any of the stolen money that has not been recovered.