A 45-year-old Union County man has admitted to taking part in a string of armed robberies at convenience and liquor stores in New Jersey and New York, according to U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger.

Jaime Fontanez, of Elizabeth, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court on Wednesday to charges stemming from the crimes between August 2018 and February 2019.

He and at least two other men plotted and carried out 13 robberies at gunpoint in Union, Middlesex, and Essex counties as well as in Bronx and New York counties, according to federal prosecutors and court documents.

On one occasion, a gun was fired in one of the liquor stores.

Fontanez pleaded guilty to five counts of Hobbs Act robbery, conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery and two counts of brandishing a firearm during a violent crime.

When sentenced in April 2023, he faces up to 20 years in prison on each Hobbs Act charge, alone, as well as total massive fines.

Sellinger credited special agents with the FBI Newark Office for leading the investigation, with help from local police forces in Elizabeth, Rahway, Linden, Kenilworth, Union, Woodbridge, Bloomfield and the State Police.

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at erin.vogt@townsquaremedia.com

Click here to contact an editor about feedback or a correction for this story.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born

Here's a look at the headlines that captured the moment, spread the word, and helped shape public opinion over the last 100 years.

The 99 top paying jobs in New Jersey

How much do you make? These are the occupations in New Jersey with the highest median annual compensation. Source: Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022

How much does the average NJ home cost? Median prices by county

Everything is costing more these days — and housing is certainly no exception in New Jersey.

Data for 2022 from January through August, compiled by New Jersey Realtors, shows that South Jersey has been seeing homes hit the market and sell in less than a month, on average.

Median prices for single-family homes have reached $500,000 and above in nine counties in North and Central Jersey.

All but two counties have seen houses go for more than the list price, on average, this year.

25 costliest hurricanes of all time

Although the full extent of damage caused by Hurricane Ian in the Southwest is still being realized, Ian is already being called one of the costliest storms to ever hit the U.S. Stacker took a look at NOAA data to extrapolate the costliest U.S. hurricanes of all time.  

RANKED: Here Are the 63 Smartest Dog Breeds

Does your loyal pup's breed make the list? Read on to see if you'll be bragging to the neighbors about your dog's intellectual prowess the next time you take your fur baby out for a walk. Don't worry: Even if your dog's breed doesn't land on the list, that doesn't mean he's not a good boy--some traits simply can't be measured.

LOOK: What are the odds that these 50 totally random events will happen to you?

Stacker took the guesswork out of 50 random events to determine just how likely they are to actually happen. They sourced their information from government statistics, scientific articles, and other primary documents. Keep reading to find out why expectant parents shouldn't count on due dates -- and why you should be more worried about dying on your birthday than living to 100 years old.

Here's where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, with close to two dozen state approvals given since the first adult recreational sales in the state back in April. Here is where the open sites are located.

More From 94.3 The Point