Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of New York
Carla B. Freedman, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Utica Man Sentenced to Over 13 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery of Restaurant

Nay Thar Used a Sawed-off Shotgun to Commit Robbery

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Nay Thar, 25, of Utica, was sentenced today to serve 157 months (13-years and one month) in federal prison for committing the armed robbery of a restaurant in Utica, and use of an unregistered short-barreled shotgun to commit the robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman, John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Chief Mark Williams, City of Utica Police Department, New York State Police Acting Superintendent Steven G. James, Acting Commissioner Daniel F. Martuscello, III, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, and Oneida County District Attorney Todd Carville.

As part of his previous guilty plea, Thar admitted that on August 5, 2022, he used an unregistered short-barreled 12-gauge shotgun to rob the Zam Zam Restaurant in Utica. Upon entering the restaurant wearing a ski-mask, Thar pointed the sawed-off shotgun at an employee and demanded she open the cash register. After she fled to the rear of the restaurant without opening the register, Thar stole a donation box on the counter containing cash for a charity, exited the building, and fled in a car. New York State Parole officers who happened to be in the area responded with Utica Police (UPD). After a short vehicle pursuit, Thar was taken into custody by Utica Police. The ski-mask, unregistered shotgun, and stolen money were recovered from the car Thar was driving.

Thar was also sentenced today to serve a five-year term of post-incarceration supervised release following completion of his prison sentence.

The United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Utica Police Department (UPD), the New York State Police (NYSP), and Officers of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (Parole) investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick prosecuted (with assistance from the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office) the case as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?