FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Two Gang Members Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison
For Kidnapping for Hire, Murder
Victim’s Body Found in Queens, Throat Cut from Ear-to-Ear
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that two gang members were each sentenced to 25 years to life in prison following their conviction on first-degree kidnapping, second-degree murder and related charges for the forced abduction and murder of a Williamsburg man.
District Attorney Thompson said, “These two defendants committed a brazen and heinous crime. They kidnapped a young man in broad daylight, in front of his family, and later slit his throat and took money, drugs, and a car in payment for these heinous acts. They now deserve to spend many years in prison for their crimes.”
The District Attorney identified the defendants as Tramel Cuencas, 24, and Irving Gavin, 28, both of 702 Warwick Street in East New York, Brooklyn. Each defendant was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to 25 years to life in prison. Cuencas was convicted on April 14, 2016, of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree robbery following a jury trial. Gavin was convicted on April 18, 2016 of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree burglary by a separate jury.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on the afternoon of November 14, 2012, the defendants forced their way into the apartment of Thomas Dudley and held him and three other occupants at gun point. They then took approximately $10,000 from a safe inside the home. Three of the victim’s family members, including his 8-year-old sister, were in the apartment at the time.
The defendants then forced the victim to get dressed, tied his hands and then directed him into a U-haul truck waiting outside. The victim’s body was found the following day in Forest Park, Queens; his throat was cut from ear-to-ear and both wrists were slashed.
After the defendants, both members of the Elm Street Piru gang, were arrested on November 19, 2012, they made incriminating statements admitting to the kidnapping and indicated that the kidnapping was ordered by another gang member as retaliation for an alleged drug dispute involving the victim. In exchange for kidnapping Dudley, the defendants expected to be paid in cash, drugs and a Jaguar.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Detective Erik Malak of the 90 Precinct Detective Squad and Detectives Robert McCormick and Kahlid Ragab of the 102nd Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Peter Galasso of the Queens Homicide Squad.
The case was prosecuted by First Deputy Chief Alfred De Igeniis and Assistant District Attorney James Slattery of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Kenneth Taub, Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau.