Elizabeth man sentenced to 25 years for robbery

An Elizabeth resident has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison for his role in an armed robbery of three men nearly six years ago, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Thursday.

Jermy Portillo, 24, must serve at least 85 percent of that term before the possibility of parole under the terms set down by state Superior Court Judge Robert J. Mega.

It was approximately 12:45 a.m. on November 15, 2010 when Portillo and several other men encountered the three male victims at the intersection of Rosehill Place and Stewart Place in Elizabeth, according to Union County Assistant Prosecutors Stacey Zyriek and Thomas Andrykovitz, who prosecuted the case.

Portillo and the others then brandished weapons they used to threaten and rob the victims of a credit card, two jackets, two cell phones, and approximately $220 in cash, Zyriek said. The suspects then fled the area on foot.

About 45 minutes later, an Elizabeth Police Department patrol unit stopped a van with occupants matching the descriptions of the robbery suspects, and Portillo and the others were arrested. One of the stolen jackets subsequently was recovered in the van, while the machete used in the robbery was found a few feet away. In a nearby alleyway, an additional weapon and stolen jacket were also recovered.  

In February 2016, Portillo was convicted on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree robbery, and related weapons offenses after three and a half hours of jury deliberation and a three-week trial before Judge Mega.