North Carolina Man Indicted for Trafficking 33 Guns to Sell on the Streets of Brooklyn

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

January 17, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

North Carolina Man Indicted for Trafficking
33 Guns to Sell on the Streets of Brooklyn

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 24-year-old man from North Carolina has been arraigned on a 115-count indictment for allegedly trafficking 33 firearms from his home state into Brooklyn. He allegedly sold 25 of the firearms to an undercover police officer on two occasions last month and was arrested with eight additional guns and assault rifle parts before completing a third planned transaction.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on December 5, 2016, the defendant, Marcus Gamble, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina, sold 10 loaded firearms to an undercover police officer and, on December 13, 2016, the defendant sold the undercover 15 loaded firearms for a total of about $27,000. The sales took place inside a car near Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.

On December 20, 2016, as the defendant was allegedly waiting for a third sale to begin, he was arrested inside a Golden Krust restaurant at 568 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Eight guns and parts of an assault rifle were recovered from his book-bag, according to the indictment.

The 33 guns the defendant is charged with transporting to Brooklyn were mostly pistols and revolvers, including Smith & Wessons, Colts and Rugers. Some of the weapons were purchased legally in North Carolina and others were stolen, the investigation found.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The pistols and revolvers that were recovered as part of this investigation are exactly the type of guns that are used to commit violence on our streets. Keeping such weapons – purchased legally in southern states, but possessed illegally in Brooklyn – out of the hands of criminals undoubtedly saves lives so I am determined to continue working with the NYPD to identify out-of-state firearms traffickers and to bring them to justice in Brooklyn.”

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

 

Read the full press release here.

 

North Carolina Man Indicted for Trafficking 33 Guns to Sell on the Streets of Brooklyn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

 

North Carolina Man Indicted for Trafficking
33 Guns to Sell on the Streets of Brooklyn

Sold 25 Firearms to Undercover on Two Occasions,
Arrested inside Restaurant before Completing Third Sale

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that a 24-year-old man from North Carolina has been arraigned on a 115-count indictment for allegedly trafficking 33 firearms from his home state into Brooklyn. He allegedly sold 25 of the firearms to an undercover police officer on two occasions last month and was arrested with eight additional guns and assault rifle parts before completing a third planned transaction.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The pistols and revolvers that were recovered as part of this investigation are exactly the type of guns that are used to commit violence on our streets. Keeping such weapons – purchased legally in southern states, but possessed illegally in Brooklyn – out of the hands of criminals undoubtedly saves lives so I am determined to continue working with the NYPD to identify out-of-state firearms traffickers and to bring them to justice in Brooklyn.”

Commissioner O’Neill said, “This one individual was able to readily bring thirty-three illegal firearms into New York City for sale within a two week period. This case is yet another clear example of how the lax gun laws and regulations in other areas of our country can directly impact the crime fighting efforts of New York. It is further evidence of the need for a greater level of control and accountability in connection with access to illegal firearms throughout our nation. I want to thank all those who worked so well in bringing this case to a swift and successful result.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Marcus Gamble, 24, of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley on a 115-count indictment in which he is charged with first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a firearm, first-, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and related charges. The defendant was ordered held without bail.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on December 5, 2016, the defendant sold 10 loaded firearms to an undercover police officer and, on December 13, 2016, the defendant sold the undercover 15 loaded firearms for a total of about $27,000. The sales took place inside a car in the vicinity of Flatbush Avenue and Maple Street in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn.

On December 20, 2016, as the defendant was allegedly waiting for a third sale to commence, he was arrested inside a Golden Krust restaurant located at 568 Flatbush Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Eight guns and parts of an assault rifle were recovered from his book-bag, according to the indictment.

The 33 guns the defendant is charged with transporting to Brooklyn were mostly pistols and revolvers, including Smith & Wessons, Colts and Rugers. Some of the weapons were purchased legally in North Carolina and others were stolen, the investigation found. The defendant grew up in New York City, has extensive family ties to Brooklyn, but has been living in North Carolina for the past couple of years, according to the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by Police Officer Konrad Zakiewicz with the assistance of Detective William Warren, under the Supervision of Sergeant Richard Young and Lieutenant Richard Zacarese of the NYPD’s Gun Violence Suppression Division

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Katie Lee Wright, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief of VCE, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

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

 

Seven Defendants, including National Grid Employees, Charged with Enterprise Corruption for Operating Shadow Utility Company that Illegally Installed Gas Meters in Violation of Safety Protocols

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

January 12, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Seven Defendants, including National Grid Employees, Charged with
Enterprise Corruption for Operating Shadow Utility Company that Illegally Installed Gas
Meters in Violation of Safety Protocols

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the indictment of a former National Grid employee who infiltrated the public utility and corrupted a number of its employees. He and other defendants are charged with enterprise corruption and related offenses for operating a shadow utility company that violated New York City Department of Buildings and National Grid regulations and procedures, installing illegal gas meters across Brooklyn for landlords willing to pay $1,300 to $2,500 per meter. A total of 37 defendants, including seven former National Grid employees, have been charged in connection with the enterprise.

The Acting District Attorney identified Weldon “Al” Findlay, 47, of Snyder Avenue, Brooklyn, as the alleged mastermind and leader of the enterprise. Findlay, who worked for National Grid until 2010, and six other defendants are charged with enterprise corruption, which carries up to 25 years in prison. The other 30 defendants charged in connection with the case include landlords, property managers, and contractors who arranged for, installed, or received illegal gas service.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the enterprise consisted of a pattern of criminal activity in connection with the illegal installation of gas meters in exchange for cash at 33 residential properties across Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Midwood, and Borough Park, in addition to homes in parts of Queens. Findlay is alleged to have formed the enterprise, and to have directed its criminal activities throughout the period covered by the indictment, namely January 12, 2016 to June 30, 2016.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We simply will not allow the lucrative real estate market in Brooklyn to feed criminal activity and potentially endanger lives. These defendants showed contempt for rules and regulations specifically put into place to protect public safety. And they did this with callous disregard on a regular basis. We will continue to protect Brooklyn residents by pursuing criminal prosecutions of landlords and others who put profits ahead of safeguards.”

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

Read the full press release here.

 

Seven Defendants, including National Grid Employees, Charged with Enterprise Corruption for Operating Shadow Utility Company that Illegally Installed Gas Meters in Violation of Safety Protocols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 12, 2017

 

Seven Defendants, including National Grid Employees, Charged with Enterprise Corruption for Operating Shadow Utility Company that Illegally Installed Gas Meters in Violation of Safety Protocols

Additional 30 defendants, including Landlords, Also Charged in Scheme

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, today announced the indictment of a former National Grid employee who infiltrated the public utility and corrupted a number of its employees. He and other defendants are charged with enterprise corruption and related offenses for operating a shadow utility company that violated New York City Department of Buildings and National Grid regulations and procedures, installing illegal gas meters across Brooklyn for landlords willing to pay $1,300 to $2,500 per meter. A total of 37 defendants, including seven National Grid employees, have been charged in connection with the enterprise.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We simply will not allow the lucrative real estate market in Brooklyn to feed criminal activity and potentially endanger lives. These defendants showed contempt for rules and regulations specifically put into place to protect public safety. And they did this with callous disregard on a regular basis. We will continue to protect Brooklyn residents by pursuing criminal prosecutions of landlords and others who put profits ahead of safeguards.”

Commissioner Peters said, “These defendants ignored safety for personal profit, skirting critical steps and undermining the gas authorization process, according to the charges. Our public report issued today demonstrates how this charged criminal enterprise took root, putting the safety of New Yorkers at risk, and sets out the reforms necessary to safeguard against similar activity in the future. I thank Acting District Attorney Gonzalez and his team of dedicated prosecutors for their partnership in this case, working with DOI to stop corruption of the gas installation industry in this City.”

The Acting District Attorney identified Weldon “Al” Findlay, 47, of Snyder Avenue, Brooklyn, as the alleged mastermind and leader of the enterprise. Findlay, who worked for National Grid until 2010, and six other defendants are charged with enterprise corruption, which carries up to 25 years in prison. The other 30 defendants charged in connection with the case include landlords, property managers, and contractors who arranged for, installed, or received illegal gas service.

Some of the defendants were arraigned this morning before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which they are variously charged with enterprise corruption, first-degree falsifying business records, second-degree criminal tampering and second-degree commercial bribing. The defendants are being arraigned throughout the day on indictments in Brooklyn Supreme Court and others are being arraigned on felony complaints in Brooklyn Criminal Court.

See addendum for identities of other defendants charged in this case.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the enterprise consisted of a pattern of criminal activity in connection with the illegal installation of gas meters in exchange for cash at 33 residential properties across Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Midwood, and Borough Park, in addition to homes in parts of Queens. Findlay is alleged to have formed the enterprise, and to have directed its criminal activities throughout the period covered by the indictment, namely January 12, 2016 to June 30, 2016.

The Department of Buildings and National Grid have inspected every property identified in connection with the investigation, and ensured that there is no risk to public safety.

The Acting District Attorney said that existing protocols required National Grid employees opening accounts (for new or renewed gas service) to check the public Building Information System (BIS) database to confirm that the property had been inspected as required by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). A licensed master plumber or DOB inspector must visit the location and conduct appropriate testing to ensure that gas lines have been properly and safely installed; compliance is indicated by a control number created in the BIS database. A National Grid employee acting properly would check for the BIS number and then include it in the account record before dispatching a technician to install a meter and initiate gas service.

According to the investigation, when a landlord with a new or renovated apartment wanted to avoid either the expense of the required tests, or possible delays associated with compliance, the landlord contacted Findlay, who would arrange for illegal service through his criminal enterprise. Landlords could be confident that National Grid employees setting up the account and providing gas service would violate or ignore any rules or regulations that would prevent or delay the supply of gas.

It is alleged, based on physical and electronic surveillance, including court-ordered monitoring of text messages and phone conversations, that an owner or property manager needing a meter would text Findlay (for instance, “need one meter” or “need 3”) and send an address; Findlay would then text back a price, generally around $1,500 per meter. If the owner agreed, Findlay set his criminal enterprise in motion:

  • He asked for and received contact information for the person or business entity to be listed as the National Grid account holder.
  • He texted that information to defendant Phoebe Bogan, a National Grid customer service representative in the Special Services Group, who worked in the main office at One MetroTech Center. (Findlay also used at least one other National Grid employee for this purpose when Bogan was not available.)
  • Bogan then opened a new account (or modified an existing one) at the address Findlay provided.  As a National Grid employee opening accounts, Bogan was required to check DOB’s Building Information System (BIS) for each account she opened, ensure that the residence was approved for gas service, and include the BIS number in the account record. Bogan allegedly created accounts for residences that were not authorized by DOB to receive gas – in some instances, she even texted Findlay: “no BIS.”
  • Initiation of gas service requires a technician to visit the location and install the meter. As alleged, Bogan dispatched particular technicians to Findlay’s locations – usually defendants Joel Fils-aime and Alexie LaFleur, but also others – instead of assigning the jobs in the usual manner. Ignoring protocols, the technicians Bogan sent would begin gas service, even when the property had not yet been inspected.  As National Grid began to provide gas service and bill the customer, Findlay paid Bogan and the others for their criminal conduct; allegedly, Bogan initially received $200 per meter, but later more.

Three additional defendants, Rahsaan Rashidi, Ravindra Rattan, and Lawrence Berlianshik, are alleged to have operated as part of the enterprise. Rashidi was a superintendent for a number of buildings, while Rattan was a contractor and Berlianshik a property manager and owner.  The three allegedly acted as brokers for Findlay, referring individual landlords to Findlay for illegal service by the enterprise.  According to the investigation, the latter two defendants sometimes charged as much as $2,500 per meter, a part of which they retained before passing the balance to Findlay.

Other National Grid employees are accused of supporting the operations of the enterprise.  Rawle Dennis and Hector Yulfo, both National Grid Street Department employees, allegedly worked on main gas lines at unauthorized locations on two occasions.  Naquan Francis, another technician, is accused of occasionally completing unauthorized work at the direction of Fils-aime. National Grid employee Joanne Wiltshire, a customer service representative, allegedly dispatched technicians if Bogan was not available.

Those four defendants, as well as 14 defendants who are property owners, managers or contractors, are charged in a separate indictment with first-degree falsifying business records and second-degree criminal tampering. The defendants affiliated with the properties are also charged with second-degree commercial bribing, while the employees (except Wiltshire) are also charged with second-degree commercial bribe receiving. Nine other defendants, also property owners, managers or contractors, were arrested on felony complaints.

Finally, three of the property owners and managers were separately charged by criminal complaint for hiring Findlay to illegally unlock meters at locations where National Grid had terminated service. This would allow the residences to receive gas temporarily, at least until National Grid noticed the increase in gas usage and sent a technician to lock the line again.

The case was investigated by DOI, specifically, Chief Investigator James McElligott; Assistant Inspectors General Michael Antolini and Noah Mohney; and Deputy Inspector General Edward Zinser, under the supervision of Inspector General Gregory Cho, Associate Commissioner James J. Flaherty, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Michael Carroll and First Deputy Commissioner Lesley Brovner.

The Acting District Attorney thanked New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters and his staff for their work on this case. He also thanked the New York City Department of Buildings and National Grid for their assistance and cooperation in the investigation.

The Acting District Attorney also thanked Investigative Analyst Megan Carroll, Financial Investigators Veronica Beltran and Marina Kuchmar, and Paralegal Roslyn Murrell, of the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office for their assistance in the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adam S. Libove of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, with the assistance of Senior Assistant District Attorney Sara Walshe, Assistant District Attorney Renee Hassel and Assistant District Attorney Katherine Zdrojeski, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Spanakos, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division, and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

Indictments and criminal complaints are accusatory instruments and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

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Defendants Indicted for Enterprise Corruption:

  1. Weldon Findlay, 47, of Snyder Avenue, Brooklyn.
  2. Phoebe Bogan, 41, of 149th Road, Rosedale, Queens.
  3. Joel Fils-aime, 29, of Sunnyside Terrace, East Orange, New Jersey.
  4. Alexie LaFleur, 28, of Hancock Street, Brooklyn.
  5. Rahsaan Rashidi, 39, of Monroe Street, Brooklyn.
  6. Ravindra Rattan, 50, of East 37th Street, Brooklyn.
  7. Lawrence Berlianshik, 26, of East 23rd Street, Brooklyn.

 

Additional National Grid Employees Charged:

  1. Rawle Dennis, 40, of Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn.
  2. Hector Yulfo, 29, of Highland Boulevard, Brooklyn.
  3. Joanne Wiltshire, 46, of Paedergat 5 Street, Brooklyn.
  4. Naquan Francis, 31, of St. Johns Place, Brooklyn.

 

Landlords, Property Managers and Contractors Charged:

  1. Jonathan Ahdoot, 34, of Soundview Lane, Great Neck, New York.
  2. Yoel Berkovitz, 36, of Lawrence Avenue, Brooklyn.
  3. Moshe Bikel, 42, of Lee Avenue, Brooklyn.
  4. Moses Englander, 30, of Division Avenue, Brooklyn.
  5. Abraham Friedrich, 29, of Acres Road, Monroe, New York.
  6. Gabriel Gallegos, 55, of Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn.
  7. Menachem Gross, 61, of Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn.
  8. Pinchas Halperin, 31, of Throop Avenue, Brooklyn.
  9. Cary Haynes, 45, of Pleasant Oak Court, Marietta, Georgia.
  10. Tony Hiralall, 47, of 123rd Street, Ozone Park, Queens.
  11. Yisroel Kanar, 31, of East New York Avenue, Brooklyn.
  12. Trevor Leckie, 51, of Hancock Street, Brooklyn.
  13. Moshe Mendlowitz, 27, of Quickway Road, Monroe, New York.
  14. Shia Wolf Ostreicher, 58, of Keap Street, Brooklyn.
  15. Issac Rosenberg, 28, of Lorimer Street, Brooklyn.
  16. Hansraj Sampath, 31, of 109th Drive, Jamaica, New York.
  17. Chaim Schwartz, 27, of Keap Street, Brooklyn.
  18. Mendel Schwimmer, 31, of 55th Street, Brooklyn.
  19. Hershel Silberstein, 35, of Frankline Avenue, Brooklyn.
  20. David Sinay, 27, of West Maple Avenue, Monsey, New York.
  21. Ivor Stoddart, 53, of Madison Avenue, Brentwood, New York.
  22. Leza Surujpaul, 28, of 214th Street, Queens Village, New York.
  23. Samy Teitelbaum, 29, of 44th Street, Brooklyn, New York.
  24. Hershel Weiss, 46, of Buchanan Court, Monroe, New York.
  25. Josh Weiss, 33, of Webster Avenue, Brooklyn.
  26. Issac Wolf, 23, of 51st Street, Brooklyn.

 

 

Three Brooklyn Residents, South Carolina Man Indicted for Interstate Firearms Trafficking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

 

Three Brooklyn Residents, South Carolina Man Indicted for
Interstate Firearms Trafficking

39 Weapons Purchased During Course of Four-Month Investigation

Brooklyn Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that four people—including two brothers— have been indicted for allegedly trafficking close to 40 firearms from South Carolina to Brooklyn, New York and selling the weapons to an undercover officer over a four month period in Cypress Hills.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The majority of guns used in Brooklyn crimes are handguns trafficked into our communities from other states with notoriously lax gun laws. This case highlights our determination to aggressively combat gun violence and hold gun traffickers accountable. I commend the brave undercover officer and the dedicated prosecutors in my office who helped us bring this important case.”

Commissioner O’Neill said, “These are the types of cases that helped make 2016 the safest year in New York City history. The Department purchased dozens of firearms in covert buys, preventing them from being used to commit violence across this City. It’s an example of the precision policing we discussed when we announced the City’s historic drop in crime and it’s exactly what we’ll continue doing to further reduce crime in 2017. I want to thank the officers in this case who made the gun purchases from the defendants and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s whose work led to today’s indictments.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Shawn Landrum, 40; Jamel Landrum, 38; and Ashley Finch, 22, of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. The defendants were variously charged with first-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second-degree criminal sale of a firearm, third-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second-degree criminal possession of a firearm, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and fourth-degree conspiracy. They were arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley. Defendants Shawn and Jamel Landrum were ordered held on $500,000 bail and defendant Ashley Finch was ordered held on $100,000 bail. A fourth defendant, Dondrell Cheeks, 27, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, has been arrested on charges of first-degree criminal sale of a firearm and fourth-degree conspiracy. He is presently detained in South Carolina pending extradition to Brooklyn.

The Acting District Attorney said the investigation included an undercover officer making multiple purchases of weapons in the vicinity of 174 Sunnyside Avenue in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn and at least one sale in the vicinity of 225 Van Siclen Avenue in East New York, Brooklyn.

The Acting District Attorney said that beginning in June 2016 and continuing through December 1, 2016, the undercover officer allegedly made numerous gun purchases from Shawn Landrum. The transactions took place in front of Landrum’s home which he shares with his brother Jamel and his brother’s girlfriend, Ashley. It is alleged that one to nine weapons were sold on each occasion with the purchase price ranging from $620 to $8,050.

According to the investigation, Shawn Landrum initially purchased the weapons from Dondrell Cheeks—a South Carolina gun supplier—and would later return to Brooklyn to resell the guns for a profit. Jamel Landrum is alleged to have both provided financial assistance for the illegal weapons purchases and conducted one of the sales himself, while Ashley Finch allegedly arranged the financial wire transfers to Cheeks via MoneyGram and Western Union to complete the illegal sale. It is further alleged that on at least one occasion, Landrum travelled on a low cost bus service, GoToBus, to transport weapons from South Carolina to New York.

In South Carolina, private firearm transfers are not subject to background checks; New York State requires background checks for all firearm transfers, with the exception of transfers to immediate family members.

The Acting District Attorney said that the defendants allegedly sold a wide variety of handguns and other weapons to the undercover including a .9mm Taurus pistol, .a 38 Rossi revolver, a .9mm Smith and Wesson pistol, a .380 Bersa pistol, a .357 Smith and Wesson pistol and an SKS assault rifle.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective Edward Mercado, with the assistance of Detective Joseph Scialabba of the New York City Police Department’s Firearm’s Investigations Unit, under the supervision of Sergeant Matthew Griffin and Sergeant Robert Abramson, Lieutenant Thomas McPartland, Captain Jonathan Korabel, Deputy Inspector Brian Gill and the overall supervision of Assistant Chief James Essig of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Murphy, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief of VCE and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Patrica McNeill, Deputy Chief.

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

Boston Woman Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison For Fatally Stabbing Man in Brownsville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

 

Boston Woman Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison
For Fatally Stabbing Man in Brownsville

Defendant Arrested after Fleeing to Massachusetts

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 35-year-old woman from Boston, Massachusetts has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for fatally stabbing a 47-year-old man. The victim was stabbed more than 80 times in his head, neck and chest.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This was a particularly brutal crime in which the victim was stabbed more than 80 times. The sentence the defendant received today reflects the viciousness of this deadly attack.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Chivona Hughes, 35, of Boston, Massachusetts. She was sentenced today to 25 years to life in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. The defendant was convicted of second-degree murder following a jury trial last month.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on September 19, 2014, at approximately 4:30 a.m., at 313 Legion Street, in Brownsville, the defendant stabbed Richard Saunders, 47, more than 80 times in the head, neck and chest, killing him. The attack took place in the victim’s home.

According to trial testimony, the defendant left her purse and identification at the victim’s home, along with a bloody palm print on the wall. A knife with the defendant’s DNA on the handle also was recovered at the scene. The defendant fled to Massachusetts and was apprehended in Boston in October 2014.

The Acting District Attorney thanked the Boston Police Department for its assistance in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Andres Palacio, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub, Chief.

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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 115 Years in Prison for Raping 82-Year-Old Woman in her Brighton Beach Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 115 Years in Prison for Raping
82-Year-Old Woman in her Brighton Beach Home

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 20-year-old Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 115 years in prison for the rape, sexual abuse and assault of an 82-year-old woman in her Brighton Beach home in 2015.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The defendant’s crimes in this case are almost unspeakable. I commend the victim for testifying and making sure that this defendant was held accountable for this horrific assault. Today’s sentence reflects the depravity of his conduct as proven at trial and is necessary to protect the public from a clearly dangerous individual.”

The Acting District Attorney said that the defendant, Asa Robert, 20, of Brooklyn, was sentenced today to 115 years in prison by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice. The defendant was convicted of first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, second-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree criminal trespass, following a jury trial in November 2016.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on July 13, 2015, at approximately 2 a.m., in the vicinity of Brighton 11th Street in Brighton Beach, the defendant entered the victim’s apartment while she was outside taking out the garbage. A short while later, after the victim went to bed she heard a noise and discovered the defendant hiding in her bedroom. The victim yelled for him to leave, but he refused. Instead, he strangled her and forced her onto the bed, where he held a knife to her face, demanded money and punched her in the chest. The defendant then tied her hands behind her back and ransacked the bedroom.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, the defendant then brought the victim into her kitchen and again assaulted her and ordered her not to call the police. The defendant brought the victim back to her bedroom shortly thereafter and raped and sodomized the victim.

After again instructing the victim not to call the police, the defendant fled the home with a bag containing the victim’s personal items. The victim called family members, who called 911. Police responded and the victim was treated at Kings County Hospital.

The defendant led the police on a four-day chase through various homes in Brooklyn. He was arrested on July 17, 2015 after being found hiding in the kitchen of a private residence.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lisa Nugent of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau and Senior Assistant District Attorney Olatokunbo Olaniyan, formerly of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, under the supervision of Miss Gregory, Chief.

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Manhattan Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Killing Acquaintance in Williamsburg

KCDA-Seal-400x400----Brooklyn

Eric Gonzalez

Acting District Attorney
Kings County

January 9, 2017

COMMUNITY PARTNER IN JUSTICE NOTIFICATION

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for
Killing Acquaintance in Williamsburg

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 59-year-old man from upper Manhattan was sentenced to 20 years in state prison for fatally stabbing another man in 2011. After a verbal argument, the defendant went to a store, purchased two kitchen knives, returned to the scene of the dispute, and stabbed the victim in the thigh, leaving him bleeding to death.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on the night of April 29, 2011, at the corner of South 9th Street and Roebling Street in Williamsburg, the defendant, Ramon Escobar, of Inwood, Manhattan, and the victim, David Fernandez, 46, got into an argument after the defendant accused the victim of making inappropriate contact with Escobar’s girlfriend. The defendant was heard saying “I am going to kill him” before being ushered away from the scene; his girlfriend headed into a nearby subway station.

The defendant walked to the Crazy Loco 99 Cent store at 281 Broadway and bought two 8-inch kitchen knives, the evidence showed. He then returned to the scene and began a struggle with Fernandez, during which he stabbed him in the left thigh, causing profuse and fatal bleeding.

The defendant was arrested in April 2015, after an eyewitness came forward, and was connected to the crime through DNA, surveillance videos and other evidence.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The victim was a loving father, just one week from walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. He had the great misfortune to encounter this defendant, who stabbed him to death after a meaningless argument. The defendant’s taking of human life over something so trivial is unconscionable, and we are all well served by the lengthy sentence imposed today.”

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Read the full press release here.

 

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Killing Acquaintance in Williamsburg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 9, 2017

 

Manhattan Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for
Killing Acquaintance in Williamsburg

Purchased Two Knives after Argument, Returned and Stabbed Victim, Severing Femoral Artery

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 59-year-old man from upper Manhattan was sentenced to 20 years in state prison for fatally stabbing another man in 2011. After a verbal argument, the defendant went to a store, purchased two kitchen knives, returned to the scene of the dispute, and stabbed the victim in the thigh, leaving him bleeding to death.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The victim was a loving father, just one week from walking his daughter down the aisle at her wedding. He had the great misfortune to encounter this defendant, who stabbed him to death after a meaningless argument. The defendant’s taking of human life over something so trivial is unconscionable, and we are all well served by the lengthy sentence imposed today.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Ramon Escobar, 59, of Inwood, Manhattan. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew Sciarrino to 20 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision following his conviction on November 17, 2016 of first-degree manslaughter and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a jury trial.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on the night of April 29, 2011, at the corner of South 9th Street and Roebling Street in Williamsburg, the defendant and the victim, 46-year-old David Fernandez, got into an argument after the defendant accused the victim of making inappropriate contact with Escobar’s girlfriend. The defendant was heard saying “I am going to kill him” before being ushered away from the scene; his girlfriend headed into a nearby subway station.

The defendant walked to the Crazy Loco 99 Cent store at 281 Broadway and purchased two 8-inch kitchen knives, the evidence showed. He then returned to the scene and began a struggle with Fernandez, during which he stabbed him in the left thigh. The six-inch wound pierced the bone and severed major blood vessels, including the femoral artery and vein, causing profuse and fatal bleeding.

The victim, who worked as a bike messenger, had two daughters, one of whom was set to get married the following week.

The defendant was arrested in April 2015, after an eyewitness came forward, and was connected to the crime through DNA, surveillance videos and other evidence.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Chow Xie and Assistant District Attorney Michael Solomon of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau, Grey Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.

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Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 23 Years to Life for Fatally Shooting Man Following Argument in East Flatbush Bodega

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 23 Years to Life for Fatally Shooting Man
Following Argument in East Flatbush Bodega

Defendant Shot at Victim Eight Times in Broad Daylight

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 31-year-old Flatbush man has been sentenced to 23 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a 42-year-old East Flatbush man following a dispute inside a bodega. The defendant fired eight times, striking the victim once in the back.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant fired off a barrage of bullets in broad daylight and only by sheer luck no one else was injured on that busy street. He has now been held accountable for senselessly taking a man’s life.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Herman Lancaster, 31, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to 23 years to life in prison following his conviction last month on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a non-jury trial.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on January 27, 2015, at approximately 2:40 p.m., the defendant shot and killed Kerwin Craigwell, 42, outside of the Adrian Deli & Grocery, located at 2073 Nostrand Avenue in East Flatbush, following a dispute. The shooting started inside the store and the unarmed victim was struck on the sidewalk after slipping on snow, the evidence showed. The defendant was apprehended minutes after the incident during a canvass of the area and identified by an eyewitness.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Lewis E. Lieberman, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Joy Kieras, of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau, Gray Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub, Homicide Chief.

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