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West Orange Armed Robber's Accomplice Sentenced for Shooting of Ex-Cop

Theodore Lada, 40, and James Sodano, 70, robbed and shot an armed money courier of $400,000.

A Newark man was sentenced Wednesday to 9 1/2 years in prison for the 2011 robbery and shooting of a retired police officer who was working as an armed courier, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Theodore Lada, 40, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and Hobbs Act robbery.

Lada and James Sodano, 70, of West Orange, confronted a retired police officer who was working as an armed money courier for a check cashing service when he delivered a bag containing $400,000 to a Newark bar on May 19, 2011, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

As the courier got out of his car, Lada approached him and the two exchanged gunfire, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. The courier fell to his knees and Lada fled.

Sodano then approached the courier from behind and shot him in the jaw, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The victim managed to shoot Sodano in the leg before the courier was hit again in the arm, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Sodano pulled the bag of money from beneath the courier's body and attempted to flee the scene in his car but crashed a few blocks away, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Police found Sodano semi-conscious and wearing a bulletproof vest along with a pool of blood, several weapons, ammunition and the bag of $400,000, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Lada was apprehended nine months later when DNA evidence linked him to the scene.

In addition to the 114 months in prison, Lada was sentenced to three years supervised release and was ordered to pay $375,551.56 in restitution.

Sodano was convicted last April of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, Hobbs Act robbery, and possessing, carrying and using a firearm. He was sentenced to 39 years in prison with five years supervised released and was also ordered to pay $375,551.56.

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