Defendant Who Allegedly Attacked Three Men Near Gay Nightclub Indicted For Assault as a Hate Crime and Other Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 

Defendant Who Allegedly Attacked Three Men Near Gay Nightclub
Indicted For Assault as a Hate Crime and Other Charges

Faces Up To 25 Years in Prison on Top Count

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced today that a 32-year-old man has been indicted on charges of first-degree assault as a hate crime and other related offenses for allegedly slashing one male, menacing another male with a weapon, and stabbing a third male while shouting homophobic slurs near a gay nightclub in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or religion must be able to safely walk the streets without fear of being senselessly attacked. This defendant’s alleged actions were particularly egregious as he attacked three innocent people simply because he perceived them to be gay. We will now seek to hold him accountable.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as James Thomas, a.k.a., Mousey Baby, 32, of Prospect Heights. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on an indictment in which he is charged with first-degree assault as a hate crime and other related offenses. He was ordered held on $150,000 bail and to return to court on May 10, 2017.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on March 5, 2017, at approximately 4:30 a.m., inside a Crown Fried Chicken restaurant located at 1147 Fulton Street, the defendant, who is a local rapper, shouted homophobic slurs at various patrons inside of the restaurant, many of whom had just exited the nearby Langston Club, which is a predominantly gay night club. The defendant slashed the first victim in the face with a knife and then left the restaurant.

The defendant then confronted two other males who had also left Langston Club and were attempting to walk into the same restaurant. The defendant allegedly pushed the second victim to the ground and menaced him with a knife, and stabbed the third victim twice in the torso and once in the shoulder when he tried to come to his friend’s aid. Police responded to the scene, but the defendant had already fled the area.

The first stabbing victim was taken to the hospital and received 18 stitches on the left side of his face. The second stabbing victim received three stitches to the torso and was hospitalized overnight.

The defendant turned himself into the police at the 79th precinct stationhouse on March 9, 2017, after video surveillance footage from the scene was released to the media.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Andrew Smart of the Hate Crimes Task Force.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney T. Peter Choi, of the District Attorney’s Civil Rights Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Deputy Bureau Chief, under 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

 

Thirty-Four Defendants Charged with Operating Sprawling Narcotics Distribution Ring that Sold Furanyl Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

 

Thirty-Four Defendants Charged with Operating Sprawling Narcotics Distribution Ring that Sold Furanyl Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

Operation Spanned New York and Arizona;
Approximately 10 Kilograms of Narcotics and 17 Guns Recovered

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that 34 people have been variously charged in a 357-count indictment with criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy and other crimes for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking operation that sold heroin and cocaine, both in Brooklyn and beyond. The case also involves alleged sales of furanyl fentanyl, a relatively new and potent opiate analog which is not yet classified as a controlled substance under New York State law.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The indictment describes a sprawling narcotics ring that operated from Brooklyn across the city, the state and the country. Those who push these deadly poisons on our streets, concerned only with their own lucrative profits, devastate the communities where they operate and feed the disease of addiction, which ultimately touches all of us. Drug analogs, like the furanyl fentanyl in this case, highlight a dangerous gap in our narcotics laws that we will work to address with our partners in Albany.”

Commissioner O’Neill said, “These charges today mark the end of a far-reaching investigation into the illegal distribution of narcotics all over New York City. NYPD investigators will keep working hard along with our state and federal law enforcement partners to send a strong message to gangs, drug traffickers and all those who prey on New Yorkers: This activity is not acceptable in any of our neighborhoods. And through precision policing, we will continue to target the criminals responsible for this behavior.”

The Acting District Attorney said that most of the defendants were arrested and arraigned this week and last week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley on a 357-count indictment in which they are variously charged with first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, first-, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy and related counts. The top count in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. [See addendum for the full list of defendants.]

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, between June 2016 and March 2017, the defendants participated in a narcotics distribution operation that spanned all of New York City, some upstate New York counties, and Phoenix, Arizona. The investigation relied on court-ordered electronic intercepts as well as physical and video surveillance. Various members assumed different roles and the ring had a hierarchy in its supply and distribution operations.

Jerome Horton was the head of the Brooklyn-based distribution operation, according to the investigation, with Willie Billingslea directly below him. They allegedly had a number of redistributors who purchased and resold heroin and cocaine in amounts ranging from five to 800 grams. The alleged redistributors included Christopher Corley, Brian Davis, Stephone Nottingham, and Gary Felton.

The primary supplier of the ring was allegedly Nigel Maloney, who was based in Phoenix and would mail heroin and cocaine to Warren Appolon, who operated out of his home in Jamaica, Queens. Appolon is accused of supplying the narcotics to Billingslea, who worked on behalf of Horton. When that supply chain was not enough to satisfy the high demand of the ring, the investigation revealed that the members of the ring sought additional suppliers. Joseph Raffone and Kristian Cruz allegedly served as secondary suppliers of heroin and furanyl fentanyl, apparently referred to as “White China” and received in bulk through the mail.

Furanyl fentanyl is a highly potent opiate that can be stronger than similar drugs and is often cheaper than heroin – it is an analog of the opiate fentanyl. Based on its slightly different chemical composition, it is not currently a controlled substance under New York State law, although the federal government listed it as a Schedule I controlled substance in November 2016. The transactions involving this substance have been charged as attempted sales, based on the defendant’s belief that the substance was actually heroin or a controlled substance.

It is alleged that Horton, Billingslea and their co-conspirators stored narcotics and sales proceeds under floor boards, in storage rooms and other locations. They also utilized vehicles equipped with elaborate hiding spaces (or “traps”) to store and transport the drugs. Customers contacted members of the operation by making phone calls or sending text messages to arrange transactions. The sales were typically completed during hand-to-hand transactions in vehicles, in buildings or on the street, throughout New York City, according to the indictment. As alleged, when dealers ran out, they contacted the above-mentioned ringleaders and arranged for the pick-up of new supplies, at which point outstanding debts were also settled.

During the course of the investigation, a total of 2.455 kilograms of cocaine, 1.704 kilograms of heroin and 4.581 kilograms of furanyl fentanyl were recovered. Transactions relating to additional narcotics were identified through communications intercepted pursuant to court order. In addition, 17 operable firearms were seized in the course of the investigation.

The Acting District Attorney thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective Bureau’s Brooklyn North Gang Squad Detective Paul Molinaro, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, Captain Craig Edelman and Lieutenant Vincent Terrano.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ashlyn Miranda, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Adam Wolk, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE 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 merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.

Defendant Addendum

  1. Nigel Maloney, 49, of Phoenix, Arizona
  2. Warren Appolon, 46, of Jamaica, Queens
  3. Jerome Horton, 47, of East New York, Brooklyn
  4. Willie Billingslea, 43, of East New York, Brooklyn
  5. Brian Davis, 29, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
  6. Stephon Nottingham, 30, of Canarsie, Brooklyn
  7. Gary Felton, 30, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
  8. Kristian Cruz, 21, of the East Village, Manhattan
  9. Joseph Raffone, 38, of Ridgewood, Queens
  10. Chareefe Watkins, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
  11. Marion Trombley, 28, of Cobleskill, NY
  12. Basilio Hidalgo, 32, of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
  13. Christopher Corley, 40, of Freeport, NY
  14. Jerome Eddie, 41, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
  15. Jackie Hillard, 43, of Ronkonkoma, NY
  16. Taivon Wise, 35, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
  17. Ksun Hodgson, 34, of East New York, Brooklyn
  18. Theo Jones, 33, of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
  19. Anthony Edwards, 32, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
  20. Micky Hilton, 36, of Rockville Center, NY
  21. Kye Robbins, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
  22. Alonzo Cunigan, 35, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
  23. Henry Bannister, 50, of Harrisburg, SC
  24. Zakierfrare Scott, 39, of Harrisburg, SC
  25. Oscar Murphy, 29, of Harrisburg, SC
  26. Donnell Scott, 47, of Peeskill, NY
  27. Dorian Brooks, 47, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
  28. Gregory Campbell, 45, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
  29. Miles Knight, 30, of Greensboro, NC
  30. Jerome Harris, 30, of Canarsie, Brooklyn
  31. Kenneth Christian, 44, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
  32. Antoine Leveque, 36, of Clifton, Staten Island
  33. Gregory Boyd-Davis, 33, of Queens Village, Queens
  34. Robert Meredith, 32, of Ditmars, Queens

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Murder and Dismemberment of Wife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 23, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Indicted for Murder and Dismemberment of Wife

Admitted to Killing Victim in their Apartment, Cutting Body with a Saw;
Remains have yet to be Recovered

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 42-year-old man from Prospect-Lefferts Gardens has been arraigned on an indictment charging him with the murder and dismemberment of his wife, whose remains have yet to be discovered. The defendant admitted to the crime, saying that he dismembered the body with a saw and removed the remains to trash cans.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The allegations against this defendant are truly disturbing and we are determined to hold him responsible for this barbaric murder.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Phillip Martin, 42, of Linden Boulevard in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D’Emic on one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree manslaughter and one count of concealment of a human corpse. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on May 4, 2017. The defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, relatives of the victim, 43-year-old Diana Rodriguez, became worried in the second week of February 2017, after they had not heard from her for almost a month. They went to her and the defendant’s apartment to look for her. The defendant told them that she had left him about a month earlier, but gave differing accounts regarding her whereabouts. The relatives called 911 and reported the victim missing.

On February 16, 2017 the defendant was arrested and subsequently made statements to detectives, according to the investigation. He said that he killed his wife around his birthday on January 14 and then kept the body in the living room for about a week. He then dismembered the remains with a saw and removed the body parts with a laundry cart and garbage bags, dumping them in trash cans on the street, according to his statement.

The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Erin Pignatelli of the 70th Precinct Detective Squad and Detective Joseph Perry of Brooklyn South Homicide Squad.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Joanna Lettieri, of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.

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

 

Brooklyn Man Charged for Posing as U.S. Immigration Employee, Stealing $5,000 from Three People Seeking Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

Brooklyn Man Charged for Posing as U.S. Immigration Employee,
Stealing $5,000 from Three People Seeking Services

Promised He Could Help Get Green Cards, Citizenship and Other Services He Never Delivered

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been charged with scheme to defraud, grand larceny and petit larceny for posing as an employee of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and stealing $5,000 from three individuals for immigration-related services he promised but never delivered.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Not only is this defendant alleged to have stolen money, he betrayed immigrants who needed help. We will not allow scammers to take advantage of the current climate of fear and confusion in the immigrant community to line their own pockets while making false promises. Now more than ever, immigrants in our city must feel safe and know that law enforcement agencies are here to protect them. I am committed to preserving that trust and to prosecuting anyone who preys upon vulnerable members of this – and any other – community in Brooklyn.”

Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, said, “The New York Immigration Coalition commends District Attorney Gonzalez and his office for the arrest and charges against yet another unscrupulous provider of immigration services. In these terrifying times for immigrants we have seen a sharp rise in schemes that seek to prey on their fears of deportation. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office has been a tremendous ally to the New York Immigration Coalition and New York’s immigrant communities for many years. They are a key member of the Protecting Immigrant New Yorkers (PINY) Task Force, and we look forward to continuing this close collaboration to ensure that our city remains a safe space for all.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Israel Torres, 57, of East New York, Brooklyn. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley on an indictment in which he is charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny and two counts of petit larceny. He was ordered held on $10,000 bail and to return to court on March 29, 2017. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on the top count.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, in April 2015, the defendant allegedly met one victim whom he told that he was an employee of USCIS. The victim told the defendant that her husband was undocumented and needed help getting his green card. The defendant said that he could assist her in exchange for $3,200, which she paid him in cash. The defendant did not supply a receipt for the payment and the victim’s husband never got his legal permanent residency.

Also in April 2015, according to the investigation, the defendant allegedly met another individual whom he told that he was an employee of USCIS and worked at 26 Federal Plaza. The defendant told the victim that if she ever needed assistance, he could help her. The victim told the defendant that she had her green card, but wanted help getting her U.S. citizenship. The defendant said he could expedite the process and assist her with the paperwork, for which he charged her $1,000. She paid in cash, was provided no receipt and never received her citizenship.

The Acting District Attorney said that the investigation revealed a third victim whom the defendant allegedly approached in March 2015. According to the investigation, the defendant met the victim and told her he worked for USCIS at Federal Plaza. He asked her if she would be interested in bringing a family member to the U.S, saying he could help get the relative permanent residency. The victim mentioned she would like to bring over a relative from the Dominican Republic. The defendant agreed to assist her and charged her $800, which she paid in cash. The defendant did supply a receipt in this case. When the victim’s relative didn’t receive permanent residency or citizenship, the victim repeatedly asked for her money back, which the defendant eventually returned, only, in part, in the amount of $300.

The investigation revealed that no green card application, citizenship application or related paperwork was filed with USCIS by the defendant on behalf of any of the victims or their family members, nor was the defendant employed by USCIS.

The Acting District Attorney thanks the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Fraud Detection and National Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, New York City Field Office for its assistance in the investigation.

The case was investigated by Detective Investigator Jennifer Burgos of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Investigator Robert Addonizio and under the overall supervision of Edwin Murphy, Deputy Chief.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Fayola Charlet of the District Attorney’s Immigrant Fraud Unit, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney José Interiano, Deputy Chief, and under 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.

The District Attorney’s Immigrant Fraud Unit can be reached at 718-250-3333 for the reporting of immigration-related fraudulent schemes or other crimes.

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

 

Former City Tax Auditor Indicted for Allegedly Stealing over $243,000 from Sheriff’s Office Trust Accounts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 

Former City Tax Auditor Indicted for Allegedly
Stealing over $243,000 from Sheriff’s Office Trust Accounts

Deposited Checks to Personal Account and Spent Money on Plastic Surgery,
High-End Fashion, Jewelry, Car Lease, Furniture and Other Expenses

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark G. Peters, today announced that a former tax auditor who was employed by the New York City Sheriff’s Office has been charged with grand larceny and related counts for allegedly stealing over $243,000 from Trust Accounts that were under her authority. After depositing checks to her personal accounts, she allegedly used the money on a host of extravagant personal expenses, including plastic surgery, travel, car leases, Louboutin products and Raymour & Flanigan furniture.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “What this defendant allegedly did was the ultimate betrayal of trust, taking money she was charged with safekeeping and spending it on her own lavish lifestyle. I will remain vigilant in prosecuting any form of public corruption.”

Commissioner Peters said, “As a City Tax Auditor this defendant was entrusted with the significant responsibility of accounting for and disbursing funds on behalf of the City. Instead, she is now charged with exploiting that access, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. DOI thanks the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for its continued partnership.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Kasara Wilson, 30, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice James Sullivan on an indictment in which she is charged with second-degree grand larceny, third-degree attempted grand larceny and an administrative code violation for failure to account to comptroller. She was ordered held on a $20,000 bond and to return to court on March 29, 2017. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which she is charged.

The Acting District Attorney said that the defendant worked as a City Tax Auditor at the New York City Sheriff’s Office, a division of the Department of Finance that maintains Trust Accounts for each of the city’s five boroughs. These accounts contain funds that the Sheriff holds in escrow for distribution after legal disputes are resolved. The defendant had access to the Trust Accounts and the authority to distribute funds to appropriate parties.

It is alleged that between July and December 2013, the defendant, without permission or authorization, deposited checks written from the Queens County Sheriff’s Trust Account in the amounts of $4,871, $7,800, $104,804 and $38,585 into her personal accounts with Municipal Credit Union and JP Morgan Chase. In September 2014, she allegedly deposited an $87,593 check from the Kings County Sheriff’s Trust Account into her personal account. The total of all five checks was $243,654. In May 2016, the defendant allegedly deposited a $19,686 check from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Trust Account into her Chase account, but the bank returned that check. The defendant was suspended and subsequently resigned in June 2016.

The investigation found that money from the accounts into which the checks were deposited was spent on a host of personal expenses, including a trip to Miami and the leasing of a Nissan vehicle that was later upgraded to an Infiniti. In addition, the defendant made dozens of purchases at various businesses, such as: $1950 at a plastic surgeon’s office, $1,600 at Christian Louboutin, over $3,500 at Diamond Hut Jewelry, over $400 at Gucci, over $1,500 at Michael Kors and over $9,500 at Raymour & Flanigan.

The Acting District Attorney thanks the New York City Sheriff’s Office for its assistance with the investigation.

The investigation was conducted by DOI’s Office of the Inspector General for the City Department of Finance, specifically Special Investigator Renee Hassel, a DOI attorney who has been assigned to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, and Confidential Investigator Anthony Ginyard, under the supervision of Inspectors General Clinton Daggan and Chin Ho Cheng, Associate Commissioner Susan Lambiase, Deputy Commissioner/Chief of Investigations Michael Carroll, and First Deputy Commissioner Lesley Brovner.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sara Walshe and Assistant District Attorney Katherine Zdrojeski of the District Attorney’s Public Integrity Bureau, with the assistance of Financial Investigator Vincent Jones, 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.

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

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is Accepting Applications For Summer High School Internships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office is Accepting Applications
For Summer High School Internships

Joint Partnership with the United Federation of Teachers; Program Offers Unique Exposure
To the Inner Workings of the Criminal Justice System

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew, today announced the open application period for a summer internship program for high school students who live or attend school in the borough. Students with an interest in criminal justice or public service will participate in the comprehensive five-week program.

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Gonzalez said, “We are excited to host this hands-on and interactive internship program offering high school students the chance to work directly with Assistant District Attorneys and gain valuable real world experiences. Participating students will receive an insider’s view of the criminal justice system and the chance to be mentored in a professional workplace setting. We are proud to partner with the United Federation of Teachers to provide this opportunity for Brooklyn students.”

President Mulgrew said, “Internships can make a real difference in students’ lives, giving them a grounding in the workplace and a better understanding of what they will need—including further education—to create a career for themselves.”

Selected students will be assigned to units within the DA’s office to support the work of Assistant District Attorneys and other members of the DA’s staff. They can expect to assist with legal research and analysis using the Internet, news articles and legal periodicals; assist attorneys on pretrial matters; work on case preparation, discovery, file maintenance and organizing court documents; participate in trial zone workshops; participate in judicial, legal and law enforcement-related field trips; and observe criminal proceedings including trials, guilty pleas and sentencings.

The program is open to qualifying sophomores, juniors and rising seniors who must be able to commit to the entire duration of the program. It will run from July 10, 2017 to August 11, 2017, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Students will receive a $150 weekly stipend and commuting costs. Applicants are required to supply their most recent school transcripts, a one-page resume, two letters of recommendation and evaluation forms from either a teacher, coach or mentor, and must submit a 300 word typed essay (12 pt. font and double-spaced) on why they are interested in interning with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and what impact they think it will have on their future personal and professional endeavors.

To apply, please visit www.brooklynda.org/internships, no later than April 20, 2017.

For further information, please contact us at hsinternships@brooklynda.org.

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Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Creates First-in-the-City Comprehensive Campus Sexual Assault Response Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 20, 2017

 

Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office Creates First-in-the-City
Comprehensive Campus Sexual Assault Response Initiative

Task Force to Offer Outreach to Students and Administrators

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced his Office’s creation of a Campus Sexual Assault Response Initiative that will work proactively with college students and administrators to raise awareness of sexual assaults on campus, protect and support student survivors and foster cooperation among schools and law enforcement.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Every student who enjoys our borough’s rich educational resources should learn and grow free from the threat of campus sexual assault and dating violence. We are the first District Attorney’s Office in New York City to dedicate specific resources to these crimes in the campus setting. Brooklyn joins this important national conversation, not only with our unequivocal commitment to every person affected by this conduct, but also with concrete action.”

As part of the initiative, the DA’s Office and the campuses will partner with campus officials to improve and institutionalize a coordinated response to campus sexual assaults, enhancing reporting and investigation while ensuring an appropriate, comprehensive response. Representatives of the Office, in partnership with community organizations, will speak directly to new students arriving on campus during orientation and back-to-school activities. The Office will also offer training programs for campus staff.

The initiative’s task force will work to connect every campus survivor to the comprehensive services of the Office’s Victim Services Unit, even in cases which do not result in criminal prosecution. Early access to complete services will enhance the investigative process while minimizing any additional trauma from involvement with the criminal justice system and ensuring that victims are fully and accurately informed as early as possible.

Finally, the Office will designate a staff member as a single point of contact for campus officials and law enforcement seeking guidance on issues related to campus sexual assault. Our community prosecution model has proved that dedicated contacts with law enforcement and community officials improve access and consistency while building lasting partnerships that improve case outcomes.

The Office launched the initiative last week, hosting representatives of 14 institutions of higher education to provide an overview of its vision and resources. The representatives, including Title IX coordinators, also heard from some of our partners, including: a member of the New York City Police Department’s Special Victims Squad; a social worker from our Victims Services Unit; and representatives of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation Sexual Assault Response, and the New York City Anti-Violence Project. Finally, the audience heard a survivor story from an advocate at Day One, which provides education and training to youth under age 24.

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Bushwick Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Shooting Girlfriend to Death

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 17, 2017

 

Bushwick Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for
Shooting Girlfriend to Death

Shot Victim in Face inside his Drug-Filled Apartment

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 36-year-old man from Bushwick, Brooklyn was sentenced to 20 years in prison for fatally shooting his girlfriend in the face, killing her instantly. The defendant, who had a large amount of narcotics in his apartment, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and narcotics possession earlier this month.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Today’s lengthy sentence is warranted to hold this defendant accountable for a completely senseless shooting death. We will continue to vigorously prosecute gun violence and cases involving domestic violence, as we have done in this tragic case.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Bryan Gonzalez, 36, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Matthew D’Emic to 20 years in prison following his guilty plea on March 3, 2017, to first-degree manslaughter and to 12 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision following his guilty plea to first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Both sentences will run concurrently.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on August 22, 2015 sometime after midnight, the defendant joined the victim, Tanya Collazo, 33, who was hanging out with family and friends. The defendant and victim, who were dating on and off, left around 5 a.m. and went to the defendant’s Suydam Street apartment.

At 7:30 a.m., the defendant went into a nearby deli and asked an employee to call the police because he had just killed his girlfriend. Responding officers found the victim shot in the face inside the bedroom and a loaded .40-caliber pistol in the hallway outside the bedroom. The defendant told police the shooting was accidental.

Inside the defendant’s bedroom, police recovered over eight ounces of heroin and over half an ounce of cocaine, along with drug paraphernalia suggesting that narcotics were being processed at the premises.

The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Sabeeha Madni, of the District Attorney’s Domestic Violence Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michelle Kaminsky, Bureau Chief.

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22 Virginia Residents, Many with Gang Ties, Indicted for Gun Trafficking; Weapons Purchased in Virginia to be sold on the Streets of Brooklyn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

 

22 Virginia Residents, Many with Gang Ties, Indicted for Gun Trafficking;
Weapons Purchased in Virginia to be sold on the Streets of Brooklyn

217 Firearms, Including 41 Assault Weapons, Purchased During Course of Investigation

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that 24 individuals — 22 of whom are residents of Virginia — have been charged in a 627-count indictment with weapons offenses and conspiracy for trafficking guns purchased in Virginia to be sold on the streets of Brooklyn.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In this unique case, we charged more defendants and recovered more firearms than in any other case in Brooklyn’s history. We will go wherever we must, including other states, to continue fighting the scourge of firearms trafficking. We will not rest until every individual allegedly importing illegal guns into our borough – and with them death and violence – has seen their names on an indictment like this one.”

Commissioner O’Neill said, “The illegal firearms sold during this investigation amount to a sizable arsenal. When twenty-four individuals can readily engage in interstate trafficking of 217 handguns, rifles and assault-type weapons, this nation has a serious gun-control problem. Over and over again, New York City finds itself the final destination for illegal firearms. Too often our citizens become victims of the associated gun violence. Our investigators and prosecutors will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for trafficking in illegal guns, wherever they are.”

The Acting District Attorney said that the defendants, many of whom are allegedly associated with Bloods gangs in Virginia and Brooklyn, allegedly used proceeds from the gun sales to fund a lavish lifestyle, purchasing drugs, jewelry, clothing, and sneakers, in addition to sending money to jailed associates. In court ordered wiretaps, the defendants are allegedly heard labeling themselves traffickers and mocking Virginia’s weak gun laws.

The Acting District Attorney identified the leaders of the conspiracy as Damian King, a.k.a. Havoc, Jacquan Spencer, a.k.a. Madcat, and Levar Shelborne, a.k.a. Wavy Boy. The defendants have been variously charged in a 627-count indictment with first-, second-, and third-degree criminal sale of a firearm; second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree conspiracy, and other related charges. The defendants were arrested last week, most in Virginia, and are being arraigned this week and last before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington. (See defendant addendum).

The Acting District Attorney said the indictment is the result of a long-term investigation conducted by the New York City Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. Between June 2016 and February 2017 the defendants allegedly conspired to sell guns purchased in Virginia to a purchaser in Brooklyn. The investigation included the use of electronic communications intercepted pursuant to court order, as well as physical and video surveillance. The weapons recovered during the course of the investigation include assault weapons such as AK-47s, AR-15s, Thomson Industries (a.k.a. Tommy guns), Mossberg 715Ts, and MAC-10s. The handguns include a .45 caliber Desert Eagle 1911, Glocks with extended ammunition magazines and 50 round ammunition drums, and handguns of various calibers including .45 caliber, .40 caliber, .380 caliber, and 9mm.

It is alleged that one arm of the criminal organization operated in the area of Henrico and Richmond Counties, while the other arm of the conspiracy operated in the cities of Hampton and Newport News. The individuals comprising each arm of the conspiracy received direction from higher ranking members from each geographic area, who coordinated and organized the joint firearms trafficking operation between the two areas.

The indictment charges 10 of the defendants, including King, Spencer, and Shelborne, with bringing anywhere from two to 12 guns at a time, to Brooklyn or Manhattan from Virginia. The defendants allegedly travelled by automobile or took the bus to travel to New York with the firearms and meet the purchaser to complete the sale. Other defendants are accused as so-called ‘straw purchasers,’ individuals who, while legally entitled to purchase firearms under Virginia law, allegedly did so in this case only in order to give them to other defendants for illegal resale.

According to the investigation, the sales took place at various locations in Brooklyn, including in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Sunset Park, and Boerum Hill. The firearms and ammunition were sold at a significant profit. The purchaser paid on average between $800 and $1,200 per hand gun and approximately $1,800 to $2,200 for the assault weapons.

It is also alleged that Spencer was aided in Brooklyn by Aaron Perry, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant and that he acted in concert in the alleged trafficking of weapons including allegedly acting as a lookout during a number of transactions. Perry allowed Spencer to stay at his residence, and to conduct at least eight transactions there.

The Acting District Attorney said that prosecutors assigned to his Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, working with detectives from the New York City Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit, have taken almost 1,000 guns off Brooklyn streets since VCE was created in 2014.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detectives Erik Hirsch and Daniel Grandstaff, under the supervision of Sergeants Donald Morgan and Alexander Lago, Lieutenant Michael Jennings, Captain Jonathan Korabel, and Deputy Inspector Brian Gill and the overall supervision of Assistant Chief James Essig of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.

The Acting District Attorney thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance in this matter, as well as the Henrico and Richmond Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Kowell and Jared Mogil, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Sennett, Deputy Chief for Special Investigations and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE Bureau Chief and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of Investigations 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.

DEFENDANT ADDENDUM:

  1. Damian King (Havoc), 27, of Bristow, VA.
  2. Jacquan Spencer (Madcat), 22, of Hampton, VA.
  3. Levar Shelborne (Wavy Boy), 29, of Richmond, VA.
  4. Antwan Walker (Twan), 21, of Highland Springs, VA.
  5. Tevin Richardson (Stay-lo), 25, of Washington, D.C.
  6. Dwayne Lamont Rawlings (Ding Dong), 30, of Hampton, VA.
  7. Kenneth Threatts (Trey), 21, of North Chesterfield, VA.
  8. Renardo Maye (Nardo), 20, of Richmond, VA.
  9. Aaron Horowitz (Gringo), 24, of Richmond, VA.
  10. Aaron Perry, 22, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
  11. Cameron Fobbs (Bam or Bambino), 20, of Richmond, VA.
  12. Clifford Perryman (Nino), 28, of Richmond, VA.
  13.  Neftali Ramirez (Doe Flacko), 25, of Woodbridge, VA.
  14. Dajon Yearty, 25, of Newport News, VA.
  15. Euneece Robinson, 28, of Richmond, VA.
  16. Aaron Seabrook, 22, of Richmond, VA.
  17. Corey Russell, 20, of Richmond, VA.
  18. Naquan Trapp, 20, of Richmond, VA.
  19. Chauncey Walker, 20, of Richmond, VA.
  20. Walter Alston (380), 29, of Richmond, VA.
  21. Malyk Hawthorne (Wink), 21, of Richmond, VA.
  22. Michael Vordjorbe (Stacks), 21, of Richmond, VA.
  23. Antoine Smyre (Fats Pomc), 28, of Richmond, VA.
  24. Donald Houston (Doozie), 27, of Richmond, VA.

 

Boerum Hill Drug Dealer Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Fatally Shooting Man during Fistfight, Wounding another

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

 

Boerum Hill Drug Dealer Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for
Fatally Shooting Man during Fistfight, Wounding another

Bloods Gang Member Shot Unarmed Victim who was Crawling Away

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 29-year-old gang member was sentenced to 35 years in state prison for shooting an unarmed man to death and wounding another man during a 2009 fistfight that erupted over marijuana sales in a Bushwick courtyard.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant brought a gun to a fistfight and callously shot to death a man who was trying to save his own life by crawling away. Today’s sentence protects the public from a clearly dangerous individual who quickly resorted to lethal force to settle a senseless dispute.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Anthony Reyes, 29, of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Mondo to 35 years in prison. He was convicted on February 3, 2017 of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial.

The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on May 17, 2009, at about 8 p.m., a fistfight broke out in the courtyard of 1454 Greene Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn. The defendant fired a .380-caliber firearm at an unarmed Allen Wilson, Jr., 24; the first shot missed but the defendant fired again, striking Wilson in the torso as he was crawling on the ground, trying to escape. The evidence showed that the bullet entered Mr. Wilson’s chest and pierced his heart. The defendant also shot and wounded an unarmed Darryl Rembert, then 23.

The fistfight followed an earlier dispute between Wilson’s brother and two teenagers who were selling marijuana at the location on the defendant’s behalf, according to testimony. The defendant received a phone call about the dispute immediately before arriving at the courtyard armed with his gun. Before the fight began, the defendant threatened to shoot Wilson if the victim hit the person he was arguing with, the evidence showed.

The defendant fled to the Dominican Republic in the days after the homicide and was apprehended in August 2014 while re-entering the United States. He subsequently confessed to the shooting, describing himself as a member of the Bloods street gang who was involved in the drug trade.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick O’Connor, Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Katie Lee Wright, also of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of Investigations, and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.

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