New York City Police Officer Indicted for Attempted Murder for Off-Duty Shooting Outside of Canarsie Lounge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 23, 2022

 

New York City Police Officer Indicted for Attempted Murder for
Off-Duty Shooting Outside of Canarsie Lounge

Bullet Struck Victim’s Arm and Grazed His Back

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that an off-duty police officer has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with attempted murder, assault and other related charges for allegedly punching, pistol-whipping and shooting a man outside of a lounge in Canarsie.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “After a review of all the evidence in this case, a Grand Jury returned an indictment charging this defendant with attempted murder and other charges. The fact that this defendant is a police officer makes his alleged actions all the more shocking. We will now seek to hold him accountable for his actions.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Larry Valdemar, 37, a 16-year veteran of the NYPD last assigned to the 104th Precinct in Queens. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Eugene Guarino on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and related counts. The defendant was ordered held on bail of $35,000 cash or $75,000 bond and to return to court on July 13, 2022. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

The District Attorney said that on April 18, 2022, the defendant got into a verbal argument inside Chloe’s Restaurant and Lounge, located at Avenue L and East 94th Street, when the victim, a 32-year-old man, attempted to intervene to calm down the defendant, which allegedly caused him to become irate.

The defendant then allegedly went outside of the club and waited for the victim to leave the club. At approximately 12:45 a.m., the victim and several other people passed by the defendant, who allegedly said something to him and walked next to him until they reached the corner.

It is alleged that when they reached the corner, the defendant punched the victim in the face. The victim attempted to hit the defendant, who then allegedly reached into his waistband, removed a black firearm and pistol-whipped the victim on his upper back. The gun then discharged once, after which the defendant left the scene.

The victim was treated for a gunshot wound to his arm and a graze wound to his back.

A casing matching a 9mm pistol was recovered from the scene and was matched to the defendant’s firearm.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Evan Hannay, of the District Attorney’s Red Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Cary Fischer, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Karla Watson, Bureau Chief.

#

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

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD to Host Second Gun Buyback Event This Year in Clinton Hill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 19, 2022

 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and NYPD to
Host Second Gun Buyback Event This Year in Clinton Hill

$200 and iPad Will be Given for Working Handgun or Assault Rifle, No Questions Asked;
Will be Held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Saturday, May 21

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, today announced that a Gun Buyback event will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022, from 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 279 Lafayette Avenue, in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. This is the second Gun Buyback event this year as the DA’s Office increases its investments in safety initiatives ahead of the summer months.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Our close collaboration with law enforcement, strong commitment to holding offenders accountable, and constant engagement with communities to prevent violence is bearing fruit, with shootings in Brooklyn decreasing by nearly 25% so far this year following a 20% drop in 2021. As we redouble our efforts to keep our communities safe, we will be hosting another Gun Buyback event this Saturday – just one part of a comprehensive strategy to get firearms off the streets. I encourage anyone who has a gun at home to take advantage of this opportunity, safely turn it in, and get some cash and an iPad in return.”

Commissioner Sewell said, “Every gun that we get off our streets is a gun that will never be used to harm another New Yorker. This Gun Buyback event is one more component of our continuous effort to keep the people of New York City safe, and I want to thank the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in this important program – and for their steadfast commitment to the people of Brooklyn.”

Rev. Anthony L. Trufant said, “As the Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church (EBC), I am glad to partner with the Brooklyn DA’s Office, Law Enforcement, and the larger community to work to reduce gun violence. Public safety and quality of life issues are an urgent priority. Recent events in Buffalo at a supermarket and Laguna Woods at a Taiwanese church remind us that this is not merely a local matter, nor a primarily “Black thing,” as the mainstream media suggests. We must not simply get handguns and shotguns off the streets, but we must also keep AR-15s out of criminals’ hands and pass sensible gun laws. Still, I agree with DA Gonzalez that the Gun Buyback Program is a small, yet meaningful step in the right direction.”

The District Attorney said that his Office, along with the NYPD, will offer money in the form of a $200 bank card and an iPad for each operable gun or assault rifle turned in (iPads are subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis). All transactions will be anonymous, no questions asked. The bank cards will be issued after each firearm is received and screened by officers on-site. Guns should be unloaded and packaged in a paper or plastic bag or a box when brought to the event. If transported by car, the guns must be kept in the trunk. Both working and inoperable weapons will be accepted.

Participants will receive $25 for operable rifles, shotguns and air guns. Unlimited numbers of guns can be turned in, but participants will receive maximum of $600 in bank cards and one iPad per person. No identification is required, and the firearms will be accepted with no questions asked. Active or retired law enforcement officers and licensed gun dealers are not eligible for this event.

Emmanuel Baptist Church is located at 279 Lafayette Avenue, a short distance from the Clinton-Washington Avenue and the Classon Avenue Subway Station of the G line, and near a B38 Bus Stop at Lafayette Avenue/Washington Avenue.

The District Attorney thanked the New York City Police Foundation and Junior’s Restaurant for partnering to contribute funds for this event.

During a January Gun Buyback event hosted by the Brooklyn DA’s Office in Flatbush, about 40 weapons were turned in, including many types of guns that are often used in street crimes.

#

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

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced for Causing Motorcyclist’s Death While Driving Under the Influence and Speeding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 16, 2022

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced for Causing Motorcyclist’s Death
While Driving Under the Influence and Speeding

Defendant and His Girlfriend Told Police That She was Driving at the Time of the Collision

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 3 ½ to 10 years in prison following his guilty plea to manslaughter for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, then slamming into a motorcyclist at an intersection in Kensington, Brooklyn, killing him. The defendant and his girlfriend initially told the police that she was driving.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s recklessness robbed an innocent young father of his life, leaving a family devastated and a community in mourning. There is no excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and I am committed to holding accountable anyone who compromises the safety of Brooklyn’s streets.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Christopher Diaz, 26, of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Raymond Rodriguez to 3 ½ to 10 years in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and impaired driving on April 26, 2022.

The defendant’s girlfriend, Jasmin Morales-Cruz, 26, of Homecrest, Brooklyn, was charged in connection to lying and pleaded guilty. Her sentence is pending.

The District Attorney said that on May 27, 2019, at about 3:55 a.m., Diaz was driving a 2014 black Infinity Q50 sedan registered to Morales-Cruz, northbound on Ocean Parkway, near Beverley Road in Kensington, Brooklyn. The investigation found that as Evvon Alexander, 28, was traveling southbound on a motorcycle and was attempting to turn onto Beverley Road from the turning lane, he was struck by the defendant, who was traveling at more than 80 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone and was under the influence of alcohol. The motorcycle was struck with such force that it split in half. The victim was thrown into the air, over the median between the main parkway and the service road and landed between parked cars on the service road. He was declared dead at Maimonides Hospital.

When police arrived, the defendant and Morales-Cruz both claimed that she had been driving. Their two passengers also said Morales-Cruz was driving, but days later admitted that Diaz was driving and had asked them to lie. Because of the alleged conspiracy claiming that Morales-Cruz was the driver, Diaz’s blood alcohol level was not tested, though he later admitted, during the course of the investigation, that he had consumed six to eight beers.

A lengthy investigation led to the recovery of videotape surveillance of the defendants and their passengers drinking at three different bars before the collision and showing Diaz getting into the driver’s seat shortly before the collision. Text messages asking the passengers to lie to authorities about who was driving were also recovered. Other evidence allegedly shows that the defendant accelerated from 65 mph to 83 mph seconds before the crash and applied the brakes just a half-second before impact. He was eventually arrested after being found hiding in his girlfriend’s closet.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Corey Fenley of the Collision Investigation Squad.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Street Safety Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Velez, of the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau.

#

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

 

Teenager Sentenced to 10 Years to Life for Shooting Death of Innocent Honor Student on Basketball Court in Brownsville

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2022

 

Teenager Sentenced to 10 Years to Life for Shooting Death of
Innocent Honor Student on Basketball Court in Brownsville

Defendant Struck the Victim in the Head When Firing into Playground

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brownsville teenager, who was only 14 when he fatally shot a 16-year-old boy while he was playing basketball, has been sentenced to 10 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to murder.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This heartbreaking case highlights the devastation gun violence wreaks in our communities. An innocent, beloved teenager was senselessly killed when this defendant callously sprayed a Brownsville basketball court with bullets. A promising life has been cut short, a family remains in mourning, and after living through a troubled childhood, this young defendant’s future is now in ruins. We will continue to use every available tool to prevent gun violence through community engagement, youth programming, and outreach, while ensuring accountability for those who cause harm.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Aaron Nathaniel, 18, of Brownsville, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today as a juvenile offender by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Craig Walker to 10 years to life in prison, following his guilty plea on April 6 to second-degree murder.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on September 21, 2018, at approximately 3:50 p.m., in Chester Playground, on Chester Street, in Brownsville, the defendant opened fire on a crowd of people on a basketball court, striking the victim, 16-year-old Oluwadurotimi Oyebola, known as Timi, of Queens, once in the head. The victim was taken to Brookdale Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The defendant was arrested on October 3, 2018, following an investigation. The shooting was captured on video surveillance and video from the immediate aftermath showed the gun in the defendant’s hand. Following his arrest, the defendant made statements to police in which he admitted to the shooting and said the victim was not the intended target.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Gwen Barnes, of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Howard L. Jackson, First Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau.

#

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

 

Midwood Man Indicted for Credit Card Forgery

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2022

 

Midwood Man Indicted for Credit Card Forgery

Defendant Allegedly Counterfeited Over 100 Credit and Gift Cards to Fund
Purchases at High-End Retailers as well as a Fake Driver’s License in Separate Case

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been indicted for allegedly forging more than one hundred credit and gift cards to rack up high-end purchases from luxury retailers, including Gucci and Prada. The defendant has also been indicted in a separate case for allegedly forging a North Carolina driver’s license.

The District Attorney said, “This defendant allegedly ran a sophisticated and high-tech operation to manufacture fake credit and gift cards to fund expensive shopping sprees as well as a fake driver’s license. As long as scammers insist on stealing from retailers and financial institutions, my office will continue to do everything we can to ensure that they are stopped and held accountable for their crimes.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Berlioz Florestal, 20, of Midwood, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today in Brooklyn Supreme Court on an indictment in which he is charged with 223 counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and other forgery related charges. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on July 28, 2022.

The defendant was also arraigned on a separate indictment in which he is charged with three counts of second-degree forgery, three-counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, and other forgery related charges for allegedly driving with a fake North Carolina driver’s license.

The investigation began on November 18, 2021, following a search of the defendant’s apartment by law enforcement officers.

During the search, officers allegedly found 110 forged credit and gift cards scattered or hidden throughout the defendant’s apartment, as well as multiple credit card skimming devices and readers, a credit card embossing machine, three packs of magnetic strips, validation stickers, a forged driver’s license and approximately $3,300 in cash. Among the counterfeit cards were 40 Visa gift cards, 17 Vanilla gift cards, 32 Mastercard gift cards, and an additional 21 gift cards from various financial institutions, including Bank of America, Citibank, Capital One, Chase, Discover, Wells Fargo and American Express.

According to the investigation, the defendant is alleged to have used the fake credit and gift cards, in part, to purchase clothing from high-end retailers, including Gucci and Prada.

The District Attorney said that, furthermore, on April 24, at 12:45 p.m., the defendant was stopped by police driving a 2017 BMW near Cropsey Avenue in Coney Island for excessively tinted windows. Officers allegedly discovered the defendant was driving with a suspended license and he was subsequently put under arrest. When the defendant was searched at the 60th Precinct stationhouse, a forged North Carolina driver’s license was allegedly found in his pants pocket. According to the investigation, a credit card embossing machine was later found wrapped in a black garbage bag in the BMW’s trunk along with a hologram sticker of the Delaware state seal.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tammy Chung of the District Attorney’s Green Zone Trial Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Boykin and Assistant District Attorney Glenn Singer, Deputy Chiefs of the Green Zone Trial Bureau.

#

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

 

Man Indicted for Stealing over $150,000 by Soliciting Donations for Fake Cancer Charities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 9, 2022

 

Man Indicted for Stealing over $150,000 by
Soliciting Donations for Fake Cancer Charities

  Allegedly Formed Over 23 Charities Across the Country Purporting to
Help Cancer Patients and Other Charitable Causes but Pocketed All the Donations

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, today announced that a Staten Island man has been arraigned on an indictment charging him with grand larceny and related charges for allegedly forming 23 fraudulent charitable entities and collecting at least $152,000 in donations that were never put to any charitable purpose. Many of the charities included the words “American Cancer Society” or “United Way” with added qualifying language to allegedly mislead potential donors.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly lined his own pockets by defrauding unsuspecting donors who contributed generously to help cancer patients fight their illnesses. We have no tolerance for this kind of outrageous alleged fraud, and my office will vigorously seek accountability. I thank Attorney General James for referring this case to my Office and for the invaluable work her Office does to ensure the integrity of charitable organizations.”

Attorney General Letitia James said, “It is unconscionable that this individual preyed on the public’s generosity and deprived cancer patients of the support and resources they needed. There is no tolerance for this type of unlawful and predatory behavior, especially against our most vulnerable communities. My office will continue to work aggressively with Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and other law enforcement partners to stop deceptive fundraising tactics that cheat hardworking New Yorkers.”

Timothy Phillips, Chief Legal and Risk Officer for the American Cancer Society, said, “This indictment is important for the American Cancer Society as we work to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. This isn’t about dollars. It’s about treatment, quality of life, and survival. It’s unconscionable that anyone would try to take that away due to their own greed. The Brooklyn District Attorney and the New York State Attorney General are providing critical leadership to protect the integrity of all legitimate nonprofits and the people we serve.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Ian Hosang, 63, of Staten Island, NY. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with 12 counts of third-degree grand larceny, three counts of first-degree identity theft and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud. He was released without bail and ordered to return to court on June 22, 2022. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison if convicted of the top counts in the indictment.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between 2014 and 2021, the defendant allegedly formed 23 fraudulent charities and filed paperwork with Secretaries of State across the country in a scheme to collect charitable donations under false pretenses. Most of the entities had the word “cancer” in the name, and many started with the words “American Cancer Society” or “American Cancer Foundation” (e.g., “American Cancer Society for Children” and “American Cancer Society of Ohio”). A similar pattern was allegedly used to create entities called “United Way” of various places.

It is alleged that Hosang has had no affiliation with the actual American Cancer Society or with United Way, and no authority to use their names any way. He allegedly used a company in Brooklyn, Clinton Hill Filing Services, to create and file much of the paperwork connected to the scheme and stole the identity of a Brooklyn resident and used her name as the purported director of many of the entities. The indictment also charges him with stealing the identities of the American Cancer Society and United Way.

Further, the defendant allegedly advertised the bogus charities and solicited donations on various websites. For example, the website of “American Cancer Society for Children Inc.” claimed that “Thanks to our volunteers, our ‘angels on earth,’ we have been able to keep organizational costs low while using most of your generous contributions to benefit kids and their families.”

The donations were traced back to bank accounts set up by the defendant and he allegedly used the money on living expenses, including mortgage payments, credit card bills and in liquor stores, according to the investigation. Most of the donations were for small amounts but 12 individual donors gave more than $3,000 each to the fraudulent charities.

The case was referred to the District Attorney’s Office by the New York State Attorney General Office’s Charities Fraud Bureau.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Abigail Rosen, of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Gregory Pavlides, Chief of the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michel Spanakos, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Chief of the Investigations Division.

#

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

 

Long Island Woman Indicted for Stealing $135,000 from New York City’s Retirement System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 

Long Island Woman Indicted for Stealing $135,000
from New York City’s Retirement System

Defendant Allegedly Impersonated Cousin to Claim Death Benefit

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Jocelyn E. Strauber, today announced that a Long Island woman has been indicted for stealing $135,178 in ordinary death benefits from the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). As part of the theft, the defendant is alleged to have impersonated a cousin who was the rightful beneficiary of the benefit following the death of the cousin’s father, a New York City transit worker.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly attempted to defraud New York’s retirement system by impersonating a relative and claiming benefits to which she was not entitled. I would like to thank Department of Investigation and my prosecutors for all the work they did to bring this defendant to justice.”

Commissioner Strauber said, “As charged in the indictment, this defendant impersonated her own cousin, including through the use of fraudulent documents, to obtain a $135,000 death benefit. In so doing, she stole from her cousin, the legal beneficiary, and from the New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS). I thank NYCERS for promptly alerting DOI so that we could uncover this alleged scheme, and the dedicated prosecutors at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for their partnership in holding accountable those who improperly enrich themselves with City funds at the expense of legitimate beneficiaries.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Akosua Agyeman, 48 of Oceanside, New York. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jill Konviser on an indictment in which she is charged with second-degree grand larceny, first-degree identity theft, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, and first-degree falsifying business records. She was released without bail and ordered to return to court on June 29, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, beginning in December 2017, the defendant allegedly made a series of fraudulent filings with NYCERS in which she purported to be the daughter of Kwaku Duah, a longtime employee of the New York City Transit Authority who died on November 18, 2017. Duah had previously designated his daughter – the defendant’s cousin – as the beneficiary of the ordinary death benefit that is paid when a member of NYCERS dies before retiring. Duah’s daughter, the rightful beneficiary, changed her name prior to being designated as Duah’s beneficiary. This allegedly allowed the defendant to impersonate her cousin to obtain the death benefit. The filings the defendant submitted to NYCERS are alleged to include a Ghanaian passport; a birth certificate, which was invalid for not reflecting the amended name; and an IRS taxpayer identification number in the cousin’s name.
Furthermore, according to the investigation, on May 1, 2020, NYCERS mailed a check in the amount of $135,178 to the defendant’s address in Oceanside. The defendant is alleged to have then deposited the check at a Bethpage Federal Credit Union bank account. Investigators from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Investigation later determined the defendant opened the account using a fake Delaware driver’s license. Additionally, the defendant is alleged to have visited the NYCERS customer service center in Brooklyn on December 1, 2017, where she submitted an invalid copy of her cousin’s birth certificate while inquiring about the process of receiving Duah’s death benefit.

The case was investigated by Department of Investigation Special Investigator Shakina Griffith-Mercado, under the supervision of Deputy Inspector General David Jordan and Inspector General Ann Petterson.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Adam Libove, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Laura Neubauer, Bureau Chief, 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 Investigations.

#

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

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Sex Trafficking of Two Teenage Girls

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 25, 2022

 

Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for
Sex Trafficking of Two Teenage Girls

Coerced 16-Year-Old Runaway and Her Friend to Perform Sex for Money

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man from Flatbush, Brooklyn has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking of a child for forcing two 16-year-old girls to engage in prostitution.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant took advantage of two vulnerable children to make himself money. Child exploitation for sex is a real and persistent problem and I remain committed to investigate, vigorously prosecute and hold accountable anyone who engages in this appalling and harmful conduct.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Steven Bell, 36, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today to 10 years in prison plus five years’ post-release supervision, and will have to register as a sex offender following his guilty plea last month to sex trafficking of a child.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, a 16-year-old girl who was living in a residential facility outside of New York City left the facility on October 17, 2020, and made her way to Brooklyn, where she met the defendant, who convinced her to engage in prostitution for him.

The defendant, with the help of an unapprehended female, took sexually provocative photos of the teen and posted them online, advertising sex in exchange for money. He had a series of rules regarding how to walk, talk, act, and dress that he made the teen comply with, and he subsequently took all the money she was paid.

In late October, the teen contacted another 16-year-old girl who she knew from a different facility and that girl left the facility and met up with the first teen and the defendant in Brooklyn. The defendant took sexually provocative photos of that teen and posted them online, offering sex in exchange for money. He and his accomplice also took provocative photos of both teens together and posted them in online advertisements.

The teens were trafficked until December 2020. Finally, according to the investigation, the New York City Police Department received information regarding the possible sex trafficking of a 16-year-old girl and an investigation was commenced.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Antonio Pagan of the Vice Human Trafficking Team, under the supervision of Sergeant Robert Duplessis, Lieutenant Amy Capogna, Captain Thomas Milano and Inspector Fernando Guimaraes.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Mary E. Monahan, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys David Weiss and Sabeeha Madni, Deputy Unit Chiefs, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Miss Gregory, Chief of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Bureau.

#

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

 

Bushwick Man Indicted for Illegal Possession of Ghost Guns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2022

 

Bushwick Man Indicted for Illegal Possession of Ghost Guns

Numerous Weapons, Both Completed and Unfinished, Recovered from Defendant’s Apartment,
Including Four Assault Weapons, Five Handguns and Four Rifles

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the indictment of a Brooklyn man who allegedly purchased over $10,000 worth of gun parts online to build illegal, untraceable firearms known as ghost guns. Numerous completed guns and gun parts were allegedly recovered from his apartment.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant allegedly acquired a massive arsenal of homemade ghost guns that are as real and dangerous as traditional firearms. By assembling guns from kits, unfinished parts, or 3D printed components, those who possess ghost guns evade critically important background checks and registration requirements, and because they have no serial number they are untraceable. The surge in ghost guns in our neighborhoods is a major contributor to the violence plaguing our communities and my Office is working tirelessly to stop their proliferation in Brooklyn.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Dexter Taylor, 51, of Bushwick. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Phyllis Chu on a 37-count indictment in which he is charged with multiple counts of second-, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a firearm, prohibition on unfinished frames or receivers and one count of unlawful possession of pistol ammunition. His bail was continued at $50,000 and he was ordered to return to court on May 5, 2022.

The District Attorney said that, following an investigation, members of the New York City Police Department identified Taylor as having ordered numerous ghost gun kits and component parts from various online retailers that were allegedly shipped to the defendant’s address on Eldert Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

A search warrant was executed at the defendant’s apartment on April 6, 2022, and numerous items were recovered, including four completed assault weapons, five completed handguns, four completed rifles, eight lower receivers for rifles, five lower receivers for handguns, four rifle magazines, seven pistol magazines, four upper receivers, casings, bullet primers and gunpowder to build ammunition and various tools commonly used to build firearms.

The investigation was conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Major Case Field Intelligence Team and Detective Investigators from the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Michael O’Rourke, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kathryn Spota, VCE Deputy Bureau Chief and Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Cilia, VCE First Deputy Bureau Chief, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Alfred DeIngeniis, VCE Bureau Chief.

#

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

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Accepting Applications For Four-Week High School Internship Summer Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 15, 2022

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Accepting Applications
For Four-Week High School Internship Summer Program

Paid Internships Will Offer Insight into Criminal Justice System, Public Service and the Law

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the start of the application period for high school rising sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in participating in a four-week summer internship program. The in-person internship is open to students who live and/or attend high school in Brooklyn and are looking to learn about the different careers and roles available within the criminal justice system. This year’s summer internship will run from July 5 to July 29, 2022.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We are proud to offer this opportunity for high school students who are interested to learn more about the legal system and to gain hands-on experience in handling criminal cases. Our interns will learn about what it takes to build and prosecute a case, from investigatory steps to charging decisions to the court process, and will be exposed to many different career opportunities as they consider their future professional goals. The internship program will provide students with an understanding of how the criminal justice system operates and how my Office works to keep Brooklyn safe and improve fairness.”

Selected students will be assigned to one of the many specialized units within the DA’s Office, while also getting an overview of the criminal justice system. They can expect to assist with research and analysis; help prosecutors to prepare for trial; work on discovery; carry out file maintenance and organization of legal documents; participate in Trial Zone workshops; and observe criminal proceedings, including trials, guilty pleas and sentencings.

During the four-week internship, participants will receive a $150 weekly stipend and a MetroCard. Interested applicants must submit their most recent school transcript, a one-page resume, working papers issued by their school, and a 250-word typed personal essay (12 pt. font and double-spaced) on why they are interested in interning with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and how the internship will impact their future career goals.

To apply, please visit: http://apply.brooklynda.org to upload transcript, essay and resume. All application materials must be received no later than Thursday, May 12, 2022. For questions or assistance please call (718) 250-3191 or (718) 250-4873 or email hsinternships@brooklynda.org.

#

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