FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 11, 2016
Three Men Sentenced for Kidnapping, Robbery in Greenpoint
Victim Tortured With Blow Torch, Forced to Reveal Where He Kept His Money
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that three men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for kidnapping and subsequently robbing two men in Greenpoint. The defendants tortured one of the men with a blowtorch on his thighs and genitals and put out lit cigarettes on his face and neck to force him to tell them where he kept his cash.
District Attorney Thompson said, “These three defendants not only blindfolded and kidnapped the victims but also subjected them to brutal acts of terror and even torture with a blow torch. Such depraved acts of violence – all done for money – were cruel and simply inhumane and led to the lengthy prison sentences that they each got.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Francisco Graham, 39, of 6523 Windsor Street, Philadelphia, PA; Clarence Davis, 40, of 4703 Brentwood Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Abdul Lopez, 23, of 70 Lenox Street, Brooklyn, NY. Davis and Lopez were sentenced today to determinate terms of 13 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, following their guilty plea on January 20, 2016 to first-degree robbery. Graham was sentenced on February 5, 2016 to an indeterminate term of 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree kidnapping on January 20, 2016. All three defendants were sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on December 13, 2013 at approximately 5 p.m., Angelo Gonzalez and Jerry Tavarez were walking along Greenpoint Avenue when they were suddenly ambushed by the defendants. Displaying firearms and police shields, the defendants identified themselves as Drug Enforcement Administration agents, handcuffed the victims and threw them into a van.
The victims were driven to a location in Queens, blindfolded and held in separate basement rooms. Gonzalez was stripped of his pants and underwear and tortured with a blow torch on his inner thighs and genitals. The defendants also extinguished lit cigarettes on his face, neck and body as loud Christmas music played in the background, drowning out the his cries for help.
Gonzalez then told the defendants that he kept a stash of cash at home and gave them his home address and the alarm code for entry. Held overnight and under additional duress, he also told the defendants about a safety deposit box where kept more money. The defendants then, with Gonzalez in tow, proceeded to drive towards the victim’s Williamsburg home and instructed the victim to have his girlfriend deliver the deposit box key directly to the van. The victim’s girlfriend, utilizing the ‘Find My Phone’ application, alerted the police to her boyfriend’s location. Detectives arrived at the location and arrested the defendants. The second victim was later released.
A search of the home where the victims were kept led to the discovery of a fake badge and a firearm. The basement floor was covered in tarps, and a blowtorch, cigarette butts and a hacksaw were recovered.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jamie Begley, formerly of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau- Grey Zone, and Assistant District Attorney Holly Serrette, also of the Grey Zone, under the supervision of Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.