Two East New York Men Convicted of Kidnapping for Hire, Murder

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Two East New York Men Convicted of Kidnapping for Hire, Murder

Victim’s Body Found in Queens, Throat Cut from Ear-to-Ear

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that two East New York men have been convicted of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree murder and related charges for the forced abduction and murder of a Williamsburg man.

District Attorney Thompson said, “These two defendants kidnapped a man and then slit his throat all for money, drugs and a car.  They will now pay a steep price for their barbaric acts.”

The District Attorney identified the defendants as Tramel Cuencas, 24, and Irving Gavin, 28, both of 702 Warwick Street in East New York, Brooklyn. Defendant Cuencas was convicted on April 14, 2016, of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree robbery following a jury trial. Defendant Gavin was convicted of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary by a separate jury on April 18, 2016. Both defendants will be sentenced before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on May 3, 2016 at which time they face a maximum of ­­­50 years to life behind bars.

The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on the afternoon of November 14, 2012, the defendants forced their way into the apartment of Thomas Dudley and held him and three other occupants at gun point. They then took approximately $10,000 from a safe inside the home. Three of the victim’s family members, including his 8-year-old sister, were in the apartment at the time.

The defendants then forced the victim to get dressed, tied his hands and then directed him into a U-haul truck waiting outside. The victim’s body was found the following day in Forest Park, Queens; his throat was cut from ear-to-ear and both wrists were slashed.

After the defendants, both members of the Elm Street Piru gang, were arrested on November 19, 2012, they made incriminating statements admitting to the kidnapping and indicated that the kidnapping was ordered by another gang member as retaliation for an alleged drug dispute involving the victim. In exchange for kidnapping Dudley, the defendants expected to be paid in cash, drugs and his Jaguar.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Detective Erik Malak of the 90 Precinct Detective Squad and Detectives Robert McCormick and Kahlid Ragab of the 102nd Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Peter Galasso of the Queens Homicide Squad.

The case was prosecuted by First Deputy Chief Alfred De Igeniis and Assistant District Attorney James Slattery of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau.