Brooklyn Man Indicted for Allegedly Trying to Steal Flatlands House

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 4, 2022

 

 Brooklyn Man Indicted for Allegedly Trying to Steal Flatlands House

Defendant Allegedly Tried to Transfer Ownership
Of Landlord’s Rental Property Worth $759,000 To Trust in His Name

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with grand larceny and burglary for allegedly filing a fake deed to transfer ownership of his landlord’s $759,000 rental property to a trust in the defendant’s name.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly filed a fake deed in an unlawful attempt to take ownership of his landlord’s property. Title theft is a serious crime that deprives hard-working people of the single most important asset any American can hope to own. As real estate values continue to rise dramatically in Brooklyn, I remain committed to protecting homeowners across the borough from fraudsters who would steal their security and investment in the future.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as James Effiwatt, 64, of Flatlands. The defendant was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of second-degree burglary, one count of second-degree grand larceny and two counts of fourth-degree attempted grand larceny. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $25,000 bond or $10,000 cash and to return to court on February 15, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on January 15, 2021, Effiwatt allegedly recorded a deed to a three-story house at 36 Hubbard Place in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn that transferred the title of the property from the owner, Hubbard Estates LLC, to an entity called the “Ayonkladd Trust,” of which the defendant was the trustee. The deed was allegedly signed by Effiwatt as a grantor despite the fact that the defendant is not a member or trustee of Hubbard Estates LLC. The building has an assessed value of $759,000. The property has been owned by the legitimate owner, a 49-year-old woman, since 2015.

The District Attorney said that, furthermore, the investigation revealed that Effiwatt is a former tenant of 36 Hubbard Place who lived in the third-floor attic apartment for several years beginning in August 2015. Effiwatt allegedly stopped paying rent in the summer of 2017 and was eventually ordered to vacate the property in October 2019 by city housing officials over housing code violations. However, it is alleged that Effiwatt subsequently moved back into the attic apartment where he has remained since. Additionally, beginning in March 2021, Effiwatt allegedly approached several other tenants of the property and demanded they pay him rent. Effiwatt also allegedly approached a real estate broker and discussed selling the property for six or seven hundred thousand dollars.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Francis Longobardi, Special Counsel to the District Attorney’s Real Estate Frauds Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Unit Chief, Assistant District Attorney Gregory Pavlides, Chief of the Frauds Bureau, Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

 

Seventeen Alleged Gang Members Charged in Two IndictmentsContaining Total of 118 Counts, Including Conspiracy to Commit Murder

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 4, 2022

 

Seventeen Alleged Gang Members Charged in Two Indictments
Containing Total of 118 Counts, Including Conspiracy to Commit Murder

Three Violent Gangs Allegedly Formed Alliance to Increase Numbers and Territory;
Fourteen Shootings Charged During Course of Conspiracy, Including Three Murders

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, today announced that 17 alleged members of three violent street gangs known collectively as YPF are variously charged in two indictments with conspiracy to commit murder, possess weapons and related charges. The indictments include charges related to shootings that resulted in 14 victims, including four who died as a result of their injuries.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This successful takedown is part of our ongoing strategy to reduce shootings and senseless deaths by targeting the most violent offenders in our communities. A particularly troubling aspect of this case is that many of the defendants are teenagers, including an individual charged in connection with all three murders, allegedly committed when he was only 16. We must engage with our young people and help to keep them on the right path. They must learn that there is another way to live beyond the gang life and be given the tools and services to help them succeed. I am committed to doing both: aggressively prosecuting shooters and partnering with community-based groups that work with our youth to prevent future violence.”

Commissioner Sewell said, “The joint, long-term investigation took aim at the most violent elements of these criminal street organizations. Once again, the NYPD focused on the few people willing to pick up a gun to harm those who live and work in our Brooklyn neighborhoods. By pursuing these kinds of cases together, our NYPD detectives and prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, work relentlessly to continue reducing this kind of violence – and our work goes on.”

The defendants will be arraigned beginning this afternoon before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Craig Walker on two indictments in which they are variously charged with first-, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first- and second-degree assault, second- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and first-degree reckless endangerment.

The District Attorney said the indictment is the result of a long-term investigation by the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau and the NYPD’s Brooklyn North Violent Crimes Squad into the violence allegedly committed by members and associates of three violent street gangs that formed an alliance. The gangs are FNO (Fort N**** Only or Fear No One), PPP (Pistol Packing Pitkin) and YAWAH (Young and Wild and Hustling). Collectively, they are known as YPF

The alleged purpose of the alliance was to form a large umbrella group to increase their numbers and territory as well as commit violence against their common enemies and maintain geographic dominance. Other alleged benefits included access to more handguns and freedom to travel safely to their allies’ neighborhoods and the ability to hunt down more rivals.

Geographically, the YPF alliance territory includes the following: The 73rd Precinct, specifically the Langston Hughes, Van Dyke and Seth Low Houses of the New York City Housing Authority in Brownsville, which is YAWAH territory; in the 75th Precinct, specifically in the area of 2211 Pitkin Avenue, known as Fiorentino Plaza, of NYCHA, and surrounding areas of East New York, which is PPP territory; and in the 88th Precinct, specifically in the area of the Ingersoll Houses, of NYCHA, and surrounding areas of Fort Greene, which is FNO territory.

At the start of the conspiracies, the defendants ranged in age from 14 to 20 years old.

It is alleged that many of the acts of violence were captured on surveillance videos. Furthermore, it is alleged that the defendants boasted about their criminal actions on social media, directing acts of violence and taking credit for shootings.

It is alleged that YPF members committed 14 shootings during the course of the conspiracy, with 14 shooting victims, including nine innocent victims. Four individuals died as a result of those shootings and the rest were injured.

• It is alleged that on October 28, 2020, at approximately 6:05 p.m., FNO members Iquan Warlick and Nakhai Addison got off the train in East New York and walked over to a bodega located at 296 New Lots Avenue. At that time, an alleged rival they were looking for was inside the bodega waiting for food along with Sherard McKoy, an 18-year-old college freshman not affiliated with any gang. The rival stepped outside, saw Warlick and Addison and went inside to warn McKoy. The two defendants then entered the bodega. Warlick allegedly pulled out a gun and chased McKoy out of the bodega, then fired multiple shots, killing him. Addison then allegedly took the gun from Warlick and returned to the bodega to fire additional shots towards the rear of the bodega where their target ran to hide.

• On November 22, 2020, it is alleged, George Risher Jr., Iquan Warlick and at least two other unidentified individuals traveled to East New York from Fort Greene by car to a birthday party for a 16-year-old in which enemies of YPF would be in attendance. One of the unidentified individuals allegedly shot at a group near the venue, striking someone in the leg. The defendants and that individual then chased a group of perceived rivals around the corner and Risher allegedly fired at them, causing property damage. A short time later, Warlick, Risher and two unidentified individuals then went to where the party had relocated, 15 Albany Avenue in Crown Heights, in rival gang territory. Risher and the third individual went to the third floor and allegedly fired multiple shots at partygoers there, striking and injuring five innocent victims and killing innocent victim, Daijyonna Long, 20, who was visiting from Virginia. Warlick and the fourth individual remained on the first floor where they each allegedly fired shots towards the group located there, striking and injuring two individuals who were in an elevator on the first floor.

• On September 21, 2021, at approximately 3:05 p.m., it is alleged that several FNO members entered the Metrotech Mall in Downtown Brooklyn. Giovanni Bennett allegedly fired multiple shots at a former FNO member who now belongs to a rival gang, Berg Fam. An innocent New York University student was shot in the arm.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Daniel Crerend and William Pugliese and Sergeant Andrew Pagano, of the NYPD’s Brooklyn North Violent Crimes Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Danilo Maldonado and Sergeant Steven Zanca, also of the Brooklyn North Violent Crimes Squad, and the overall supervision of Captain Rachael Kosak, Commanding Officer of the Brooklyn North Violent Crimes Squad in collaboration with Lieutenant Ryan Gillis of the Gun Violence Suppression Division, Chief John Chell, Commanding Officer of Detective Borough Brooklyn North and Chief of Detectives James W. Essig. Detectives from the 88th, 73rd and 75th Precinct assisted in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorneys Martha Duffy and Sean Hughes, along with the assistance of Senior Assistant District Attorneys Kaitlin McTague and Stephanie Pak, and Paralegal Alyssa Herrera, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Cilia and Leila Rosini, VCE Deputy Bureau Chiefs, and Assistant District Attorney Alfred DeIngeniis, VCE Bureau Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

DEFENDANT ADDENDUM:

  1. Nakhai Addison, 17, of East New York
  2. Dontay Alarcon, 18, of Brownsville
  3. Giovanni Bennett, 17, of Fort Greene
  4. Tyshawn Bussey, 18, of Fort Greene
  5. Tiemel Clark, 23, of Prospect Heights
  6. Freedom Drayton, 17, of Fort Greene
  7. Margario Harris, 21, of East New York
  8. Tieteanna Hoyle, 18, of Crown Heights
  9. Lesley Jemison, 18, of Fort Greene
  10. Reuben Johnson, 19, of Brownsville
  11. Dashawn Leggett, 19, of East New York
  12. Desire Louree, 20, of the Bronx
  13. Amir Quinones, 18, of Fort Greene
  14. George Risher Jr., 17, of Fort Greene
  15. Ron Robinson, 19, of Fort Greene
  16. Ziquan Thompson, 18, of Fort Greene
  17. Iquan Warlick, 17, of Fort Greene

 

[Note: Materials shown at the press conference are available here.]

Homicides, Shootings and Other Violent Crimes Steeply Declined in Brooklyn During 2021, Bucking Citywide Trend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 31, 2020

 

Homicides, Shootings and Other Violent Crimes Steeply Declined in
Brooklyn During 2021, Bucking Citywide Trend

Murders Declined by 16%, Shootings and Shooting Victims Dropped by Over 20%
Compared to Previous Year; Rapes, Robberies, Burglaries Were Also Down

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that Brooklyn made gains in public safety during 2021, as homicides and shootings declined compared to 2020. Those categories inched up in other boroughs and citywide. The Brooklyn DA’s Office continued to focus on street gangs and other violent individuals while expanding outreach efforts in and partnerships with impacted communities and violence interrupters. With actions that increased fairness, transparency and accountability, the District Attorney remains committed to keeping Brooklyn safe and enhancing community trust in the justice system.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “I am gratified to report that public safety in Brooklyn improved over the past year, with significant declines in murders, shootings and other major crimes. We still have work to do as we recover from the rise in gun violence that we experienced in 2020 and continue to face challenges from the ongoing pandemic. But through the hard work of my prosecutors and law enforcement partners, our focus on the most violent individuals and growing partnerships with community-based groups – we are showing that there are answers to violence. I am hopeful that the progress will continue into the coming year when we plan to put in place new preventative approaches while staying laser-focused on the small number of people who cause harm in our communities.”

The District Attorney said that 147 murders were recorded in Brooklyn in 2021, 28 or 16% fewer than the 175 suffered in 2020. The most significant drops were in the Crown Heights and Flatbush areas: 75% in the 71st Precinct, 60% in the 70th Precinct and 45% in the 77th Precinct. Citywide, murders were up about 4% for the year.

There were 517 shooting incidents in Brooklyn in 2021, a 20.7% drop compared to the previous year. Significantly, shootings declined in 20 of the 23 Brooklyn precincts, including in Flatbush/Midwood (down 55%), Williamsburg (down 45%), Canarsie (down 36%), and East New York (down 32%). Citywide, there was a 2% uptick in shooting incidents.

Shooting victims in Brooklyn plunged by 23.1%, from 808 to 621. [All stats are based on the New York City Police Department’s CompStat reports.]

While these homicides and shooting numbers represent an increase from the record-breaking 2018 (fewest homicides on record, at 98) and 2019 (fewest shootings since record keeping began, at 290), they are comparable to numbers from five-six years ago (146 homicides in 2015 and 520 shootings in 2014).

The decrease in crime is also reflected by other major crime categories: rape was down 7.3%, robbery down 6.4% and burglary down 16.7% compared to 2020. There were increases, however, in felony assault (6.9%), grand larceny (9.3%) and hate crimes (41.1%).

The District Attorney said that his Office, together with the NYPD and federal partners, conducted four successful gang takedowns this year, which resulted in shootings decreases in surrounded neighborhoods. For the first time, these law enforcement actions were followed up with outreach in the impacted communities, where the actions were explained, and questions were answered. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, these efforts resulted in working groups and a Youth Summit that engaged young people in that community on what safety means to them. A violence prevention program that will be established in 2022 grew out of these conversations.

In Brownsville, the DA’s Office took part in a number of initiatives aimed at reducing violence and increasing community participation. Those include the Brownsville Safety Alliance, a pilot with local stakeholders that reduces police presence and empowers violence interrupters and social service providers; a Hub Project – community-led mobile response teams that endeavor to assist families and individuals in crisis; and referrals of misdemeanor desk-appearance tickets to community-based organizations before a court arraignment. Other community engagement efforts included numerous food distribution events in at-need neighborhoods and a holiday toy drive.

In 2021, the District Attorney took several actions to enhance transparency and accountability. In October, CUNY’s Institute for State & Local Governance issued a report analyzing racial disparities in the Brooklyn DA’s prosecutorial process. The data, examining thousands of cases from 2016 through mid-2019, painted a nuanced picture and found fewer than expected racial disparities in outcomes. For instance, people of color were as likely as members of other races to be diverted out of the system at certain points, thus receiving equitable treatment.

In August, the Brooklyn DA’s Office became the first agency in the country to release its entire database of disclosure letters regarding police officers in the borough. The trove of 10,000-plus documents lists all findings that may affect an officer’s credibility and that are constitutionally required to be disclosed to defense lawyers and the court. Released in response to a Freedom of Information request, the disclosures are now part of the public record.

In April, following a review by his Conviction Review Unit, District Attorney Gonzalez asked the courts to dismiss 90 convictions that relied on the work of a former narcotics detective who’s been indicted for perjury in Manhattan. This move was followed by similar actions in other boroughs. The CRU also notched its 30th exoneration since 2014 by moving to vacate the conviction of a man who spent 19 years in prison for firing at police. In addition – to bring the Brooklyn docket in line with evolving laws and policies and to increase fairness – the DA moved to dismiss all the remaining marijuana possession cases and all outstanding warrants pertaining to prostitution and loitering for the purpose of prostitution.

Finally, the Brooklyn DA’s Office continued its advocacy for early release of individuals who had served the minimum sentence and have shown during their time in prison that they can safely return home. The Post-Conviction Justice Bureau submitted 48 letters supporting parole and in about half of those case parole was granted. The Bureau also supported the release of the only person to be granted clemency by the governor this year.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Trinidad and Tobago Citizen Convicted in Double Homicide For Murdering His Sister and Former Girlfriend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 21, 2021

 

Trinidad and Tobago Citizen Convicted in Double Homicide
For Murdering His Sister and Former Girlfriend

Defendant Faces up to 50 Years to Life in Prison When He is Sentenced

Brooklyn District Eric Gonzalez today announced that a former Brooklyn resident has been convicted of two counts of murder for shooting to death his sister and former girlfriend in July 2002. The defendant then fled Brooklyn and remained at large until his arrest in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 2018.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “For almost 20 years, the family and friends of Patricia Neverson and Donna Davis have waited for this defendant to be brought to justice. This verdict ensures that this defendant will no longer threaten public safety in our communities, and hopefully brings a small measure of solace to the victims’ loved ones.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Andre Neverson, 57, of Trinidad and Tobago. He was convicted yesterday of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. The defendant will be sentenced on January 31, 2022, at which time he faces up to 50 years to life in prison.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on July 8, 2002, Neverson fatally shot his older sister, Patricia Neverson, 39, in her Crown Heights, Brooklyn home following an ongoing dispute between them. She was shot in the head and body and was found later that same night.

Later that day, at around 6:20 p.m., Neverson picked up his former girlfriend, Donna Davis, 38, at Audrey Cohen College in Queens. After she got in his minivan, she was never seen again, until, according to the evidence, her body was found dumped in an empty lot in East New York, Brooklyn, with a gunshot wound to her head.

Neverson fled Brooklyn, but was apprehended on September 4, 2018, in Bridgeport, Connecticut by the U.S. Marshals Service and returned to Brooklyn.

The District Attorney thanked Supervising Paralegal Jannette Ayala and Paralegals Meghan Brancato and Angelika Rostkowska, of the Homicide Bureau for their assistance on the case.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Daniel M. Murphy, also of the Homicide Bureau.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Brooklyn Contractors Indicted for Allegedly Stealing $93,000From Five Customers Who Hired Them to Perform Plumbing and Gas Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

 

Brooklyn Contractors Indicted for Allegedly Stealing $93,000
From Five Customers Who Hired Them to Perform Plumbing and Gas Work

Defendants, Who Were not Licensed, Allegedly Took Money for Work they Didn’t Complete

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with Acting New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Daniel G. Cort, today announced that two unlicensed Brooklyn contractors and their company have been arraigned on an indictment in which they are charged with grand larceny and scheme to defraud for fraudulently representing they were licensed plumbers and allegedly taking money from five customers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens to do work, then walking off the jobs without completing or properly performing the work.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants allegedly engaged in a lengthy and brazen scheme that took advantage of homeowners who put their trust in them. We will continue to investigate fraud and corruption in the home improvement industry and to seek justice for those who are victimized by unscrupulous or dishonest contractors.”

Acting DOI Commissioner Cort said, “These defendants posed as professional, licensed plumbers when they were not; and engaged in plumbing, gas and other remodeling work that they were not licensed to perform; and then failed to complete the work, stealing tens of thousands of dollars from New York City homeowners, according to the charges. Their charged actions reflect no regard for homeowner safety, as they walked off unfinished jobs, leaving homeowners in the costly position of having to hire credentialed professionals to complete the jobs correctly. DOI thanks the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the City Department of Buildings for their partnership on this important investigation that demonstrates how corruption can undermine safety.”

The District Attorney identified the defendants as Peter DiMassi, 49, of Staten Island, and Marcello Stemma, 42, of Bethpage, New York, and the company that they co-own, Best Priced Construction, Inc., of Brooklyn. They were arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Hecht on an indictment in which they are charged with third-degree grand larceny and first-degree scheme to defraud. They were released without bail and ordered to return to court on February 1, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between September 21, 2017 and August 5, 2021, the defendants contracted with five different customers to perform plumbing and gas work at their respective properties, one in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, two in the Bronx and one in Queens.

The defendants, according to the investigation, allegedly claimed verbally or in written estimates that they were licensed plumbers or that they were authorized to work under a licensed plumber – which was not true. In fact, they were not licensed and had no legal professional affiliation with the licensed plumbers whose license numbers were listed on their estimates and contracts.

The customers allegedly paid the defendants amounts ranging from $7,000 to $34,000 for work that was not properly performed or completed. At each property they allegedly walked off the job after getting into a dispute with the customer, who then had to hire another contractor to finish the work or spend additional funds.

The case was investigated by a Detective Investigator from the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau and New York City Department of Investigation Chief of Investigations Barry Romm and Assistant Inspectors General Dan Taylor and Robert Miller.

The District Attorney thanked the New York City Department of Buildings for its assistance in the case.

People who believe they have been victimized by these defendants are encouraged to contact the District Attorney’s Action Center at 718-250-2340.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Adam Libove, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Laura Neubauer, Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Strangulation and Assault As Hate Crimes for Attack on Jewish Man Walking Home from Synagogue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 13, 2021

 

Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Strangulation and Assault
As Hate Crimes for Attack on Jewish Man Walking Home from Synagogue

Shouted Anti-Semitic Slurs Before and After Assault

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for the strangulation and assault as hate crimes for the unprovoked attack against a Jewish man, whom he cursed and strangled as the victim was walking home from a synagogue.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a frightening and unprovoked attack that left an innocent man terrorized. We will not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in Brooklyn, where we pride ourselves on the diversity of our neighbors. I hope that this sentence sends the message that my Office will pursue and bring to justice those who target our community members for hate-fueled violence.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as James Vincent, 44. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo to 11 years in prison. The defendant was convicted of first-degree attempted strangulation as a hate crime, second-degree strangulation as a hate crime, attempted second-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal mischief on October 28, 2021 following a jury trial.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on April 21, 2018, at approximately 1 p.m., the victim, a 52-year-old Jewish man, was walking home from his synagogue after Sabbath prayers. He walked past the defendant in the vicinity of Rutland Road and East 46th Street in East Flatbush, when the defendant yelled, “You #$%& Jew, you Jews took my house and mortgage.” The victim continued walking.

The defendant then ran up to the victim from behind, placed his hands on his neck and applied pressure, according to the evidence. He then punched the victim in the head and body, put his arms around the victim’s head and applied pressure. Two bystanders intervened and the defendant continued to yell epithets regarding the victim’s religion as the victim picked up his yarmulke and kippah. The defendant then fled.

The victim suffered various injuries to the head and body.

Several surveillance videos from the area helped to identify the defendant and the investigation revealed that he purchased ice cream in a nearby store using a card bearing his name. He was arrested on April 27, 2018.

The case was investigated by now retired Detective Kenneth O’Donnell, of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, under the supervision of Sergeant Charles A. Senat.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriana Rodriguez, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Flatbush Man Indicted on Arson and Attempted Murder Charges for Allegedly Throwing Incendiary Device into Bedford-Stuyvesant Deli

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 13, 2021

 

Flatbush Man Indicted on Arson and Attempted Murder Charges for Allegedly Throwing Incendiary Device into Bedford-Stuyvesant Deli

Defendant Allegedly Stabbed Deli Worker in Hand after Running from Scene, Being Chased

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Flatbush man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with arson, attempted murder and aggravated harassment for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a Bedford-Stuyvesant deli, attempting to throw a second Molotov cocktail and stabbing a deli worker who chased the defendant as he fled the scene.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Thankfully, this frightening attack did not lead to more serious injuries, but this kind of lawlessness is dangerous and requires an appropriate law enforcement response. We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice and hold him accountable.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Joel Mangal, 38, of Brooklyn, New York. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Dineen Riviezzo on a 29-count indictment in which he is charged with first-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree assault and related charges. He was ordered held on bail of $500,000 cash or $1,000,000 bond and to return to court on January 27, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 30, 2021 at approximately 6:40 a.m., the defendant allegedly threatened to kill two employees at a deli located at 496 Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant and threatened to burn the building down. He then allegedly picked up an apple from the store and threw it in the direction of one employee, breaking a television screen.

Furthermore, it is alleged, at approximately 7:50 a.m., on October 30, 2021, the defendant allegedly stood outside of the deli and threw a Molotov cocktail inside the deli, which exploded into a fireball on impact and engulfed the deli counter and caused portions of the cashier counter to go up in flames, forcing two employees to jump through the flames to get to safety. One of the victim’s foot and arm caught fire.

Shortly thereafter, the defendant allegedly attempted to throw a second Molotov cocktail into the store, but a passerby knocked it out of his hand. The defendant immediately fled the location, heading for the Nostrand Avenue A/C subway station. The workers chased the defendant into the subway and one of them was allegedly stabbed in the hand by the defendant. The worker found a police officer and pointed out the defendant on the subway platform, and he was arrested.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Edward Kerins of the District Attorney’s Blue Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kin Ng, Bureau Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Three Brooklyn Shopkeepers Indicted for Bribery Scheme to Receive Advance Notice of Health Department Inspections of Eateries

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 13, 2021

 

Three Brooklyn Shopkeepers Indicted for Bribery Scheme to Receive Advance Notice of Health Department Inspections of Eateries

Defendants Allegedly Offered Bribe to Health Department Official, Who Reported Incident to the
New York City Department of Investigation, Which Conducted Undercover Probe

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with Acting New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Daniel G. Cort, today announced that three men who own food businesses in Mill Basin, Brooklyn have been arraigned on an indictment in which they are charged with bribery for allegedly offering winnings from a valuable Super Bowl box to a New York City Department of Health official in exchange for a warning about impending inspections.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “It is alleged that these defendants attempted to corrupt and circumvent Health Department protocols that are in place for a reason: to ensure sanitary conditions and protect the public. I commend the City employee who, when allegedly offered a bribe, reported it to DOI. We will now seek to hold the defendants accountable.”

Acting Commissioner Cort said, “Restaurant inspections are meant to be rigorous and conducted without warning to ensure establishments are following the City’s health and safety protocols. These defendants allegedly used corruption and cash to try and game the system, but instead were undone by a City Health employee who stood up for integrity and notified the Department of Investigation, according to the charges. I applaud the City employee who knew to do the right thing and, in so doing, protected the safety of the New Yorkers who frequent these establishments. And I thank the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their dedicated partnership on this investigation.”

The District Attorney identified the defendants as John DiSanto, 50, of Bergen Beach, Brooklyn; his brother, Jack DiSanto, 47, of Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, and Robert Cuba, 55, of Staten Island. They were arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Sharen Hudson on an indictment in which they are each charged with one count of second- and third-degree bribery. Their businesses, Gourmet Grill, Inc., Frozen Planet Yogurt, LLC, and Mill Basin Bagel Café, Inc., were also arraigned on the same charges. The defendants were released without bail and ordered to return to court on January 19, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, in approximately January 2020, John DiSanto allegedly communicated with a Department of Health (DOH) employee by text, seeking advance notice of inspections in exchange for a Super Bowl box. The employee reported the alleged bribe attempt to DOI, who used an undercover investigator to communicate with the defendant. The defendant subsequently communicated with the undercover, whom he allegedly believed to be a DOH employee who could give him advance notice of inspections to be performed at his restaurant, Gourmet Grill, located at 6334 Avenue N in Brooklyn.

DiSanto allegedly promised the undercover two lucrative boxes in an annual Super Bowl pool, explaining that he would cover the cost of the $1,000 boxes which could ultimately lead to a $50,000 payoff. In exchange, the undercover agreed to give DiSanto advance notice of the annual DOH inspections at Gourmet Grill, as well as Frozen Yogurt Planet, located at 6340 Avenue N (and owned by DiSanto’s brother and co-defendant, Jack DiSanto) and Mill Basin Bagel Café, located at 6319 Avenue N (and owned by DiSanto’s cousin and co-defendant, Robert Cuba).

The following transcript of an alleged conversation in January 2020 between the undercover and DiSanto laid out the arrangement:

JD: You’ll have your sets of numbers and if you hit, you come see me and you come collect. And if you don’t hit, you’re in it next year.

UC: Yeah

JD: But you just have to give me your word that you’re going to help me.

UC: Ok, so just – you want me to look after the bagel.

JD: My three stores. My family stores.

UC: Bagel, Frozen –

JD: And Gourmet Grill.

UC: And Gourmet Grill. And then just, you’ll give me the two boxes and then –

JD: They’re yours forever.

UC: And I’ll look through the system?

JD: All you have to do is tell me, John, ah, we have a … [A former DOH employee] described the person that would come –

UC: Ok.

In a later conversation, the defendant allegedly said that he and his co-defendants need advance notice of one week for any upcoming inspections “because we do get nervous, I’m going to admit it. We wanna get it over with because it’s kind of a little taxing for us. So, if they don’t come, then we get mad because we prepare and then we have to reprepare, and so you just gotta give me the heads up.” After a few more exchanges, the undercover replies: “I can – I could do that.”

DiSanto allegedly added: “Ok. And [UC], I want you to become friends with me. I want you to meet my brother, and I want you to come meet, and I want you to – I want you to win. Because I want you to be comfortable, I want you to be like, I’m excited to help these people. That’s what I want.”

In February 2020, it is alleged, the undercover met up with DiSanto to collect $16,000 cash in winnings from the Super Bowl boxes. The undercover and DiSanto allegedly met again, in February 2021, after the Super Bowl, and DiSanto allegedly gave the undercover $4,000 to continue the arrangement.

The case was investigated by DOI’s Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, specifically Assistant Inspector General Laura Martich and Deputy Inspector General Michael Morris, under the supervision of First Deputy Inspector General Mary Kozlow, Inspector General Clinton Daggan, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Dominick Zarrella and Acting First Deputy Commissioner Philip Hung.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sara Walshe, of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Laura Neubauer, Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Sheepshead Bay Man Pleads Guilty to Fatally Shooting Estranged Wife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 29, 2021

 

Sheepshead Bay Man Pleads Guilty to Fatally Shooting Estranged Wife

Admits to Assaulting Victim’s Cousin, Who Tried to Protect Her
To Be Sentenced to 20 Years to Life in Prison

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn has pleaded guilty to an indictment in which he is charged with the murder of his 30-year-old wife, who he physically assaulted and then shot in the head after tracking her down at a family reunion in Sea Gate, Brooklyn. He fled the scene and was apprehended in Delaware a week later.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This is a tragic case of domestic violence in which the mother of two young children was senselessly killed. The defendant has now accepted responsibility for his actions and will spend many years in prison as a result. My condolences go out to the family of Iveliss Alvarado, especially her children, for their tremendous loss.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Gabino Genao, 34, of Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. He pleaded guilty today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo to second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment and third-degree assault. He is expected to be sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on February 15, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on May 26, 2017 at about 11:15 p.m., in front of 2714 West 36th Street in Sea Gate, Brooklyn, the defendant shot his estranged wife, Iveliss Alvarado, multiple times in the head. The couple was not living together at the time and the victim was celebrating at a family reunion before she was fatally shot.

A cousin of the victim witnessed the defendant punching Ms. Alvarado and intervened to try to protect her. The cousin suffered bruises when the defendant punched her as well. The defendant then opened fire. After the shooting, the defendant was heard saying, “I killed her,” according to the investigation. He was apprehended in Delaware on June 2, 2017 and extradited to Brooklyn.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Michael Damico of the 60th Precinct Detective Squad.

The District Attorney thanked Senior Intelligence Analyst Eungee Hwang, of the Crime Strategies Unit, for her work on the case. Senior Intelligence Analyst Daniel Figlin of CSU, Homicide Paralegal Meghan Brancato, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Denise Pavlides assisted in the case.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Palacio, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Fugitive Arraigned for Cold Case 1996 Murder After Extradition from the Dominican Republic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 19, 2021

 

Fugitive Arraigned for Cold Case 1996 Murder After
Extradition from the Dominican Republic

Allegedly Stabbed Victim on Bushwick Street After Argument Over a Woman and Subsequently Fled the Country

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea, today announced that a 51-year-old man has been arraigned on a murder charge in connection with a 1996 fatal stabbing of a romantic rival in Bushwick. The defendant was extradited from his native Dominican Republic after being indicted in Brooklyn following a cold case investigation.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The charges in this case show that in Brooklyn, justice will not be denied, even when it is delayed. It took more than two decades to determine the whereabouts of this defendant, but once he was found, my office moved swiftly to charge him and bring him back to Brooklyn. I would like to thank the NYPD for never giving up on this investigation as well as the U.S. State and Justice Departments for assisting in the international extradition process.”

Commissioner Shea said, “This case – decades old and enhanced by a tip from the public – highlights the NYPD’s core value to never forget and never give up on crime victims and those in need. Working together, our NYPD detectives, law enforcement partners at home and abroad, and prosecutors of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, never wavered in their commitment to establish justice in this Cold Case, just as they do every day across every square mile of our great city.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Bienvenido Rodriguez, 51. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on December 17, 2021. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on July 17, 1996, at approximately 10:45 p.m., near 1438 Dekalb Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the defendant was confronted by Giovanni Malpica, 21, who accused the defendant of romantically seeing his girlfriend. Malpica then struck Rodriguez in the head with a boombox.

According to the investigation, Rodriguez then allegedly stabbed Malpica numerous times with a knife, killing him. Later that night, the defendant allegedly went to a hospital to treat a laceration to his head and falsely reported that he sustained a cut when falling from a bicycle. He subsequently fled the country.

The break in the case came in 2018 after the TV network Univision aired a piece about the homicide and asked for information about the suspect’s whereabouts. A tip came in, reporting that he resided in Chile. In November 2018, an NYPD detective and a Brooklyn prosecutor obtained a statement from the defendant in Chile in which he denied knowing both Malpica and their mutual love interest.

In September 2019, the defendant was deported from Chile to the Dominican Republic. He was arrested there last month in connection with the extradition request from Brooklyn and arrived in the United States yesterday.

The case was investigated by retired Detectives Jason Palamara and Evelin Gutierrez, of the NYPD Cold Case Squad as well as Detective Carlos Vasquez of the NYPD Cold Case Squad.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Palacio, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief, and Rachel Singer, Chief of the Cold Case and Forensic Science Unit.

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An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.