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DIsTRicT ATr0RNEY QUEENS COUNTY

125-01 QUEENS BOULEVARD

KEW GARDENS, NEW YORK 114154568


718-286-6000

RICHARD A. BROWN
DIsTRIcT ATrORNEY

Dear Reader: It is my pleasure to present you with the Fall 2013 issue ofthe Queens District Attorneys Offices community newsletter, which provides a briefoverview ofthe important work performed by our office this year, as well as highlighting many ofthe offices community outreach programs, training conferences, special projects, events and initiatives. We hope that through this newsletter and those that follow in the coming months, we will help keep the community informed about both the operation of our office and the operation of the criminal justice system in Queens County. Sincerely,

Richard A. Brown District Attorney

Support Our Troops


NEWS BULLETIN OF THE QUEENS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE

FRONTLINES
C O M M U N I T Y E D I T I O N

RICHARD A. BROWN, DISTRICT ATTORNEY

FALL 2013

QUEENS COUNTY SCORES HIGH IN NYCS CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE REPORT
Queens Has Highest Conviction Rates For Violent Felony Arrests; Lowest Re-Arrest Rate In the City; And Continues To Have Best Arrest To Arraignment Time In The City

D.A. BROWN SWEARS IN NEW CLASS OF PROSECUTORS


District Attorney Richard A. Brown welcomed a new class of prosecutors to Queens County in September. Over several weeks, the new assistant district attorneys took part in an intensive training course that added to their knowledge of the law through lectures, courtroom observation and mock hearings. They also received practical, hands-on experience by going out on patrol with police officers, participating in simulations at the New York Police Departments Tactics House and studying firearms at the Police Departments outdoor firing range. The course also included visits to correctional institutions and alternative sentencing programs. In swearing in the twenty new assistants district attorneys, District Attorney Brown said, These young woman and men were hired after a highly selective recruitment process involving more than 700 candidates who wished to work for the Queens District Attorneys Office. They are bright young professionals from some the nations finest law schools who have elected to enter public service and serve the people of Queens County as prosecutors. I know that they will serve with distinction.

The New York City Summer 2013 Criminal Justice Indicator Report released by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt offered strong statistical evidence that Queens County continues to be a leader in many of the critical key areas that were the focus of the report. In reviewing the report, District Attorney Brown said, Without a doubt, the Report offers substantial statistical proof that Queens County is and continues to be a citywide leader in many categories, including consistently maintaining the best arrest to arraignment time in the City and the highest violent felony conviction rate. The bottom line is that we together with our law enforcement colleagues are providing a safer environment in which to live for the 2.3 million residents of Queens County, as well as for those working in or just visiting our great county. The Citys Summer 2013 Criminal Justice Indicator Report was designed to promote public awareness and the use of data-informed decision-making. Statistics in the report were based on data from the judiciary, the Citys five elected District Attorneys and the Office of the New York City Special State Narcotics Prosecutor and other New York City criminal justice agencies. Among the Indicator Reports key findings were: Queens Countys conviction rate for violent felony arrests in 2012 was the highest among the City prosecutors 60 percent. The citywide average was 52 percent. Queens County continues to have the best arrest-to-arraignment time in the City for the first six months of 2013. The citywide average arrest-to-arraignment time is 21.71 hours, while Queens County arraigns defendants in 20.27 hours. Queens County maintains the lowest re-arrest rate in the City with just 26 percent of people being re-arrested for a crime within the year and 10 percent being (continued on page 3)

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MESSAGE FROM D I S T R I C T ATT O R N EY R I C H A R D A. B R O W N


SOCIAL MEDIA AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
The tremendous growth in technology in recent years has brought about an ever-widening gap between the generations those comfortable with wielding pen to paper and those who rely on their PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants) and fingers to coordinate most aspects of their business and personal lives. One area of growth, in particular, has been the upswing in social networking websites which allows users to be members of virtual communities. You do not have to be a member to be familiar with such social networking sites as Facebook, Linked-In, YouTube and Twitter. You may have even been curious to know more about that hashtag symbol # you see at the bottom of your television screen during TV shows and commercials. The hashtag is simply a way for people on Twitter to search for tweets (a short message under 140 characters) among the 350 billion plus tweets that Twitter processes daily that have a common topic. What Is Law Enforcements Role In This Brave New World? More and more people are starting to gain their information through social media instead of through more traditional news sites. From a public safety standpoint, microblogging services such as Twitter can help police disseminate emergency notifications to the public in real time. For instance, in the hours after the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, Twitter was the most efficient way for law enforcement to get information out to the public who were in virtual lockdown because of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the lone gunman still on the loose. At the same time, as the Boston Police Department investigated the bombing they used the direct communication of social media to seek tips by sending out tweets, such as: #tweetfromthebeat, in which they stated that they were looking for video and photographs taken by bystanders prior to and after the bombing. Within twenty-four hours, more than 2,000 tips were received and thousands more of photos and videos, which would be analyzed against the footage from the more than 600 surveillance cameras in the area in order to trace the whereabouts of possible suspects. As our culture and community change, law enforcement has to evolve as well. It is hard to image that just a few decades ago there was no e-mail, Internet, telecommuting or smartphones. Now cell phones have become a ubiquitous presence in our society and, for some, one of the necessities of life as phones have progressed to the point where they are almost an all-in-one electronic device capable of taking pictures, surfing the Internet and keeping track of our daily lives. As a crime-fighting investigative tool, social media has proven to be invaluable for mining for information and solving crimes as criminals use social networks to talk about crimes they are plotting, set up drug deals, brag about wrongdoings and even upload incriminating videos. Last year, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III ruled that investigators could go through a defendants Facebook profile if one of his friends gave them permission to do so. In his ruling, Judge Pauley stated that the defendant -- charged with murder and racketeering -- could not rely on the Fourth Amendment to suppress Facebook evidence that led to his indictment. The defendant had argued that federal investigators violated his privacy by tapping into his profile through an informant who was one of his Facebook friends. The defendants legitimate expectation of privacy ended when he disseminated posts to his friends because those friends were free to use the information however they wanted -- including sharing it with the government, the judge wrote. In another ruling, this one involving an Occupy Wall Street protester, a New York City Criminal Court Judge stated that prosecutors had the right to subpoena tweets. The judge compared tweeting to shouting something on a crowded street. That being said, social media and smartphone technology are changing the way the world communicates and law enforcement must stay abreast of the latest technological advancements and find new and innovate ways to use them for public safety.

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New York City Criminal Justice Indicator Report (continued from page 1)
re-arrested for a felony within the year. Citywide, 33 percent of people arraigned in 2009 (the last year for which there is available data) were re-arrested for another crime within a year and 13 percent were re-arrested for a felony crime within a year. In Queens County, 86 percent of all Supreme Court defendants arrested for possession of an illegal gun are sentenced to incarceration and 77 percent are sentenced to prison. Citywide, 80 percent of defendants are sentenced to incarceration and 54 percent are sentenced to prison. Queens County, together with New York County, lead the city in the percentage of Operation Spotlight defendants who were sentenced to jail between April 2012 and September 2012 62 percent. Operation Spotlight was created in October 2003 to target the most persistent misdemeanor offenders. Queens County has the second lowest rate of high risk felony defendants being released at arraignment 26 percent and is well below the citywide average of 33 percent. High risk defendants are those defendants who are classified as not being recommended for release because of their high risk for flight by the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, a private, nonprofit corporation providing pre-trial release services in New York Citys Criminal Courts Similarly, 54 percent of felony defendants were detained at arraignment in Queens County in 2012 compared to 53 percent citywide. The failure-to-appear rate for released defendants in Queens County in 2011 (the last year for which there is available data) was 9 percent, the lowest in the city. The success in driving down the rate at which defendants fail to appear in court can be attributed, in part, by the fact that in 2012, Queens County brought 46.1 percent of New York Citys felony bail jumping indictments and 87.1 percent of the citys misdemeanor bail jumping complaints The next Indicator Report will be released in December 2013.

QUEENS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER CONVICTED OF SEXUALLY ABUSING FIVE STUDENTS


Simon Watts, a former teacher at the Jackie Robinson Elementary School in Springfield Gardens, was convicted of sexually abusing five of his students four females and one male who ranged between eight and ten in age over a three-year period. The incidents all took place at the school many during class time. Watts was convicted of three counts of second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, one count of forcible touching and five counts of endangering the welfare of a child following a two-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Aloise. Watts, who had been free on $200,000 bail since shortly after his April 2010 arrest, had his bail revoked and was ordered remanded. Sentencing is pending.

SIMON WATTS

(photo by Ellis Kaplan - NY Post)

According to trial testimony, Watts was the third- and fourth-grade teacher for the five students whom he sexually abused sometimes on multiple occasions between September 1, 2007, and March 9, 2010, often by making them touch him in a sexual manner. For instance, on March 9, 2010, Watts was sitting at his desk in the classroom reviewing a 9-year-olds schoolwork when he took her hand and placed it on his penis over his clothing. The child told her mother that night what had happened and the police were called and Watts was immediately suspended from school. A month after Watts was removed from the school and after his arrest, three more female students came forward and disclosed that Watts had either touched them in a sexual matter or made them touch him. Shortly thereafter, the male victim came forward. On at least one occasion, according to the testimony, Watts told a student, Dont tell anybody.

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MANHATTAN RESIDENT SENTENCED TO PRISON IN THEFT OF TRAILWAYS BUS


Defendant To Serve 2 To 5 Years As A Predicate Felon
Anthony DelMundo for New York Daily News

Darius McCollum, 48, who has been making headlines for stealing various modes of public transportation since he was fifteen and jokingly refers to himself as an independent transportation consultant, was given a free ride upstate when he was sentenced in August to an indeterminate term of 2 to 5 years in prison as a predicate felon in connection with the 2010 theft of a Trailways bus from a depot in Hoboken, New Jersey, which he then drove to Queens. McCollum was behind the wheel of the bus at the time of his arrest. McCollum, who had entered a plea of guilty to third-degree criminal possession of stolen property, was adjudicated as a predicate felony offender based on a 2006 third-degree attempted grand larceny conviction in connection with his attempt to steal a Long Island Rail Road train in 2005. He had been sentenced to 1 to 3 years in that case.

DARIUS McCOLLUM

In the present case, McCollum was spotted driving a 2003 Trailways passenger bus in the vicinity of 146th Street and Hillside Avenue, in Jamaica, Queens, at approximately 9:00 a.m. on August 31, 2010. Upon further investigation, police officers from the 103rd precinct station house stopped the bus in the vicinity of Hoover Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway and saw McCollum seated in the drivers seat of the bus with the keys in the ignition and the engine running. The bus had been stolen from a bus depot in Hoboken, New Jersey, where it was undergoing maintenance, between 7:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. earlier in the morning.

CAT KILLER GETS YEAR IN JAIL


A heartless Ozone Park man who blamed his victim -- a stray cat -- for attacking him when he tried to change a flat received no leniency from Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas at sentencing. You are a criminal. The jurys verdict made you a criminal . . . A prison sentence is warranted. You acted with aggravated cruelty to an animal, which you admitted to, said Judge Zayas in sentencing Richard Ferrugio to serve a year for his aggravated cruelty to animals conviction and a concurrent six-month term for his fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon conviction. Ferrugio had been convicted in July following a six-day jury trial. According to trial testimony, Ferrugio was observed taking a metal lug wrench from his vehicles trunk on the night of February 7, 2012, and beating a cat outside of Neirs Tavern on 78th Street. When an eyewitness saw him kick the cat against a cement wall and told him to stop, he walked over to her and stated that he would do the same thing to her. When several other people told him not to kill the cat, he stated in sum and substance that he didnt care about the cat, that he was sick of the cat, and that they would be next. He then placed the lug wrench back in his trunk and fled the scene.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME - 2013


On Tuesday, August 5, 2013, D.A. Brown toured many Queens County neighborhoods to help highlight observances of the 30th annual National Night Out Against Crime. The special anti-crime event was observed across New York City and in Queens County with a full schedule of events ranging from crime prevention lectures to youth activities. LEFT: D.A. Brown meets with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly at the 109th Precincts program, which took place inside Public School 20s schoolyard. Also in attendance was New York State Senator Toby Stavisky, Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and City Councilmember Peter Koo.

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SEX TRAFFICKERS SENTENCED TO PRISON


In two separate sex trafficking cases, a St. Albans couple and a Queens Village man admitted to forcing young girls to work as sex slaves for their financial gains. In the first case, St. Albans resident Hikeem L. Green, 39, and his girlfriend, Darcell Marshall, 22, were sentenced to six to twelve years and one to three years in prison, respectively, following their guilty pleas to sex trafficking in connection with the prostitution of two young women a 19-yearold runaway from Rockland County and a 20-year-old from New York City against their will. According to the investigation, Green first took custody of the two women separately by pretending to be a John (prostitution customer) and picking them up on tracks (known prostitution locations frequented by prostitutes and their customers) in the Bronx and Brooklyn. He then told them that he was a pimp and that they now had to work as prostitutes for him. Green kept the two women imprisoned inside his residence for three months, during which time he took photographs of both victims and posted them on the adult website directory, backpage.com, to advertise their services as prostitutes. Numerous men responded to the ads and the victims met with them either at Greens residence or other locations in Queens where they were forced to perform various sexual acts with the men for money, which they had to turn over to Green and Marshall. In the second case, Queens Village resident Christopher Whitfield was sentenced to three to nine years in prison on his guilty plea to sex trafficking a 15-year-old runaway against her will. According to the criminal charges in the case, Whitfield told the teenage runaway that she was going to make money for him by having sexual intercourse with men in exchange for cash that would be paid to him. In furtherance of his scheme, Whitfield posted prostitution advertisements of the victim on backpage.com, and that during a two-month period numerous men responded to the ads and that the victim met them on a daily basis at hotels and other locations in Queens where she had sexual intercourse and/or oral sex with them for money, which she paid to Whitfield, who also raped her twice and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Lastly, when the victim repeatedly asked to leave and stop engaging in prostitution, Whitfield threatened to physically beat her and on several occasions burned her on the breast and wrist with cigarettes and, heating a razor, burned her on the leg. All three burnings resulted in scars. The victim managed to escape when she was left alone.

DID YOU KNOW?


The New York State legislation strengthening penalties against human trafficking and providing assistance to victims was enacted on June 6, 2007, and took effect on November 1, 2007, thus allowing New York to join the steadily growing number of states to recognize that slavery still exists in this country in the form of sex and labor trafficking. Among the legislations provisions was the creation of a new class B felony sex trafficking for perpetrators who profit from prostitution by engaging in sex trafficking; requiring those convicted of sex trafficking to register as sex offenders with the state; providing social service assistance to victims such as temporary housing, health and mental health treatment and drug addiction treatment; and ensuring that sex trafficking victims are eligible for services from the Crime Victims Board. The first indictment under the new statute was brought on June 18, 2008, by the Queens County District Attorney. In that case, a 22-year-old South Ozone Park man was accused of using intimidation and threats of murder to force a teenage girl to perform sex acts for approximately a dozen customers a day. The defendant pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual trafficking and was sentenced to three to nine years in state prison. Since the enactment of the statute, the QDA has convicted twelve defendants on sex trafficking charges. All of the defendants have been or will be sentenced to state prison, with incarceration ranging from one to three years to four to twelve years in prison.

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HOME AIDE INDICTED FOR THEFT FROM ELDERLY PATIENT A home health aide has been indicted for stealing approximately $55,000 from her patient, a 98-year-old Forest Hills woman suffering from dementia and Alzheimers disease, by systematically withdrawing hundreds of dollars -- usually in $200 and $800 increments -- from the victims bank account on an almost daily basis using an automated teller machine. MOTHER CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING INFANT DAUGHTER A St. Albans woman has been charged with first-degree assault, reckless assault of a child and endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly shaking her threemonth-old daughter on two different occasions and causing her to sustain injuries consistent with abusive head trauma and Shaken Baby Syndrome. ELDERLY BLIND MAN ROBBED TWICE BY SAME BURGLAR A 46-year-old construction worker from Brooklyn has been charged with burglarizing and robbing the same 73-year-old, blind Long Island City man twice within two weeks. ARREST IN SERIES OF QUEENS CHURCH BREAK-INS A Brooklyn man has been arraigned on charges of breaking into four Queens churches and attempting to break into a fifth during a one-week period in July. All of the churches were located in Springfield Gardens or Jamaica. QUEENS MAN CHARGED IN CHILD PORN CASE A Hollis man has been charged with possessing and promoting child pornography videos of children under the age of twelve depicted in a sexual manner or performing sexual acts.

UP FRONT
NEWS BRIEFS
TWO CITY WORKERS CHARGED WITH CHOKING DOMESTIC PARTNERS A South Ozone Park sanitation worker and a Far Rockaway firefighter have been charged with choking their domestic partners in separate incidents. QUEENS MAN ACCUSED OF BEING ARSONIST A Woodside man has been charged with starting a series of early-morning fires within a three-block area of his home that caused extensive damage to several occupied homes, a local business and a vehicle. LAWYER APPOINTED LEGAL GUARDIAN CHARGED WITH THEFT FROM REAL ESTATE SALE A Cambria Heights attorney who was appointed by the court to oversee the affairs of an elderly Queens woman who later died has been charged with stealing more than $50,000 from the proceeds of a real estate transaction. between August 2008 and March 2013.

PIZZA FRANCHISE OWNER CHARGED WITH $217,000 SALES TAX THEFT A Flushing resident has been charged with a $217,000 state sales tax theft in connection with his operation of six Queens Papa Johns pizzeria franchises. The franchises allegedly under reported sales between March 1, 2005 and November 30, 2010, by approximately $4 million. BAG HANDLERS CHARGED WITH STEALING FROM EL AL PASSENGER LUGGAGE Seven men who worked as contract baggage handlers for El Al Airlines have been charged with stealing thousands of dollars worth of items from arriving and departing flights at John F. Kennedy Airport. The Israeli airline installed a video camera in a planes baggage hold in response to numerous customer complaints of theft and allegedly caught the defendants rifling through bags and in some cases actually removing items while they were supposed to be loading or unloading the luggage. FLUSHING FAMILY CHARGED WITH ILLEGALLY TURNING HOUSE INTO 15-ROOM HOTEL A Flushing man, his wife and their son have been charged with second-degree reckless endangerment for allegedly turning their two-family house into a 15-room hotel that catered to Asian tourists. Their next door neighbor, meanwhile, has been charged with illegally possessing untaxed cigarettes, which he was allegedly selling out of his house. QUEENS MAN INDICTED ON SEX TRAFFICKING CHARGES A 24-year-old Queens Village resident has been indicted on sex trafficking and other charges for allegedly using intimidation and threats to force a 17-year-old girl to work for him as a prostitute.

NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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NEW YORK STATE COURT OF APPEALS JUDGE CIPARICK (Ret.) HONORED WITH QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ANNUAL HISPANIC HERITAGE AWARD
District Attorney Brown honored the Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, retired Senior Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, during National Hispanic Heritage Month by presenting her with his offices 2013 Hispanic Heritage Award for her distinguished judicial and legal career that has spanned more than four decades. In presenting Judge Ciparick with the award, District Attorney Brown said, Born the daughter of immigrants who left behind all that was familiar and comfortable to begin an unknown future in a new place, Judge Ciparick obviously shared her parents pioneering spirit by choosing to pursue a career in the law when few women were entering the field. In fact, when Judge Ciparick started law school, there were only eight women in her entire law school class and only three in the night division. Fortunately for all of us, she remained undeterred and went on to have a long and illustrious legal career that benefitted not only those who sought justice from our judicial system but helped pave new paths for Latinos and women alike. The District Attorney continued, Queens Countys greatest strength is in the diversity of its residents who represent scores of countries, making it the most heterogeneous county in the nation. Perhaps nowhere is that diversity more reflected than in our large and ever-growing Latino population a population that enriches every aspect of life in our county and adds to the cultural beauty, vibrancy and vitality of our city. Judge Ciparicks parents were childhood sweethearts who, when they married, in 1929, moved to New York City where they were among the earliest settlers from Puerto Rico in Washington Heights. Her father was a civil servant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers and her mother was a housewife. Judge Ciparick was born in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan where she attended St. Elizabeth, a parochial grammar school, and Mother Cabrini and George Washington high schools. From there she attended the City University of New Yorks Hunter College, where she majored in History and Political Science and developed a strong interest in the law. While working full time during the day, teaching social studies and physical education at Junior High School 136 in Central Harlem, she attended St. Johns University School of Law in Brooklyn at night, graduating in 1967. Judge Ciparick served as a staff attorney with the Legal Aid Society from 1967 to 1969 when she joined the New York State Court System as an Assistant Counsel to the Judicial Conference, the precursor to the present-day Office of Court Administration. Thereafter, she was appointed Chief Law Assistant for the Criminal Court of the City of New York and for the Supreme Court, Criminal Branch,

NATIONAL HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH. District Attorney Brown (far right) presents the Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, retired Senior Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (2nd from left), with his offices 8th Annual National Hispanic Heritage Award in honor of her distinguished legal career. Joining them are the Hon. Joseph A. Zayas, Administrative Judge for the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court in Queens County and last years recipient of the award, and the Hon. Randall T. Eng, Presiding Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department.

New York County. In addition to her role as Chief Law Assistant, she later served simultaneously as Counsel to the Administrative Judge for the New York City Courts In 1978, she was appointed as a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York making her the first Puerto Rican woman to serve on the bench in New York State history. Four years after her appointment to Criminal Court, Judge Ciparick was elected to the New York State Supreme Court. On December 1, 1993, Governor Mario M. Cuomo, filling a vacancy created by the age-based mandatory retirement of Associate Judge Stewart F. Hancock, Jr., made history by nominating Judge Ciparick to the New York State Court of Appeals, making her the first Hispanic and only the second woman to serve on the States highest court. In January 2013 Judge Ciparick joined the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, as counsel in the firms New York litigation and appellate practices. She also remains active in public service and serves on the Chief Judges Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services, the New York State/ Federal Judicial Council and the Institute on Professionalism and the Law. She was recently appointed by the Chief Judge to co-chair the New York Justice Task Force that examines the causes of wrongful convictions.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY BROWN JOINS ELECTED AND EDUCATION OFFICIALS AT DEDICATION OF NEW SCHOOL CAMPUS NAMED AFTER CONGRESSWOMAN GERALDINE A. FERRAO
On Tuesday, October 22, 2013, District Attorney Brown joined Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, School Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott and other elected and education officials in dedicating the campus of a new school building after Geraldine A. Ferraro, the first female vice presidential candidate and three-term Congresswoman of the Ninth District. The Geraldine A. Ferraro Campus will house the former P.S. 290, which is now called the A.C.E. Academy for Scholars. In remarks prepared for the occasion, District Attorney Brown said, Gerry Ferraro was a longtime friend and neighbor of ours who dedicated her life to public service and was a pioneer in so many ways both here in Queens and on the national stage. While she is perhaps known best for her service as a member of Congress and her ground-breaking candidacy for the Vice-Presidency of the United States, Gerry began her career here in Queens as a public school teacher and then as an assistant district attorney in our office where she headed our Special Victims Bureau which, among other things, handled child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assaults and crimes against the elderly. Smart, strong, determined and compassionate, Gerry led a remarkable life that can teach young children that their futures hold great promise. What a fitting tribute it is to name a Queens public school after Gerry!

The five-story school, currently under construction, will have 616 seats, serving pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. The new building will include two playgrounds, a gymnasium that also will serve as an auditorium, a second gymnasium, library, kitchen and cafeteria, 23 classrooms and 7 special education District 75 classrooms with a separate therapy room. The building also will include a science room, and a science lab with prep rooms. Geraldine Ferraro Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to run for vice president on a major party ticket, began her trailblazing public service career upon graduation from college and becoming a New York City schoolteacher, teaching second grade at P.S. 85 in Astoria, part of the district she would later represent in Congress. While teaching, Ferraro earned a law degree from Fordham Law School and, in 1974, she became an assistant district attorney in Queens County. During her years in the office, she was responsible for the creation of two specialized units: the Special Victims Bureau and the Confidential Unit. In 1978 Ferraro ran for Congress and served three terms in the House of Representatives before being tapped for the Vice Presidential run. When Democratic presidential nominee Walter F. Mondale was asked why he chose Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, he replied, She was the right choice. Shes smart. She knows the issues. She believes in social justice.

GERALDINE FERRARO SCHOOL CAMPUS DEDICATION. (front row, l-r) Congresswomen Grace Meng and Nydia Velazquez, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, John Zaccaro (husband of Geraldine Ferraro), Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Deputy Chancellor Kathleen Grinn, SCA CEO Lorraine Grillo and Congressman Joe Crowley.

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FORMER NYC CORRECTION OFFICER SENTENCED TO 25 TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDER OF MOTHER OF HIS CHILD
Shot His Girlfriend 8 Times in The Head And Once In The Chest
New York City Correction Officer Christopher Clavell should have already been in prison for gunning down his former girlfriend -- who was the mother of his then-twoyear-old son -- in 2000 but he managed to escape justice for thirteen years. However, thanks to the hard work of the NYPDs Queens Homicide Squad and the QDAs Homicide Investigations Bureau and their refusal to let the case grow cold, justice was finally achieved for the victim and her family, who listened as Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas sentenced Clavell to 25 years to life in prison. Barbara Perezs bullet-ridden body had been found on the floor inside the now-defunct The Power Factory, a gym in Ridgewood, on the morning of August 11, 2000. The 32-year-old Perez, who was an assistant manager at the gym, had been shot nine times -- once in the chest and eight times in the head. Suspicion immediately fell on Clavell, Perezs former boyfriend who worked as a Correction Officer on Rikers Island at the time. Detectives questioned him immediately after the shooting but no charges were filed at the time. In the years that followed, however, the investigation into Perezs murder continued and, at trial, it was revealed that Clavell had repeatedly harassed and confronted Perez about child support payments following a legal proceeding in Queens Family Court and that Perez had told family members Clavell claimed he would sooner kill her than give her any money, Clavell was ultimately convicted at trial of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Christopher Noel Clavell. Photo Courtesy of Facebook

WOODHAVEN LAUNDROMAT EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING CUSTOMER


A 42-year-old Howard Beach man employed at a Woodhaven laundromat has been sentenced to seven years in prison for sexually abusing a female customer earlier in the year. Richard Kassebaum, an employee of Laundry Haven on Woodhaven Boulevard, was convicted of first- and third-degree sexual abuse and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Butcher who imposed the sentence of seven years in prison.

photo by Carol Alvarado for Times Ledger

According to trial testimony, the female victim was inside the laundromat at approximately 4:30 a.m. on March 31, 2013, when she left and began walking home while her clothes were inside the washer. As she exited the store and turned the corner, she was grabbed from behind, choked and her glasses were knocked off her head. As Kassebaum grabbed her buttocks, the victim screamed and Kassebaum fled the location. The victim identified her attacker as a male wearing a navy blue short-sleeve shirt and jeans. A review of video surveillance from inside the laundromat and elsewhere showed, according to trial testimony, Kassebaum inside the laundromat wearing a navy blue short-sleeve shirt and jeans and then standing in the parking lot outside the laundromat as the victim left. Kassebaum was then observed walking behind the victim and followed her onto Woodhaven Boulevard. Video footage taken shortly after the attack showed Kassebaum running back onto 86th Avenue and reentering the laundromat.

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TWO ASTORIA LANDLORDS CHARGED WITH DEFRAUDING 31 PROSPECTIVE TENANTS OUT OF $60,000 IN DEPOSITS AND RENTS

With New York City suffering through a tight housing market, some greedy landlords have taken advantage of the situation to unjustly enrich themselves tens of thousands of dollars by requesting substantial rent pre-payments from prospective tenants for either what turn out to be uninhabitable apartments or the landlords keep delaying the move-in dates and not returning the deposits. For the victims, the loss is doubly troubling in that they have lost their money and still have no place in which to live. For example, in one Astoria case, prospective tenants allegedly learned of the rental of a basement apartment or room at the landlords residence through a posting on craigslist. It is alleged that between March 2013 and August 2013 the landlord took security deposits ranging from $500 to $2,000 from the tenants and, in two instances, also collected the first months rent. As the tenants move-in dates approached, the landlord allegedly postponed the moves by making up various excuses, such as the apartment was not ready or that the electricity was not working. When the tenants grew tired of the excuses and asked for their money back, the landlord allegedly either promised to return the money or said that he had used the money for repairs before he eventually stopped taking or returning their calls. In a second Astoria case, the landlord was accused of flagrantly ignoring a Buildings Department order to vacate the premises. Instead, it is alleged, he took large amounts of money from at least ten individuals for illegal apartments that were uninhabitable fire traps. According to the indictment handed up in the case, in December 2012, the New York City Department of Buildings issued a vacate order to the landlord after determining that the two-family building had been converted into a five-family building with no permit or certificate of occupancy issued for the conversion, that the first and second floor had no secondary means of egress, and that the building had no sprinkler system. Upon returning to the premises on February 19, 2013, the Buildings Department investigator discovered that the property had been converted into a nine-family dwelling despite the existing vacate order and that there were multiple individuals allegedly living at the premises in violation of the vacate order. According to the indictment, between December 17, 2012, and April 11, 2013, the landlord is accused of taking approximately $44,050 from ten individuals as rent for apartments, despite an order by the Buildings Department that the premises be vacated because of illegal and unsafe conditions.

SUSPECTED DRUNK DRIVER CHARGED WITH FLEEING QUEENS ACCIDENT SCENE AND TAKING POLICE ON CROSS-COUNTY HIGH-SPEED CHASE THAT ENDED IN CAR CRASH THAT INJURED EIGHT INDIVIDUALS
A Staten Island resident has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges for allegedly leaving the scene of an early morning Queens fender bender and taking police on a high-speed chase during which he ran nearly a dozen red lights, traveled the wrong way down a one-way street and reached speeds in excess of eighty miles per hour before crashing into a BMW in Brooklyn and injuring eight individuals the five BMW occupants, the two pursuing police officers and himself. The defendant suffered a broken hip and remains hospitalized.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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Kewane Curry was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf. On January 26, 2012, Curry pointed a black and silver handgun out the window of his fourth-floor Astoria apartment at a passerby. When police responded the apartment, Currys mother allowed them to search the apartment and they recovered a .9mm caliber Luger pistol with one round in the breach and two rounds in the magazine lying behind a window shelf, next to seven live rounds of .9mm ammunition. Kirk King was convicted of second-degree attempted murder following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. On July 2, 2012, video surveillance along Beach Channel Drive showed King standing with another man and firing multiple shots from a pistol before both men walk out of camera range. Thereafter, the other man suffered a gunshot would to his right thigh. In executing a search warrant at Kings house, police recover 100 untaxed cigarettes, a cane sword, multiple caliber cartridges and two .45 caliber ammunition magazines. Tony Owens was convicted of third-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter. On March 7, 2012 Owens entered a Citibank branch on Cross Bay Boulevard and handed the teller a note stating that he had a bomb and demanding 50s and 100s. The defendant left with $5,700. On March 20, 2012, Owens entered a TD Bank, also on Cross Bay Boulevard, and handed the teller a similar note. This time he left with $109. Owens was identified in a lineup by the teller from TD Bank. There was a positive fingerprint hit from the demand note in the TD Bank incident, and handwriting experts indicated that the notes came from a common source. Owens was sentenced to three and a half to seven years in prison. Jermaine Lamb was convicted of second-degree murder following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis On June 15, 2011, Lamb was engaged in a verbal dispute with his common law wife when he punched her in the back of the head, causing her to lose consciousness and fall. Lambs wife, who was four months pregnant at the time, suffered lacerations and bruises to her lip and two loose top teeth. That same night, Lamb sat in a car outside their Jamaica, Queens, residence and fired a gun in the direction of his house. A female acquaintance of Lambs was standing in the kitchen when the bullet hit her above the right knee. At the time of the incident, the acquaintance was nine months pregnant and there were two children present in the house. Lamb was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Yushumpree Davis was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ronald Hollie. Just before 3:00 a.m. on August 21, 2010, Davis was observed entering a nightclub on Atlantic Avenue in South Richmond Hill with a .380 caliber handgun in his waistband during a security check. The security officer removed the handgun and called the police but prior to their arrival, Davis left the club. When police arrived, they found David hiding underneath a parked car in the vicinity of the club. The gun had one round in the chamber and eleven rounds in the magazine. Davis was sentenced to three and one-half years in prison.

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Devon Bristol was convicted of first-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. As a 19-year-old male got off a train in Ridgewood at around 11:15 p.m. on October 20, 2011, Bristol followed him for a few blocks before approaching him with a gun in his hand and taking his Dr. Dre headphones, his cellphone and $20 in cash. Bristol was stopped by police a short while later and a loaded .25 semi-automatic pistol was recovered a few feet away. He was sentenced to twelve and one-half years in prison

Sherman Baker was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice James Griffin. In the hour after midnight on January 14, 2012, in Far Rockaway, police recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .38 caliber Lady Smith revolver from Bakers rear pants pocket. Baker was sentenced to ten years in prison. Takim Newson was convicted of first-degree robbery following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. At approximately 3:54 on October 29, 2011, police pulled Newson over in Elmhurst for speeding, driving erratically and running a red light. In the backseat was a Coach bag, camera and cellphone -- proceeds of a robbery that Newson had committed earlier. Police also recovered from the vehicles center console a loaded black .22 caliber gun whose serial numbers had been scratched out to prevent identification. Newson was sentenced to seventeen years in prison. Darren Staton was convicted of second-degree robbery following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. On the afternoon of December 23, 2010, Staton followed a 66-year-old woman into a Jamaica, Queens, apartment building on 130th Avenue and into the elevator. When she arrived at her floor, he assaulted her and stole her pocketbook. Staton was sentenced to 282 months to life in prison.

Ronald Carter was convicted of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Butcher. In April 2012, Carter sold a quantity of cocaine to an undercover operative for sixty dollars. The sale occurred in Jackson Heights within one thousand feet of a public school. Carter was sentenced to three years in prison.

James Carter (no relationship to Ronald Carter above) was convicted of second-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LoPresto. On September 4, 2012, in Far Rockaway, police observed an individual hand a sum of money to Carter in exchange for a prescription bottle containing one hundred fifty oxycodone pills. At the time of his arrest, police also recovered five forged one hundred dollar bills. Carter was sentenced to ten years in prison.

Alberto Rios was convicted of fourth-degree grand larceny following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf. Just before last call at a Sunnyside bar on January 11, 2011, video surveillance observed Rios twice reaching into a purse that had been left on a bar stool and removing an object each time. It was later discovered that he had removed a blackberry cell phone and a debit card, which he then used less than an hour later to purchase cigarettes and beer. Rios was sentenced to two to four years in prison. Michael Ramnath was convicted of third-degree robbery following a bench trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld. Just before midnight on July 3, 2011, Ramnath approached three teenagers in St. Albans and became physically abusive before stealing an iPhone and cash from one of the victims, a Nintendo DS game system with a game cartridge and battery pack from another victim, and a wristwatch from a third victim.

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Mo S. Um was convicted of fourth-degree criminal mischief and criminal trespass following a bench trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld. On November 12, 2012, Um broke the hinge on the basement window of a resident on 9th Street in Astoria and entered the building. Um was arrested shortly thereafter at the side of the residence. Um, as a violent felony offender, was sentenced to eleven years in prison. Daniel Samaroo was convicted of second-degree robbery following a bench trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld. At approximately 5:00 a.m. on August 11, 2012, Samaroo and four unapprehended individuals approached a 24-yearold man from behind on 124th Street in Richmond Hill and two of the unapprehended individuals punched and kicked him while Samaroo stated, Run his pockets. Samaroo and the others continued to punch and kick the victim about the face and body and that, at one point, Samaroo reached into the victims pocket and took a cell phone while one of his acquaintances reached into another pocket and removed a cell phone and cash. Emanuel Gurgov, Mark Kravchenko, David Davydov and Nisim Davydov were convicted of second-degree assault following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice James Griffin. On the night of October 27, 2011, the four defendants were having a verbal argument with another man in Forest Hills when things escalated and Gurgov, Kravchenko and David Davydov each hit the man over the head with a bat and all four defendants punched and kicked him about the head and back, causing a deep laceration to the victims head, as well as bruising to his face and back. The victim was treated at a local Queens hospital where he received ten staples and four stitches to his head. Gurgov and Nisim Davydov were each sentenced to two years in prison, Kravchenko was sentenced to two and one-half years and David Davydov was sentenced to three years in prison. Damion Jackson was convicted of second-degree burglary following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Deborah Modica. On January 22, 2012, Jackson went to his girlfriends Astoria residence. When she refused to let him in, Jackson used a brick to break a window and enter through the fire escape. Once inside, Jackson grabbed a kitchen knife and chased his girlfriends son. When the son exited the residence with an injured foot, Jackson confronted his girlfriend in the kitchen and waved the knife above his head as he threatened to kill her. Jackson was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. Radesh Nanand was convicted of first-degree assault following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld. On October 30, 2007, in Ridgewood, Nanand approached his girlfriend from behind and slashed her neck with a sharp object before leaving with her purse. She was transported to a local hospital where she received internal and external stitches to the area around her windpipe and esophagus. Nanand was sentenced to fourteen years in prison. Joel McCray was convicted of second-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. Just before 3:00 a.m. on September 5, 2012, McCray followed his 29-year-old female victim as she got off a train in Astoria and grabbed her by the face and threw her to the ground, causing multiple bruising to her body. While his victim was on the ground, McCray pulled off her backpack and forcibly removed her purse, which contained her iPad, $107 in cash and her wallet containing three credit cards, from her hands during a brief struggle before running off. McCray was sentenced to ten years in prison. Winston Harris was convicted of third-degree assault following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise. Around 2:00 a.m. on April 14, 2012, Harris punched his 23-year-old girlfriend in the face with a closed fist outside her Queens Village residence. He then repeatedly struck her in the face, head and back with a glass bottle of Hennessy, causing her substantial pain. The victim was taken to a local Queens hospital, where she required more than ten stitches to close a laceration to her lip. Harris was sentenced to one year in prison.

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Jonny D. Jackson was convicted of attempted second-degree burglary following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. On the afternoon of March 12, 2012, Jackson attempted to break into three different residences in Ozone Park. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Iquan Wiggs was convicted of second-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis. On the morning of September 22, 2012, a 38-year-old male individual was walking down the street when at the intersection of Glenmore Avenue and 77th Street in Ozone Park he was forcibly grabbed by Wiggs who asked, Can you help me find an address. As the victim tried to walk away he was pushed to the ground, restrained and relieved of his cell phone, wallet and a sum of money. Wiggs was sentenced to four years in prison. Compton Mohabir was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Butcher. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on July 31, 2011, Mohabir ripped the clothing off and sexually abused a 20-year-old female acquaintance in the storage room of the Maracas Club on Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill. Richard L. Carter was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LoPresto. On the afternoon of November 23, 2011, police observed Carter crouched in the backyard of a house on 109th Avenue in South Jamaica with a bag in his hand. As police approached, Carter dropped the bag and fled. The recovered bag contained a loaded .380 revolver and a box of .40 caliber ammunition. From a hole in the side of the house, police also recovered a loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with one live round in the chamber and ten live rounds in the magazine, as well as a loaded .45 caliber Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol with one live round in the chamber and five live rounds in the magazine. The loaded Springfield Armory semi-automatic pistol had been reported stolen in September 1994 to the Phoenix, Arizona, Police Department. Carter was sentenced to ten years in prison. Kelvin Mazyck was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LoPresto. Just before 3:00 a.m. on April 29, 2012, Mazyck was apprehended with a pocketknife which he had used in a failed robbery in Ridgewood. Carter was sentenced to two to four years in prison. Deighton Edwards was convicted of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ronald Hollie. Edwards was driving a BMW truck on the morning of May 9, 2011, when he failed to signal while making a left turn in South Jamaica. During the stop, police recovered a gravity knife and a portable radio capable of receiving and sending frequencies allocated for police use from the vehicles center console. Also recovered was a ziplock bag containing marijuana from the defendants waistband. Rasheem M. Holland was convicted of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance following a bench trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. On the night of February 21, 2012, Holland was observed sitting in the drivers seat of a vehicle on 232nd Street in Springfield Gardens holding a glass pipe that contained cocaine and which police recovered from his hand. Police also observed five ziplock bags, each containing rocks of crack cocaine, from the vehicles center console cupholder. Holland was sentenced to three years in prison. Enekan Edo was convicted of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. On multiple occasions between February and March 2011 in Jamaica, Edo provided police officers with ecstasy pills and cocaine in exchange for cash.

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Dion Navarro and Eduardo Rivera were convicted of fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, and Jorge Rivera was convicted of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property following a bench trial also before Justice Lewis. During the early morning hours of April 22, 2012, Navarro and the two Riveras were found in possession of personal property that had been stolen minutes earlier in Jamaica from a 27-year-old male individual who had been punched and kicked by a group of men. The victim was taken to a local Queens hospital where he received four staples to stem a laceration to his head. Umar Bashir was convicted of first-degree coercion following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice John Latella. On the afternoon of June 24, 2012, Bashir exited a vehicle in the vicinity of 95th Avenue and 111th Street in South Richmond Hill and approached a 26-year-old female relative and pointed what appeared to be a dark-colored pistol at her head and stated that she should stay away from his wife or else he would put a bullet in her head. Bashir was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation. Rudolph Kaval was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis. On the evening of January 10, 2012, a police officer assigned to the NYPDs 109th Precinct observed Kaval at the intersection of 15th Avenue and 125th Street in College Point holding a back .25 caliber Ravens Arms pistol in his right hand and attempting to put the weapon into the waistband of his pants. The pistol, which was loaded with one round in the chamber and five rounds in the magazine, had all its serial numbers scratched off. Kaval was sentenced to 23 years to life in prison as a persistent violent felony offender, Brian Mack was convicted of fourth-degree grand larceny following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Ronald Hollie. Onboard the Number 7 train as it was traveling through Flushing during the early morning hours of May 5, 2012, Mack stood over a sleeping passenger and used a razor to slice open the victims jeans pocket and steal a Verizon cell phone and Apple iPod and a metrocard. At the time of Macks arrest, police recovered the stolen items and three razors from the defendant. Sharif Croom was convicted of first-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Joseph Zayas. In the hour after midnight on October 1, 2011, a 51-year-old man was approached on 169th Street in Jamaica by Croom, who pointed a firearm at him and demanded the mans wallet and cell phone. After the victim complied, Croom told him, Run away or I will shoot you. Croom was sentenced to 25 years to life as a violent felony offender. Daviean Williams was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Charles LoPresto. On June 17, 2011, police observed Williams place an item underneath a parked vehicle at the intersection of 112th Road and Dillon Street in Jamaica. When police went to investigate, they recovered a loaded .22 caliber revolver from under the vehicle. The revolver was loaded with six rounds of ammunition in the cylinder. Nicholas DeJesus was convicted of second-degree robbery following a jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak. At approximately 1:00 a.m. on September 18, 2011, DeJesus approached a 45-year-old man on 86th Street in Woodhaven and, holding a pistol, demanded the mans money. DeJesus then reached into the mans pants pocket and removed a twenty-dollar bill and a five-dollar bill before running away. At the time of his arrest, police recovered the stolen money and a black and silver imitation pistol. Anthony Brady was convicted of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice James Griffin. On October 28, 2011, in Long Island City, Brady sold an undercover officer five pills of alprozolam for $20 in cash.

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LIVERY DRIVER AND ACCOMPLICE SENTENCED TO PRISON IN ROBBERY AND MURDER OF OZONE PARK BAR PATRON
It should have been just another fare for livery cab driver Deevan Jagnarine. A patron at The Rush, a lounge in Ozone Park, was intoxicated and needed a ride home. Instead, Jagmarine decided to rob the patron. But he needed help. So after Matadin Ramnarain, 58, who was heavily intoxicated, got into Jagmarines taxi outside The Rush at about 10:30 p.m. on August 16, 2010, Jagnarine then picked up Alex Gobardhan and drove to the vicinity of 89-12 Arion Road in Ozone Park. Once there, the two men punched the victim in the face and robbed him of his cell phone, wallet and a gold bracelet before dumping his body, which was later found by a passerby who called 911. The victim was removed to Jamaica Hospital by emergency medical responders where he was pronounced dead at 11:33 p.m. According to the medical examiners office the cause of death was determined to be cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiovascular disease following blunt trauma to the head. Gobardhan, 22, was convicted on July 24, 2013, of second-degree murder, second-degree robbery and three counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property following a week-long jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice John B. Latella. He was sentenced the following month to seventeen years to life in prison. Jagnarine, 24, who testified against Gobardhan at trial, pleaded guilty to first- and second-degree robbery on July 22, 2013, and was sentenced the following month to eleven years in prison, also by Justice Latella.

FUGITIVE SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON FOR MANSLAUGHTER STEMMING FROM 2005 HIT-AND-RUN THAT KILLED 15-YEAR-OLD BOY
Defendant Extradited From Spain
photo by Ellis Kaplan

Bartolo Paula, who spent more than seven years on the run, first in the Caribbean and then in Europe, was sentenced to ten years in prison on his first-degree manslaughter guilty plea in connection with the 2005 hit-and-run death of a teenage special-education student boy in Ozone Park. In addition to the 10-year prison term, Paula was also sentenced to five years of post-release supervision

BARTOLO PAULA

According to the charges, Paula had just dropped off his teenage son at John Adams High School on the morning of October 26, 2005, and was at a red light when Jeffrey Javier, 15, entered the crosswalk. When the light changed to green Paula struck Javier, who was still in the crosswalk, and kept going. A witness followed Paula for several blocks, took down his license plate number and turned it over to police, who later interviewed the suspect. After agreeing to surrender to police the next day, Paula instead fled to the Dominican Republic and ultimately to Spain, from where he was extradited in December 2012. Javier, who suffered a fractured skull and other injuries, died a few days later at Jamaica Hospital after his parents made the painful decision to take him off life support.

THREE BROOKLYN MEN INDICTED FOR SERIES OF QUEENS RESIDENTIAL BREAK-INS


Three Brooklyn men were indicted on charges of burglarizing and attempting to break into various Queens residences in mid-July. In announcing the indictment, District Attorney Brown reminded Queens residents that, Summer is a peak time for burglaries and homeowners should take adequate precautions to protect their houses and valuable by inspecting their residences to see if there is a need to improve home security.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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TWO POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED WITH SELLING NYPD ACCIDENT REPORTS IN PATIENT REFERRALS SCHEME
A New York City police officer assigned to the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights, and another officer assigned to the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, were separately charged with accepting cash payments ranging from $40 to $1,500 for copies of official NYPD accident reports. District Attorney Brown said that the NYPDs Internal Affairs Bureau commenced an investigation, together with the District Attorneys Integrity Bureau, into allegations that NYPD employees were engaged in selling accident reports and the information contained therein to runners individuals who find accident victims and bring them to particular medical clinics and physicians as part of a scheme to maximize cases involving insurance providers. As NYPD police officers, the defendants were not authorized to sell or accept personal payment of monies for NYPD documents or the information contained within. According to the criminal charges, between March 11, 2013, and August 19, 2013, the Jackson Heights officer provided either copies of official NYPD accident reports or the information contained within of the names and addresses of thirteen accident victims to a runner in return for a total of $6,200 that he either received in cash or was directly deposited into a bank account controlled by him. In a second complaint, between May 20, 2013, and August 8, 2013, the alleged runner sent texts to the Elmhurst officer requesting copies of NYPD accident reports containing the names of specific accident victims. It is alleged that the officer would obtain the requested reports, meet the runner at various locations in Queens County in order to turn over the reports and received between $40 and $800 for providing the reports. In total, it is alleged that the officer provided copies of official NYPD accident reports containing the names and addresses of seven accident victims to a runner in exchange for a total of $1,500 in cash payments It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON IN SHOOTING DEATH AT POMONOK HOUSES OVER UNPAID DEBT

Malcolm Thompson, a 20-year-old South Flushing youth convicted of second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the October 2010 shooting death of a 27-year-old man in a courtyard within the Pomonok Houses after the victim asked Thompson to pay back approximately $200 that Thompson had borrowed from him months earlier, was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison by Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak for his crimes. According to trial testimony during the four-week jury trial, Laseam Hogan, 27, was in the vicinity of the Pomonok Houses at approximately noon on October 15, 2010, when he asked the then-18-year-old Thompson to pay back approximately $200 that Thompson had borrowed from him months earlier to which Thompson responded: Ill dead you, you aint getting (expletive). Hogan stated that he was prepared to fight, but Thompson kept his hands in his pockets, silently refusing. At that point Hogan was about to walk away when Thompson pulled out a gun and shot Hogan in the leg and torso. When Hogan fell to the ground, Thompson stood over him and shot him three additional times in the torso, neck and head, killing him.

MALCOLM THOMPSON

Following two days of deliberation, the jury convicted Thompson of one count of second-degree murder and two counts of seconddegree criminal possession of a weapon.

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QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS IN PRISON IN DEATH OF WITNESS WHO TESTIFIED AGAINST HIM IN EARLIER ROBBERY CASE
Co-Defendant Who Drove Defendant To Crime Scene Receives Sentence of 2 To 6 Years In Prison

A Far Rockaway man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of a witness who had testified against him in an earlier robbery case. His girlfriend, who drove him to and from the crime scene and pleaded guilty to first-degree hindering prosecution, was sentenced to two to six years in prison. The District Attorney said, The sentences imposed serve as an example of our commitment to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system. Both defendants will serve significant time behind bars for the role that each played in the senseless death of a young man.

Shytique Kelly, 22, of Arverne, and Jazmin Guillebeaux, 21, of Rosedale, both in Queens, appeared before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter who sentenced Kelly to a determinate sentence of 25 years in prison and Guillebeaux to an indeterminate term of two to six years in prison. In pleading guilty, Kelly admitted that he approached Tysheen Coakley, 21, and two other individuals at approximately 5:28 p.m. on May 27, 2012, at the intersection of 110th Avenue and 160th Street and fired in the direction of the three individuals, hitting Coakley in the chest and causing his demise. Guillebeaux admitted that she assisted in the killing by driving Kelly to and from the crime scene.

Shytique Kelly (above, left) was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the killing of a witness who testified against him in an earlier case, and Jazmin Guillebeaux, whose head is bowed, was sentenced to two to six years in prison for driving the getaway car in the murder case.

FOREST HILLS MAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME IN ATTEMPTED MURDER OF MAN AT QUEENS MOSQUE Defendant Allegedly Stabbed Victim Repeatedly and Uttered Anti-Muslim Slurs
A Forest Hills man has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime in an alleged bias-related attack at a Flushing mosque last November in which the victim who was unlocking the mosque for morning prayers was repeatedly stabbed and subjected to anti-Muslim slurs. According to the charges, the victim, Bashir Ahmad, 57, was unlocking the front door of the Masjid Al-Saaliheen Mosque, located at 72-55 Kissena Boulevard, at approximately 4:50 a.m. on November 18, 2012, when he was stabbed in the back and turned around to see the defendant immediately standing behind him. It is alleged that Ahmad placed his arms up to protect himself when the defendant continued to stab him about the body, causing bleeding, lacerations, bruising and swelling to his hands, head, legs and back, and threatened him by stating, Ill kill you Muslim (expletive redacted).

MASJID AL-SAALIHEEN MOSQUE

Ahmad was taken to a local Queens hospital and received several stitches and staples for his injuries. It should be noted that a complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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COP KILLER CONVICTED OF ATTEMPTING TO KILL ANOTHER MAN DURING ROBBERY


Dexter Bostic, who is already serving life without parole for the fatal shooting of NYPD Police Officer Russel Timoshenko in Brooklyn, was convicted in July of the attempted murder and robbery of a Queens man less than twenty-four hours prior to the shooting of Officer Timoshenko. Bostic, 40, of Far Rockaway, was convicted of seconddegree attempted murder, first-degree assault, first-degree BOSTIC robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property following a four-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. Bostic faces up to 25 years in prison. According to testimony at trial, Carl Field, who was 20 at the time, was standing on the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and 109th Drive talking to a friend just before 5:00 a.m. on July 8, 2007, when a gray Porsche Cayenne being driven by Robert Ellis, 40, stopped at the corner and Bostic exited the vehicle, holding a silver .45-caliber handgun, and began shooting. Mr. Field attempted to run but was shot once in his left leg, the bullet shattering his femur and causing him to fall to the ground. Bostic then approached Mr. Field and demanded money. Mr. Field handed over $1,800 in cash, a chain and the keys to his vehicle. Bostic and Ellis then fled in the Porsche. Ellis, who was convicted in the case last year of the same criminal charges as Bostic following a jury trial also before Justice Lasak, was sentenced in July 2012 to a determinate term of 25 years in prison. The sentence was ordered to be served consecutive to the 15-year prison sentence Ellis was serving for a weapons possession conviction stemming from the July 9, 2007, fatal shooting of Officer Timoshenko. In that case, the stolen black BMW SUV in which Ellis, Bostic, and another individual were riding in was pulled over by Police Officers Russel Timoshenko, 23, and Herman Yan, 27, when it was noticed that the license plate on the car had been reported stolen from a Mitsubishi Outlander. As the two officers approached the vehicle, they were shot at multiple times including by the gun used the day before to shoot Mr. Field. Officer Timoshenko died five days later from the wounds he suffered in the attack. Officer Yan, who was also severely hit, survived.

QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS FOR FATAL STABBING OF WIFE


Despite having been issued an order of protection directing him to stay away from his wife, Ganesh GANESH SEELALL Seelall, 40, of Richmond Hill, Queens, went to their residence in August 2012 and during the course of his visit fatally stabbed her. Seelall pleaded guilty in April 2013 to firstdegree manslaughter before Queens Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt who, in July, imposed upon him a determinate sentence of 18 years in prison. According to the criminal charges, while at their residence between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2:32 p.m., on August 16, 2012, Seelall caused the death of his wife, Samantha Seelall, by inflicting the SAMANTHA following injuries: mul- SEELALL tiple stab wounds to her chest and to the left side of her head, neck compression and smothering. It is alleged that when a police officer from the 102nd Precinct responded to the residence, he observed the victim underneath the bed in the couples bedroom, naked with a blanket over her torso, and a black plastic bag with duct tape around her head and rags tied to both of her wrists.

REPUTED GANG MEMBER CHARGED WITH ASSAULT IN STRAY BULLET SHOOTING OF 10-YEAR-OLD FAR ROCKAWAY GIRL
A 21-year-old Far Rockaway resident reputed to be a member of the so-called Rowdy Gang was charged with firing a gun into the front courtyard of the privately owned Dix McBride Apartments in Far Rockaway in August and wounding ten-year-old Brianna Palmer.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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COLOMBIAN NATIONAL CAUGHT ILLEGALLY RE-ENTERING USA IS CONVICTED OF 2007 MURDER AT JACKSON HEIGHTS BAR Extradited Co-Defendant Already Serving 18 Year Prison Term
It was just after 4:00 a.m. on February 4, 2007, when Carlos Sanchez and Francisco Uribe, two Colombian nationals, pulled up in a silver BMW to the Blue Lounge bar at 83-17 Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights. For a few minutes the two men stood outside the bar watching people exit before they entered the premises. Already inside were their soon-to-be victims: Robinson Lopez and his friend, Diokis Rosario. While inside, Sanchez and Uribe had a fight with a barmaid that caused them to be ejected from the bar. Outside, Sanchez went and sat in the BMW while Uribe waited on the sidewalk for Lopez to exit. Although Uribe initially missed Lopez coming out of the bar, Sanchez alerted Uribe that Lopez was already outside and the two men began shadowing Lopez on foot until Sanchez went back to the car and slowly drove down the street, trailing the two men until Uribe attacked Lopez.

El Tucanazo now occupies the site where the Blue Lounge was formerly located

Rosario and his fianc, Catherine Ruiz-Debanegas, who had been walking in front of Lopez, heard a commotion and turned. Seeing Uribe attacking Lopez with a knife, Rosario went to the aid of his friend. In response, Uribe slashed Rosario in the face, cutting him next to his left eye, as Sanchez stopped the car and ran to join Uribe on the sidewalk. Sanchez then stabbed Rosario once in the torso before he and Uribe fled in the BMW. Rosario and Lopez were transported to Elmhurst General Hospital and underwent emergency surgery. Lopez died and Rosario received 39 stitches to close his wounds. An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner revealed that Lopez had been stabbed twice in the chest, including once in the heart. Immediately after the stabbing, Sanchez and Uribe fled the country but their flight proved short-lived. Fifteen months after the stabbings, Sanchez was arrested at the Mexican border attempting to illegally re-enter the United States through Texas. Pleading guilty to illegal entry, he was brought to New York to face murder charges. Following a lengthy extradition process, Uribe was returned to the United States from Colombia in June 2010. In January 2013, he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, implicating Sanchez, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison. Sanchez, who has been held without bail since his May 2008 arrest, was convicted in October 2013 of second-degree murder and firstdegree assault following a three-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder. Sanchez faces up to fifty years to life in prison when he is sentenced.

TENNESSEE MAN CHARGED WITH WEAPON, AMMO POSSESSION AT JFK AIRPORT


A 23-year-old Tennessee man was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport and charged with illegally traveling with two handguns, two rifles both of which had their serial numbers defaced and two high-capacity magazines. The weapons and ammunition were discovered during a routine pre-flight check-in. According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the man approached the United Airlines check-in counter at JFK Airports Terminal 8 and declared that he had two cases containing firearms. The cases allegedly contained a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol, a Highpoint .9mm pistol, two high-capacity magazines capable of holding 15 rounds of .9mm ammunition, one defaced .22-caliber rifle with one round in the chamber and another defaced .22-caliber rifle. The rifles were defaced in that the serial numbers of one of the rifles were missing and the serial numbers on the other rifle were marked with paint, rendering them illegible The man was charged with four counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of violating New York City Administrative Code 10-131-H-2 (Firearms/Violation No Carrying case, Rifle/Shotgun). He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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QUEENS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER IN STABBING DEATH OF BROTHERS LIC ROOMMATE
Adam Rodriguez, 44, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter for fatally stabbing his brothers 27-year-old male roommate in March 2010 the same day he was released from Rikers Island on unrelated charges. Rodriguez is expected to be sentenced to a determinate term of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.

PAKISTANI NATIONAL AND U.S. NATURALIZED CITIZEN CHARGED WITH SOLICITING AID FOR TERRORIST GROUPS IN AFGHANISTAN
Two New York City residents -- a Pakistani national residing in Elmhurst and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Kuwait residing in Brooklyn -- have been charged with conspiring to solicit aid in support of terrorist organizations including the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighting American troops in Afghanistan . District Attorney Brown said, In this case, while keeping our federal counterparts informed, our office worked closely with the New York City Police Department on a longterm investigation in which the two defendants allegedly engaged in a plan to supply terrorist organizations in Afghanistan with warm winter clothing which in the context of the fighting in Afghanistan is as serious as supplying the enemy with bullets and bombs. These supplies would have enabled the terrorists to endure the harsh Afghan winters and extend the fighting season. These defendants, as a result, were not merely conspiring to supply clothing items to people in Afghanistan, they were conspiring to make the enemy more effective in engaging and killing American soldiers. Fortunately, the arrests of these defendants prevented their alleged plan from being carried out. District Attorney Brown added, Whether the threat is posed by a large organized enterprise or a lone wolf, we must remain vigilant to identify and respond promptly and effectively. The two men were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging them each with second-degree soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism and fifth-degree conspiracy. The defendants, who face up to seven years in prison if convicted, were each ordered held on $500,000 bond or cash .
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

TRANSIENT WOMAN CONVICTED OF MURDER OF QUEENS MAN IN ASTORIA PARK


Kelly Harnett, a transient who had spent nights camping out with her boyfriend, Thomas Donovan, in Astoria Park in July 2010, has been convicted of the predawn murder of a Queens man who was found strangled and beaten in the park. Donovan had previously pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and is presently serving a fifteen-year prison sentence. Harnett faces up to 25 years to life in prison when she is sentenced.

BROOKLYN MAN CONVICTED OF MURDERING GIRLFRIENDS 19-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER Child Admitted To Hospital With Brain Injury, Broken Jaw And Ribs, Punctured Lung and Internal Bleeding
Allen T. Shannon, 31, of Brooklyn, has been convicted of second-degree murder following a nearly four-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise. Shannon, who killed his Corona, Queens, girlfriends toddler daughter, faces up to 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced.

LEFRAK CITY TENANT INDICTED IN MASSIVE MONEY LAUNDERING AND IDENTITY THEFT SCHEME INVOLVING OTHER TENANTS OF APARTMENT COMPLEX
Allegedly Stole The Identity Of Dozens Of Fellow Tenants To Open Credit Card and Bank Accounts; Allegedly Used Stolen Rent Checks To Fuel Scheme

A LeFrak City tenant has been charged with the theft of more than $100,000 between November 2011 and May 2013 by stealing the personal identities of dozens of former and current residents at the twenty-building apartment complex in Elmhurst to unlawfully open up bank and credit card accounts in their names through which he then laundered tenant checks including monthly rent checks that he is alleged to have stolen from a U.S. mailbox at the apartment complex.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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QUEENS MAN SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR 2x4 BLUDGEONING DEATH OF FORMER GIRLFRIEND
Elmer Diaz, a 39-year-old Queens homeless man convicted of murdering his former girlfriend who was also the mother of his young daughter by bludgeoning her to death with a 2x4 piece of lumber in September 2009, was sentenced in August to 25 years to life in prison. According to testimony at Diazs two-week jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael D. Aloise, Diaz went to the Far Rockaway residence of his former girlfriend, Indira Villa, 38, on the afternoon of September 22, 2009, to pick up some clothing. While at Ms. Villas Caffrey Street apartment, an argument between Diaz and Ms. Villa erupted in the presence of Ms. Villas 13-year-old son from a prior relationship, Denzel Carrero, and Diaz and Ms. Villas three-year-old daughter, Natalie. During the argument, Diaz threw a bowl of vinegar on Ms. Villa and as the argument further escalated, her son went to his room and called 911. When Ms. Villas son came out of his room, he saw that Diaz had grabbed his mother, restraining her with one arm and holding something shiny in the other. Diaz then told the son, I can kill your mother. The son ran back to his bedroom and retrieved a piece of 2x4 lumber and returned to find his mother on her knees and Diaz on top of her. The son then struck Diaz once in the head and numerous times on the back in an attempt to stop him from attacking his mother. Grabbing the 2x4 from the son, Diaz then used it to repeatedly strike Ms. Villa on the head as she lay on the floor. The son grabbed his sister, who was crying next to her mother, and fled to a neighbors apartment. Police arrived a short time later and Ms. Villa, who had sustained massive head trauma, was taken to Jamaica Hospital where she underwent a craniotomy to relieve pressure but died shortly thereafter. An autopsy revealed that she had died of blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries.

BAR BRAWLER SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS IN PRISON FOR GANG ASSAULT Victim Was Injured in Club Fight and Later Died From a Heart Attack
Donnell Coleman, 31, of Jamaica, Queens, was sentenced in July to 18 years in prison for the brutal beating of another man in a Forest Hills club in November 2010. Coleman had been convicted of first-degree gang assault in March 2013 and was sentenced by Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Buchter following the conclusion of a two-week jury trial. According to court testimony, in the early morning hours of November 27, 2010, inside of Bartinis, a nightclub located at 1 Station Square, in Forest Hills, Coleman, along with approximately eight to ten others, punched and kicked the victim, Haroon Walfall, 33, of Rosedale, Queens, repeatedly about the face, head, and torso after an altercation inside the club over a girl. Mr. Walfall, who had an enlarged heart, sustained bruising, swelling, bleeding and lacerations to his face and neck and subsequently died later that morning from a heart attack.

ALLEGED STALKER CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING WOMAN, HER SON AND COP WHO CAME TO THEIR AID
Off-duty Police Officer Joseph Koch was enjoying a Sunday afternoon in June when he heard the screams of a young boy and his mother, who were allegedly being beaten by a former tenant turned stalker. Officer Koch, who was nearby visiting his future inlaws, responded to allegedly find the tenant attacking Christina Rodriguez, from whom he used to rent a room. Rodriguez 10-yearold son was also allegedly being assaulted. In allegedly struggling with the tenant, both he and Officer Koch were shot. Officer Koch was shot in the left hand and the tenant was struck in the abdomen. The tenant was charged with first- and second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault, menacing a police officer, and other charges.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

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SIX INDICTED IN $1 MILLION TRI-COUNTY FAMILY-OPERATED NUMBERS RACKET


In September, District Attorney Brown, joined by NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, announced that six individuals have been indicted on charges of unlawfully running an illegal gambling operation in Queens County, as well as Brooklyn and Nassau County, that annually took in approximately $1 million in numbers bets. District Attorney Brown said, A six-month investigation that utilized both court-authorized wiretaps and physical surveillance has dismantled this family-operated gambling ring that allegedly ran an old-fashioned numbers racket complete with betting parlors, wire rooms and runners and collectors that handled approximately $3,000 a day in bets, or $1 million a year. Todays indictment will send a clear signal that when it comes to illegal gambling in Queens County, all bets are off. District Attorney Brown said that the NYPDs Queens Narcotics Division and his Narcotics Investigation Bureau commenced a long-term investigation in February 2013 of an illegal gambling operation allegedly being run by two of the defendants and, which according to the criminal charges, operated a central wire room in Brooklyn. It is alleged that the wire room maintained a number of fax machines that received betting slips from more than thirty betting parlors scattered throughout Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau County. A second wire room was operated from a private house in Queens. Two of the defendants allegedly were primarily tasked with collecting and distributing money to the betting parlors. In addition to the arrests, court-authorized search warrants were executed at twelve locations, including one of the defendants residences, the two wire rooms and various betting parlors in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island. In total, twenty-six individuals, including the six pre-indicted defendants, were arrested on various charges and more than $120,000 in cash, gambling records, ten fax machines, narcotic pills and six weapons were recovered -- including two MP-15 assault rifles. It should be noted that an indictment is merely an accusation and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

D.A. Brown (far right) is joined by (l-r) NYPD Inspector Michael E. Bryan, Commanding Officer, Queens Narcotics Division, and Detective Andrew Lenski in showing guns recovered following execution of search warrants in gambling ring investigation.

QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE HOSTS 76 SUMMER INTERNS


Local Students And Those From Around The Nation Participate In Annual Program

LEFT: D.A. Brown with some of the 76 law school and college students who participated in the Queens District Attorneys Offices ten-week 2013 Volunteer Summer Internship Program.

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STATE SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING WOMAN IN ALLEY
Twenty-three year-old Kevin Pazmini, already listed as a Level One sex offender on the state registry, was on the prowl in the early morning hours of July 26, 2011, when just blocks from his home he grabbed a 35-year-old woman from behind as she headed toward a bus stop on her way to work. Pazmini dragged the woman into an alley and physically and sexually attacked her. Half-naked, she eventually managed to escape and flee to a nearby bodega, where a customer called 911. Pazmini whose DNA was found on a letter he wrote to a friend describing what he had done was convicted of first-degree attempted rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, second-degree attempted robbery and second-degree assault following a bench trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard L. Butcher, who imposed a determinate prison sentence of 25 years on Pazmini. Pazmini was previously arrested in September 2010 for raping a woman who passed out after drinking alcohol inside his home. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charges of sexual misconduct and was sentenced to six years probation, according to state court records. Under conditions of the plea, Pazmini was required to register as a Level 1 sex offender on the state registry.

LIVERY DRIVER SENSELESSLY SLAIN WHILE BEING ROBBED BY CO-WORKER Co-Worker Sentenced To 20 Years To Life
A Long Island City livery driver never stood a chance when he was cruelly set upon by a fellow driver who shot the victim in the head during an attempted armed robbery. Jaroslaw Bielawski, 62, was behind the wheel of a Crosslands Corporate Transportation vehicle on January 8, 2010, when co-worker Gregory Johnson, 36, and another man allegedly donned ski masks and approached Mr. Bielawski who was sitting with the window rolled up. Johnson motioned for the driver to roll down the window. When Mr. Bielawski instead attempted to drive away, Johnson pulled out a handgun and fired three times, shattering the drivers side window and striking Mr. Bielawski in the head. The car service company owner, Mamadouh Elsayed, whom the victim was about to drive home, was in the rear seat of the cab at the time of the shooting, but was not injured. Both of the defendants allegedly fled the scene in different directions. Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder, first- and seconddegree attempted robbery, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and tampering with physical evidence following a threeweek jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Daniel Lewis, who sentenced him to an indeterminate term of 20 years to life in prison. The case against his co-defendant is pending.

SUSPECT IN SHOOTING DEATH OF 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL ON CITY BUS CAPTURED IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The suspect in the shooting death of Daja Robinson, a 14-year-old Queens girl who was struck in the head and killed by a bullet that went through the window of the New York City bus that she was aboard in May, was caught the following month in Cayce, South Carolina. The 21-year-old suspect, waived extradition, and was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on a complaint charging him with second-degree murder, first-degree reckless endangerment, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison. District Attorney Brown said, The death of this young, talented fourteen-year-old is a senseless tragedy and another painful example of the mindless gun-related violence that too often takes innocent lives. According to the charges, Daja (Asia) Robinson, 14, left a Sweet Sixteen party on the evening of Saturday, May 18, 2013, and walked to the bus stop opposite of 125-60 Sutphin Boulevard in the Jamaica section of Queens, where she boarded a Q6 bus and walked to the rear of the occupied bus. It is alleged that the defendant, with the intent to cause the death of another individual, then began firing multiple rounds from a handgun at the bus, one of which pierced the bus window and struck Ms. Robinson in the head. Ms. Robinson was transported to a local Queens hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

DAJA (ASIA) ROBINSON

It should be noted that a complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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FORMER NYPD BODYGUARD OF MAYOR SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON FOR ATTEMPTED MURDER OF QUEENS MAN
Leopold McLean, a veteran New York City Police Department detective convicted of attempted murder in connection with an off-duty shooting in which an unarmed man was wounded, has been sentenced to seven years in state prison
Photo by Ellis Kaplan

At the time of McLeans sentencing, District Attorney Brown said, This case should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law. The defendant, a 19-year veteran of the NYPD, has not only lost his job but must now serve the sentence handed down by the Court. The victim who sustained a gunshot wound to the buttocks still suffers physical and emotional pain from the shooting.

McLean, who had been a member of the NYPD for nearly two decades and whose most recent assignment was as a member of Mayor Bloombergs Dignitary Protection Unit, was convicted of McLEAN second-degree attempted murder and first-and second-degree reckless endangerment following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice James P. Griffin, who revoked McLeans bail and ordered him remanded into custody. McLean, who had been placed on modified duty pending the outcome of the criminal case, will now go through a departmental hearing to determine his NYPD status. According to testimony at trial, McLean approached Lepaul Gammons, then 39, in the vicinity of 119th Road and 153rd Street at approximately 12:34 a.m. on November 15, 2010, and demanded to know why Gammons was at that location the residence of a woman known to both men and who had a restraining order against Gammons. At that point, McLean pointed a black handgun at Gammons, who asked if McLean was going to shoot him. McLean then stated that he had something for Gammons and lowered the black handgun and reached down toward his ankle, at which point Gammons ran from the location, which was captured on video surveillance. As he ran, he heard gunshots coming from where McLean had been standing. As he ran down 119th Road toward Sutphin Boulevard, Gammons sustained a gunshot that entered and exited his buttocks. Gammons climbed a fence of a neighboring yard and hid briefly. As he ran back to his car, McLean fired more shots. The incident ended when Gammons managed to drive off in his car. Though McLean and Gammons both failed to report the shooting, McLean and his girlfriend reported a burglary at the time, saying Gammons had a knife. Bullet fragments of a gun registered to McLean were found at the scene. Ballistic tests on a bullet recovered from a fence post located on the north side of 119-26 153rd Street determined that the bullet came from the Kahr .9mm Luger registered to McLean. Later, Gammons called the police, gave his name and the LEPAUL GAMMONS name of the shooter, but refused to meet with the police or go to the hospital for treatment out of fear that he would be arrested. He informed the police where they could find the blood-soaked clothing that he was wearing when he was shot and officers assigned to Internal Affairs went and retrieved those items. He [McLean] took an oath to serve and protect, but that night he wasnt protecting anyone, he shot at his rival his girlfriends ex-boyfriend, ADA Carmencita Gutierrez said in her opening statement. Kahr .9mm Luger
(for illustration purposes only)

Gammons, who suffered substantial pain, impaired mobility and a high fever as a result of the gunshot wound, was subsequently taken to Jamaica Hospital for treatment. He is presently serving up to three years in prison for a 2011 forgery conviction and has a pending $5 million lawsuit against the NYPD and McLean.

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REPUTED CRIPS GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR GUNPOINT STREET ROBBERY OF TEENAGER
Victor Santana, 20, a reputed member of the Crips street gang, who pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the August 2012 gunpoint robbery of a teenager. According to the criminal charges, Santana approached his 19-year-old male victim from behind on the night of August 1, 2012, near Hollis Avenue and Monterey Street and, racking a black semi-automatic pistol, ordered the victim onto the ground, at which time Santana took the victims I-Phone and black backpack Illustration purposes only which contained a pair of gold Nike Air Foamposite sneakers. The victim and his mother reported the robbery to the police the following day and picked out Santana from a photo array. On August 4, 2012, at the intersection of 218th Place and Hempstead Avenue, the victims mother observed Santana on the street wearing a black backpack and her sons Nike sneakers. She immediately called 911 and then her brother. When police arrived at the scene, they observed the victims uncle struggling with Santana in an effort to keep him from fleeing. The police recovered a black unloaded and inoperable .380 pistol from Santanas backpack and the victims sneakers from his feet.

QUEENS TEENAGER SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON FOR STABBING DEATH OF 17-YEAR-OLD WHILE TRYING TO STEAL HIS IPHONE
Stephon Huffman, 19, of Queens, who took part in an incredibly violent and fatal attack on a 17-yearold boy while trying to steal his iPhone, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Huffman had pleaded in July to first-degree manslaughter in connection with the 2011 daytime attack.

guilty

According to the criminal charges, on October 28, 2011, at about 11:00 a.m., at the intersection of 142nd Street and 120th Avenue, Huffman and others approached Patrick Dixon, 17, after following him off of a bus, and placed him in a chokehold while demanding his iPhone and trying to remove it from his pocket. As Dixon struggling, a second teen allegedly grabbed him along with Huffman. When Dixon managed to free himself from the grasp of Huffman and his alleged cohort, a third teen approached and allegedly slashed Dixons neck with a razor blade. As Dixon fled from his attackers, with blood spurting from his neck, Huffman and two others allegedly followed him. Dixon fell to the ground while one of his alleged attackers continued to demand that he turn over his phone. Huffman admitted that as he was running after Dixon, the victims blood sprayed onto his face, mouth, jacket, sweatshirt and pants.

UPSTATE NEW YORKER CHARGED WITH KILLING WOMAN IN RICHMOND HILL HIT AND RUN
A 20-year-old Schenectady, New York, resident was charged with vehicular manslaughter and other charges, including driving while under the influence of alcohol, after hitting a 59-year-old woman and a parked vehicle and failed to stop. The woman was taken to a local Queens hospital in cardiac arrest and was later pronounced dead as a result of her injuries. The driver allegedly had a blood alcohol level of .09. It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven

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THE CASE OF DONOVAN DRAYTON


In July 2013, Donovan Drayton was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a jury trial before Acting Queens Supreme Court Justice James Griffin. This was the second time that Drayton was being tried for the same offense and the trial assistant did an outstanding job in securing a conviction in a difficult case that had a six-year history with the District Attorneys Office. In pursuing justice, there were many misstatements, inaccuracies and criticism in the media against the office and scathing personal attacks against the trial assistants character made by the defendant, his family and his attorneys who claimed that Donovan, the son of guitarist Ronny Drayton, was the victim of a vicious and brutal legal system hell-bent on punishing him. Let the record reflect the truth. The first criticism was that even though Drayton had roots in the community, family ties, the finances to make bail and no prior criminal record, the QDA insisted on him being remandws -- and rightly DONOVAN DRAYTON so. Drayton was charged with, inter alia, second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was facing up to 25 years to life in prison. For a case where a defendant is facing a life sentence, remand is an appropriate and legal recommendation. Most defendants charged with murder are remanded regardless of community ties because the prospect of facing a life sentence makes them a flight risk. The Court -- which actually sets bail and not the District Attorneys Office -- agreed with the Peoples recommendation and ordered the defendant remanded. Secondly, Draytons attorneys and family claimed that even though he was acquitted of most of the charges at his first trial and that the jury hung on the other counts 10-2 in favor of acquittal, the District Attorneys Office still insisted that he be held without bail. As the court record shows, Drayton was acquitted of three of the eight counts pending against him. While the jury hung on felony murder, two counts of first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree attempted robbery and five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, he was still facing a charge of second-degree murder and several class C felonies -- which meant that he was still facing the same potential sentence of 25 years to life in prison. Since there was no change in circumstances, the People, therefore, opposed bail and the Court agreed. As to the jurys 10-2 vote in favor of acquittal, as claimed by the defense, that may not be entirely accurate. When members of the prosecution team spoke with several jurors, they indicated that they were strongly in favor of conviction, that there were only two jurors strongly in favor of acquittal and that the other jurors vacillated on their position. Draytons attorneys went on to claim that their clients lengthy detention was designed to break a person down and force a plea. While Draytons first trial was delayed due to adjournments by both the People and the defendant, the intervening period between the first and second trial was almost all due to defense delay. After the first trial in June 2011, for instance, the case was adjourned for three months. In September only one of Draytons three lawyers appeared in court and he asked for an adjournment until November. In November, again, only one of his three lawyers appeared in court. At that time Drayton requested and was given a court-appointed lawyer. In July 2012, Drayton hired Michael Warren and his appointed attorney was relieved. Warren promptly asked for a seven-month adjournment to January 2013. In October 2012, Warren went to the Appellate Division asking for bail partly based on the length of time Drayton had been incarcerated -- a time period which the defense was completely responsible for post-first trial. On January 4, 2013, a date which the court had told both sides to be ready, Draytons attorney asked for and was given an adjournment, without even bothering to inform the People that he would not be ready for trial. During the entire twelve months between the first and second trial the People only asked for one short adjournment in April 2013 due to the ADA being on trial. The defense also claimed that there was no physical evidence linking Drayton to the crime and that the People relied on the testimony of a drug dealer and stick-up artist -- Anthony Wright. In order to respond to this claim, some facts of the case are required. On the evening of September 30, 2007, Donovan Drayton and two apprehended others, Craig Glover and, Jason White, got together and planned to rob Anthony Wright, a neighborhood marijuana dealer. According to the plan, Drayton and Glover would approach Wright with guns, force him into his home and take his money and drugs. White would wait down the block in the car to facilitate the escape. Just before 10:00 a.m. on October 1, 2007, Drayton, and Glover, both armed with loaded handguns, approached Wright and Dwight

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THE DONOVAN DRAYTON CASE (continued) Bent (Wrights friend) in front of Wrights home at 143-36 110 Avenue. Upon seeing Drayton approaching with a gun, Wright ran into his home and locked the door, leaving Bent outside. Running up the stairs to his room, Wright grabbed his assault rifle and pointed the weapon out the window and fired a round across the street. In turn, Drayton and Glover discharged their guns at Bent, who was hit with multiple bullets, including one (fired by Glover) that perforated, inter alia, his heart and lung, causing his death. After shooting Bent, Drayton and Glover then ran to the waiting vehicle being driven by White, jumped in and drove off. Contrary to the defenses assertions that there was no physical evidence linking Drayton to the crime, the jury rightly convicted him of possessing a silver .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. stopped dealing drugs after his friend Bent was killed. There was no evidence contradicting that testimony. During the pendency of the case Wright was arrested for assaulting his stepfather. However, that was during an incident where Wright interceded on behalf of his mother who was being verbally abused by the stepfather who was physically threatening Wright at the time. Nevertheless Wright pleaded guilty to a violation in connection with that case -- not a misdemeanor as the defense contended. A violation is not a crime and therefore did not violate the agreement.

According to trial testimony, White testified that Drayton approached Wright and Bent with a silver .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol and Wright testified that Drayton pointed a silver 45 caliber semiautomatic pistol at him and Bent moments before Bent was shot. Also, the police found a spent .45 caliber shell casing and a .45 caliber spent bullet just a few feet from where Bents body was found after the shooting. The bullet had passed through the front door, making a bullet hole in the door right where the body was found. This constituted physical evidence tying Drayton to the crime.

Furthermore, while it is true that Wright was also arrested during the pendency of the case when drugs and guns were found in his house during the execution of a search warrant, Wright maintained that the guns and drugs -- which were not found in his room -- did not belong to him. He testified in the grand jury and the grand jury ultimately dismissed the charges against him. Another individual residing in the house was indicted for the guns and drugs and ultimately pleaded guilty. Again, neither incident was a violation of the terms of Wrights agreement. He was not convicted of any crimes. It also should be noted that the search warrant was obtained based on drug sales being made by the person WRIGHTS RESIDENCE who ultimately pleaded guilty in the case. An e-mail from a reporter who had spoken in-depth to Draytons family and attorney stated that Wright had left details out when he initially spoke to police and had inconsistences in his testimony. It was explained to the reporter that all of those things were disclosed by the prosecution to Drayton and his attorney and put before the jury, as is proper. It was for the jury to determine what weight to give prior statements and trial testimony. The reporters e-mail also stated that Jason White had planned the robbery-homicide. This was simply not true. The only evidence on this fact was that the robbery was Glovers idea and that Drayton and White were willing participants. White was cooperated by the People because he was the least culpable. He had never left the car and was not involved in the actual shooting. Whites plea offer was twelve years without cooperation. By testifying for the People, White was given a seven-year prison sentence. The reporters e-mail also made reference to inconsistencies between what White said to the police and the jury. Again, any prior statements made by White were disclosed by the prosecution to Drayton and his attorneys and put before the jury, as is proper, and it was up to the jury to determine what weight to give them. It is worth noting that when White was arrested he made written and video statements to police regarding the incident, which was

As to the argument that the People relied on the testimony of a drug dealer and a stick-up artist, it must be understood that Wright, the intended target of the crime, was the only known witness. If the People did not get him to cooperate and testify at trial, they would not have been able to legally prosecute the case and that would have meant that Bent, an innocent and unarmed man, shot five times and killed would have gotten no justice. The killers would then have gone free with no attempt to hold anyone accountable for his murder. Wright was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class C felony punishable by up to fifteen years in prison. While it was true that he was offered a plea far less than what he was facing if convicted after trial, it is also true that Drayton similarly was offered a determinate eighteen-year prison term, which was much less than what he faced if convicted at trial. Ultimately, Wright agreed to cooperate and with truthful testimony, the People did, in fact, agree to a sentence of probation. However, Wright did not continue to deal drugs after this incident, as the defense asserted. He stated numerous times under oath that he had

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THE DONOVAN DRAYTON CASE (continued)

completely consistent with his trial testimony. At the time he made those written and videotaped statements to the police -- consistent with his testimony at trial -- he was not a cooperating witness and was made no promises of leniency. Lastly, the e-mail made allegations that the trial assistant blocked the testimony of William Thornton and ignored a written statement by Glover. It is true that Thornton did not testify at the first trial -- but that was because the defense failed to confront White at the trial with the alleged statement that White made to him regarding Drayton. Confronting the witness with the alleged prior statement is legally required. The defense, however, failed to do that and as a result the judge precluded the testimony based on a proper and legal objection by the prosecution. It would have been unfair and legally improper to let him testify based on the fact that White was never given a chance to explain the alleged statement to Thornton (there is case law regarding the admissibility of prior inconsistent statements). Furthermore, absolutely nothing prevented Draytons attorney from calling Thornton at the second trial. Particularly since they had the transcript of the first trial and knew, based on the transcript, exactly what they needed to do legally to have him testify. It should be noted that the defense elected not to call Thornton at the second trial, perhaps because Thornton was a convicted murderer and is presently serving a sentence of eighteen years to life in prison. Lastly, the People did not ignore any written statements from Glover. Glover made a written and videotaped confession to the police. In those statements Glover said that he and Drayton approached Wright and Bent, armed with guns, to rob Wright. Wright ran inside and fired a shot out the window. Glover stated that he and Drayton then fired their guns at Bent. He stated that they both shot Bent. Glover made similar statements under oath when he pleaded guilty. If Drayton and his attorney believed that Glover recanted his claim that Drayton was involved in the planning of the homicide, why then didnt they call him as a witness at trial? The allegation that Shaw ignored a statement by Glover made absolutely no sense. At sentencing on September 18, 2013, Drayton made a statement to the Court in which he admitted to going to the scene of the murder with the killer -- Glover. Drayton also admitted to possessing and firing the gun he was convicted of possessing. Furthermore ballistics evidence showed his gun was fired in direct line of where Bent had been shot and killed. In passing judgment, Justice Griffin noted By the very statement that you made in this case, Mr. Drayton, at the time of this incident, you were part of the problem. You, just like Anthony Wright, were selling marijuana. You chose to associate with these people. You went with them to the scene of this murder, and according to your statements, you apparently just stood there while your associate held, again, a gun to Mr. Bents head and while Mr. Wright ran into the house, ran up to the third floor, into his bedroom, into the closet, got an assault rifle, then ran down to the second floor, knocked the screen out of the window and started firing out of that window, all that time, apparently, you just stood there. And when the gun was thrown to you, you caught the gun. When you finally did run, you fired the gun in the air, you say. And where did you run? You didnt run to the police, you ran to the getaway car. Justice Griffin continued, Based on your statement alone, it is really understandable why the police and the prosecutor would think that you were far more involved in this entire scenario than you are claiming. The problem that the People had in this case that -- that the witnesses that they had to rely on came with a great deal of baggage. Based on your statements and the evidence that the People presented, there was more than enough evidence for you to be convicted of every crime alleged in this indictment, but apparently because of all the problems that these witnesses had, the baggage that they carried, the jury gave you the benefit of the doubt and so have all of these people here . . . I am not laboring under any delusion that you are a saint here. You had a serious problem to start out with and you are part of this. In seeking the maximum penalty for the gun possession charge -- 15 years -- the trial assistant later noted that he couldnt imagine a much more egregious set of facts surrounding a gun conviction. This was not a situation where he [Drayton] was searched on a street and a gun was found on him. This was as situation where he fired the gun on the scene of a murder. This set of facts warranted the maximum sentence. Ultimately, Justice Griffin imposed on Drayton a determinate period of incarceration of five years with five years post-release supervision.

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BRONX MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER IN FATAL STABBING OF 69-YEAR-OLD MAN NEAR ELMHURST TRAIN STATION
A 22-year-old Bronx man has been charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of a 69-year-old man under an elevated Elmhurst train station.
Photo by Christina Santucci (Times Ledger)

The defendant was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gene Lopez on a criminal court complaint charging him with second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail.

According to the charges, Ever Orozco, 69, of Woodside, had just parked his car near the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue #7 train station at approximately 1:00 p.m. on September 16, 2013, when he was viciously attacked and stabbed multiple times by the defendant. Mr. Orozco was transported to a local Queens hospital where he was pronounced dead.

QUEENS AUTO BODY SHOP OWNERS CHARGED WITH $250,000 NEW YORK STATE SALES TAX THEFT
An Old Westbury, New York, couple were charged with a $250,000 state sales tax theft in connection with the operation of their auto body repair shop in Jamaica, Queens. The couple and the business allegedly under reported sales between December 2007 and February 2011 by approximately $3 million.

The husband and wife owner/operators were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on charges of second-degree grand larceny, second-degree criminal tax fraud, third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal tax fraud, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree falsifying business records and first- and second-degree scheme to defraud. In conducting an audit of the auto body shops corporation from December 2007 through February 2011, the New York State Tax Department concluded that the defendants had allegedly collected $3,661,875 for vehicle repairs from four insurance companies: GEICO, Ameriprise, Met Life Auto and Home and State Farm. The corporation claimed, however, to have conducted only $739,055 in total taxable vehicle repair sales, and thus allegedly collected and failed to pay at least an additional $255,259 in New York State and local taxes.
NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

2013 NEW YORK CITY ABUSIVE HEAD TRAUMA/SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME CONFERENCE
Sponsored By the Queens County District Attorney, the New York City Office Of Chief Medical Examiner and the New York Prosecutors Training Institute

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Acting New York City Chief Medical Examiner Barbara A. Sampson, M.D., hosted the 2013 New York City Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome Conference in September. In addition to the traditional lecture format, there was a roundtable discussion moderated by Assistant District Attorney Marjory D. Fisher, Chief of QDAs Special Victims Bureau, and Queens County Assistant District Attorney Leigh L. Bishop, Supervising Attorney for Child Homicide/Assault Prosecutions designed to explore controversial issues regarding the diagnosis and prosecution of AHT. Panelists included Keith Findley, J.D., University of Wisconsin School of Law; Bruce Herman, M.D., University of Utah School of Medicine; Julie A. Mack, M.D., Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; and Sandeep Narang, M.D., J.D., FAAP, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.

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CONVICTED FELON INDICTED FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF ASTORIA WOMAN


Twenty-three-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student Carmen Saldana was walking home from a party in Long Island City in July 2009 when an alleged Good Samaritan offered to escort her to her Astoria apartment building. Once they got there, however, the Good Samaritan revealed his true self and allegedly forced himself into the home and attacked the pretty brunette.

For three years the brutal murder had remained unsolved and left Carmens family with more questions than answers. Then in 2012, a break occurred in the case when the man purportedly responsible for Carmens murder was convicted in a carjacking case and forced to provide authorities with a DNA sample that linked him to DNA found at the cold case crime scene. Police eventually tracked the individual down to his upstate prison cell just weeks before he was due to be released. The convicted felon and former restaurant worker was arraigned before Queens County Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak on a 15-count indictment charging him with second-degree murder, predatory sexual assault, first-degree kidnaping, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first- and seconddegree burglary, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, petit larceny, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted. It is alleged that the defendant saw Carmen Saldana on the street on July 12, 2009, as she made her way home from a party in Long Island City. The defendant allegedly offered to walk Saldana home and when they reached her Astoria apartment building he asked to come in and she refused. The defendant allegedly kicked in the apartment house door and forced his way into her apartment where he allegedly raped and murdered her. Her mother discovered her battered and naked body in their apartment after she returned from the Hamptons where she cleaned houses. DNA evidence was recovered at the scene and stored in a database.

Carmen Saldana

NOTE: CRIMINAL CHARGES ARE MERELY ACCUSATIONS AND A DEFENDANT IS PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY

PURPORTED GANG MEMBER CHARGED WITH MURDER IN SHOOTING DEATH OF 33-YEAR-OLD MAN UNDER ELEVATED TRAIN TRACKS IN JACKSON HEIGHTS
A purported member of the M18 street gang has been charged with fatally shooting a 33-year-old Corona man beneath the elevated Roosevelt Avenue train tracks in Jackson Heights, Queens, in September. The 20-year-old defendant was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with physical evidence. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.
DNAinfo/Claire Cameron

Roosevelt Avenue at 80th Street, where Ivan Rodriguez was gunned down.

According to the charges, the defendant, along with several other gang members, was chasing after Ivan Rodriguez, 33, of Corona, Queens, at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 20, 2013. When Mr. Rodriguez fell in front of 89-08 Roosevelt Avenue, the defendant shot him, striking him in the head and neck before fleeing and discarding his weapon in a pile of garbage near 37th Avenue. Thereafter, police allegedly recovered a .22 caliber firearm, five spent rounds and one live round from a pile of garbage located in front of 37-61 88th Street.

(for illustration purposes only)

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LONG ISLAND ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING FUNDS FROM THREE CLIENTS
A Great Neck, Long Island, attorney has been charged with stealing more than $150,000 belonging to an estate or guardianship over the last four years. District Attorney Brown who was appointed a special prosecutor in the case at the request of Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice in order to avoid any resulting appearance of impropriety due to a conflict of interest. said that the defendant, an Elder Law attorney, was arraigned before Judge Eric Bjorneby in First District Court of Nassau County on a criminal complaint charging her with three counts of second-degree grand larceny. According to court documents, the defendant was appointed by the Court on September 8, 2009, as a guardian for a 77-year-old man who was deemed an incapacitated person under the mental hygiene law. Thereafter, in submitting a sworn accounting statement to the Court for monies spent from the disabled mans accounts, the defendant allegedly stated, among other things, that she gave the man $150,000 in cash between September 2009 and September 2011. However, a forensic review of the defendants accounts allegedly revealed a pattern of activity whereby funds belonging to the disabled man were taken by the defendant from the guardianship accounts she maintained on his behalf and deposited into her operating and personal accounts. The funds were then allegedly expended on the defendants office and payroll, as well as on personal expenses. In a second instance, according to the criminal charges, the sons of a Westchester man hired the defendant to handle their fathers estate and to sell his residence and to set up a Special Needs or Supplemental Needs Trust for their disabled sister, who was the sole inheritor of their fathers estate. The Special Needs Trust was to ensure that there would be no future problems with the sisters Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income and subsidized housing. It is alleged that a check for $245,595.96 (which represented the sale of the deceaseds residence) was deposited in an escrow account maintained by the defendant. Some funds were allegedly distributed by the defendant while the vast majority of the funds were transferred to other business accounts, operation accounts and an additional escrow account maintained by her and then spent on the defendants personal expenses. It is alleged that no money remains from the original escrow deposit nor is there evidence a trust was set up from those funds. Finally, according to the complaint, the defendant was hired in August 2011 by a male individual to handle his mothers estate and was given an escrow check for $84,864. It is alleged that on August 5, 2011, an $84,864 deposit was made to the defendants escrow account, and the defendant wired $14,243.20 to the deceaseds son on August 9, 2011, the same day she electronically transferred $70,000 to her operating account, thus leaving a balance of only $4,207.84. Additionally, it is alleged that checks written by the defendant to two individuals who were each to receive a gift of $10,000 under the terms of the deceaseds will were not immediately cleared because of insufficient funds and that, on September 30, 2011, $37,000 was transferred from the accounts of an elderly woman, who had previously given the defendant Power of Attorney for her affairs, to cover those checks, completing the payment of the original escrow funds. It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

QUEENS DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE STUBS OUT ILLEGAL CIGARETTE TRAFFICKER. District Attorney Richard A. Brown (left) with the approximately 1,151 cartons of illegal cigarettes, both American and Asian brands, that were allegedly seized during an investigation of illegal cigarette trafficking in Queens.

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COMBATING THE DESTRUCTIVE DONT SNITCH STREET MESSAGE


Looking to combat the dont snitch subculture -- in which witnesses of crimes do not come forward with information, often out of fear of retribution -- the QDA -- in the form of ADA Mariela Herring, Chief of District Attorney Browns Gang Violence Bureau, and ADA Elizabeth Parke, his Director of Juvenile Prosecutions -- hosted an open public forum, that focused on the destructive and so-called Dont Snitch street code that has polarized neighbors and worked to stifle the powerful voices of communities united against violence. This was the second such forum held this year. Like the earlier event, the forum was held at the Campus Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, Queens, in conjunction with the Misunderstood Youth Development Center, and provided an overview of the Dont Snitch street code and gave the residents of Queens County a platform for safe, open discussion on the topic and an opportunity to ask questions. The forum, which drew about 150 people, opened with a slide show with pictures of fifty homicide victims. The oldest was 76. The youngest were five-yearolds. The forum also featured a panel of experts who were available to answer questions about violence and the criminal justice process.
Traylonn Murphy of Harlem, left, Shenee Johnson of Elmont, LI, Andrea McGowan of Flushing and Natasha Christopher of Brooklyn pose with portraits of their murdered teenage children at a forum challenging the Dont snitch to police code of the street.

In announcing the forum, District Attorney Brown said, The purpose of this initiative is to combat the destructive Dont Snitch street message that has hindered the pursuit of justice for violent crimes committed in our communities. The goal is to encourage young people to see themselves as a part of the community, care about the things that happen therein, and speak out against crime and violence. Coming forward and speaking up was a topic that ADA Herring touched on during a panel discussion at the forum, telling the attendees that sometimes the District Attorneys Office has to put witnesses on the stand. Dont come to us first go to someone you trust, she said. It will take a year to get to a trial, and a lot can happen in a year where you might not have to testify. If somebody sees five people ready to testify against him, hell take a plea. But we need witnesses to make a case. You have to give us a fighting chance. A dual purpose of the forum was to seek the voices of younger members of the community to capture the spirit of this initiative by replacing the Dont Snitch slogan with a positive memorable phrase and illustrations of the ways in which they can make their community safer. Toward that goal, District Attorney Brown invited all Queens school children in grades 6 - 12 and Queens-based youth organizations, to showcase their artistic talent and their commitment to the safety of their community by participating in his offices Speak Up For Your Community! initiative. Participants will receive a Certificate of Appreciation from the Queens District Attorneys Office in February 2014 and selected works from each of the participating schools and youth organizations will be displayed at an event(s) hosted by the Queens District Attorneys Office in 2014. FRONTLINES 125-01 Queens Boulevard, 4th Floor, Kew Gardens, NY 11415 Tel: 718.286.6315 Helen M. Peterson, Executive Editor Kevin R. Ryan, Editor-in-Chief

Fax: 718.286.6430

Meris D. Campbell, Managing Editor

Frontlines is a publication of the Office of Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

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Michael Gannon, Queens Chronicle Editor