• Wed, June 05, 2013 8:45 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Responding to a bloody weekend in which seven people were killed and more than two dozen were shot, the NYPD on Monday beefed up police staffing at public housing developments, and deployed mobile and stationary observation towers for patrols, officials said.

    In addition, plainclothes officers are being assigned to anti-crime units citywide at crucial periods, and officers were told to track and arrest those wanted on outstanding warrants, said police spokesman Paul Browne.

    He said investigators also would monitor gang crews to try to prevent retaliations for the weekend's shooting spree.

    Among those hurt in the weekend gunfire, which began late Friday, was 11-year-old bystander Tayloni Mazyck of Brooklyn, who police said appears to have been paralyzed Friday night by a stray bullet outside her Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment. Police suspect Tayloni was struck by a bullet fired by Kane Cooper, 17, as he fired at rival gang members.

    Cooper was arrested Saturday and was held without bail on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and other counts, said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg chalked up some of the violence to the hot and humid weather this past weekend, which he said often leads to short tempers and higher crime. But at the same time, Bloomberg said the number of shootings for the year is way down from the same period a year earlier.

    "The bottom line is, including this weekend, we have the lowest number of shootings that we've had in a decade, OK?" Bloomberg said in response to a question Monday about the weekend violence. A mayoral spokesman said later that Bloomberg was referring to year-to-date trends in making his overall comparison.

      Bloomberg also said the city remains safe. He could take heart from the latest FBI crime statistics, which on Monday showed that the city last year had the second-lowest "murder" rate per 100,000 population of any major U.S. city with more than 1 million people, behind San Diego. The city rate for all homicides was 5.05 per 100,000, compared with 3.51 per 100,000 for San Diego.

    There were 26 shootings including seven homicides this weekend, Browne said, although some unofficial tallies put the shootings at 25 and homicides at eight. Police didn't have a borough-by-borough breakdown of the shootings. Three shooting victims were younger than 16.

    "Even with the weekend shootings, homicides are still down 24 percent from last year," Browne said.

    He said there have been 127 killings in the city so far in 2013, down from 167 last year.

    According to NYPD statistics, there have been 383 shooting incidents involving 439 victims through June 2, compared with 522 shootings and 615 victims in the same period of 2012. That represents declines of 28.6 percent in the number of victims and 26.6 percent in the total shooting incidents.

    "This happens," former NYPD Det. Sgt. Joseph Giacalone said of the blip in shootings in what has been a less violent year in the city. "It happened last year, too. The only thing you have to make sure that you are not dealing with a gang war or drug wars."

    Giacalone expressed concern that with fewer of the controversial stop-and-frisk searches done by police -- 51 percent fewer were conducted in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2012 -- street criminals are becoming emboldened.

    "The bad guys follows these things," Giacalone said. "This is something that has to be monitored."

    Police late Monday said they were questioning a man whom they called a person of interest in the shooting of three men in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens section of Brooklyn on Sunday.

  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:44 AM | Trevor (Administrator)
    Local police say they've launched an aggressive response to increasing gang violence and gang-related shootings in our area.

    One action was the recent arrest of alleged Latin King gang member Gabriel Gonzalez by the Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force. With the aid of the Binghamton, Johnson City, Vestal joint SWAT Team, SIU raided 25 Berlin Street in Binghamton's First Ward last week. Police say 18 year-old Gonzalez was apprehended as he tried to flee out a back door. He faces weapons charges after investigators allegedly found a loaded stolen .32 caliber handgun and sawed-off shotgun in the home. SIU says the arrest grew out of an investigation into recent shootings on Thorp and Crandall Streets in the city.
  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:43 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Five reputed Latin Kings gang members will be sentenced in July for attempting to kill two people in retaliation for stealing money from and disrespecting the group, according to the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office.

    After a more than five-week trial and four days of jury deliberations, the verdict came down Saturday afternoon: All five defendants were guilty on all counts, including conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.

    The sequestered jury found Timothy “King Tiny” Ramirez, 22, and John “King Whiteblood” Rizzo, 43, guilty of ordering the assassination. The three defendants who prosecutors said were present for the City of Poughkeepsie attack undefined Justin Alfonso, 18, Irving Negron, 22, and Paul Sellers, 19 undefined were also convicted.

    “It’s an ideal outcome,” said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Weishaupt. “This is a very dangerous street gang here.”

    Defense attorneys Bruce Petito and Steven Patterson didn’t return several phone messages before print deadline.

    Attorneys Paul Caltagirone, Cynthia Kasnia and David Segal couldn’t be immediately reached.

    The defendants could face consecutive sentences for up to 25 years for each person they shot and for the conspiracy charges, but their sentences could run concurrent, Judge Stephen Greller said.

    Ramirez is said to be the Latin Kings’ “supreme crown” in the Dutchess County area.

    Weishaupt said the convictions were “justified by the evidence the jury saw,” including text messages between supposed gang members discussing the order to kill the victims, and video and photographic evidence of three defendants at the crime scene that day.

    Just before 5 p.m. on March 6, 2012, shots rang out inside a Rip Van Winkle Apartments unit on the banks of the City of Poughkeepsie waterfront. Ruben Rivera, 21, took a bullet to his face and a knife across his upper torso. Kymberle Perez-Colon, 21, was shot in the upper chest. But they survived.

    Alfonso, who prosecutors said shot both victims with a .45-caliber handgun, was shown on video running down a staircase with his left hand in the pocket of his black hooded sweatshirt.

    Phone records showed that Alfonso called Rizzo and Ramirez shortly after the attack.

    Others charged in connection with the incident collaborated with police and became key witnesses.

    Rizzo and Ramirez will be sentenced on July 9 and 11, respectively, for second-degree conspiracy, two counts of second-degree attempted murder and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies.

    Alfonso, Negron and Sellers will be sentenced the following week for second-degree conspiracy, two counts of second-degree attempted murder, two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Alfonso was also convicted of fourth-degree grand larceny.

    Rizzo is from Hyde Park. Sellers is a City of Poughkeepsie resident, and Negron resides in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

    Weishaupt said that when the verdicts were read the courtroom was “somber.” He thanked his prosecution team of Aviv Segal and Frank Petramale.

    “The jury did a remarkable job and were truly committed to this case,” Greller said. He extended his gratitude to the officers who provided court security, including court and correction officers and local police agencies.

  • Wed, June 05, 2013 8:42 AM | Trevor (Administrator)

    An 11-year-old girl was shot in the neck on a Brooklyn street last night by a thug firing at a gangbanger, police sources said.

    Taylani Mazyck was hit by the stray bullet as she walked with her mom near her home on Gates Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 8:45 p.m., the sources said.

    “Her mother said that she might be paralyzed,” said grandmother Sarah Mazyck, 67, adding that doctors said the bullet is lodged in the girl’s vertebrae.

    “I am just torn with grief right now. I want her to live, but I am begging God to let her walk again.”

    The shooter fired at a Bloods gang member after the two men got into a beef, police sources said.

    TAYLANI MAZYCK Shot in the neck.
    TAYLANI MAZYCK Shot in the neck.

    Investigators had a man in custody last night they believed was the shooter, sources said.

    “I’m so scared to be outside now. I hope she’s OK. She’s such a good girl,” friend Tanaya Montes, 9, said through tears.

    “She’s always getting good grades in math,” said classmate Tarane Montes, 11, who heard the shots.

    The girl was rushed to Kings County Medical Center in critical condition.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:50 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    A Yonkers man who eluded police for years undefined sometimes dressing as a woman undefined was arraigned Thursday in the shooting deaths of a Yonkers gang leader and another man, and authorities said they feared gang revenge against him in jail.

    Four others were wounded in the July 6, 2010, attack at an apartment in Yonkers, including a 5-year-old boy.

    Two men are serving long prison terms in the shootings, but it took authorities nearly two years to catch up to a third man, identified as Ronnell Jones, 25. Jones was arrested June 10 in a traffic stop in Chicago, where police said he was in the back seat of a car drinking a beer.

    On Thursday, Jones, dressed in a white T-shirt, ripped jeans, and black sneakers, pleaded not guilty to murder charges before Judge Barry Warhit in Westchester County Court in White Plains.

    Warhit also ordered him held without bail undefined possibly at Rikers Island in New York City, after, prosecutors said, officials at the Westchester County jail in Valhalla said that he might be killed by rival gang members there.

    A large group of acquaintances of Jones undefined a prosecutor described them as gang associates, prompting guffaws in the gallery undefined also attended the hearing.

    Jones is charged in the deaths of Kasheem Little, 21, also known as "Killa Kash," a leader of the Strip Boyz, a Yonkers gang, and Carlton McLeod, 23, in an apartment at Cromwell Towers, 77 Locust Hill Ave.

    The 5-year-old boy, a 17-year-old girl and two other men were also shot and wounded in the apartment at the same time.

    Richard Ferrante, a lawyer for Jones, declined to comment outside the courtroom, saying that he had just been assigned the case and needed more time to study the facts.

    Jones was arrested in Chicago on weapons and alcohol charges and later extradited to New York after those charges were resolved. He was indicted in Westchester County shortly after the shootings on murder and attempted murder charges.

    Jones, who often dressed like a woman to avoid police capture, was featured at one point on “America’s Most Wanted.”

    Jones’s two alleged accomplices, Brian Roach, 23, of Yonkers, and Daniel Sanchez, 26, of Brooklyn, were previously convicted on murder and attempted murder charges in the Yonkers shootings. Roach was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, and Sanchez received five concurrent life terms in prison.

    Jones is due back in court June 13.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:49 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    Two men shot to death in a Central Islip neighborhood less than two days apart may have been random victims of a lethal gang initiation ritual, law enforcement sources said Wednesday.

    The Sunday night shooting of Derrick Mayes, 21, and the Tuesday morning killing of Keenan Russell, also 21, matched the tactics, sources said, of a rash of shootings in the Central Islip area in 2009 and 2010 that were the work of MS-13 gang members. Some of those shootings targeted perceived rival gang members, but others claimed innocent victims.

    Law enforcement sources said they have learned from informants that a new crop of MS-13 members had been "jumped in" and were expected to "draw blood" from those they perceived as rival gang members.

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    But other sources cautioned that despite the similarities, no one has been charged in either shooting and the investigation is still in its early stages.

    Friends and relatives of Mayes, a warehouse worker, and Russell, an aspiring rapper, said they were not gang members.

    "The victims are random," a source said about the most recent killings. "The shootings are rarely random."

    Suffolk County police did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. According to the sources, the department's homicide and criminal intelligence units have reached out to federal authorities in the two cases.

    Their deaths and the fatal shooting of Matthew Gilmore, 25, just blocks away and hours later rattled residents and spurred County Executive Steve Bellone to vow to "bring the killers to justice."

    Police said Tuesday that Gilmore's shooting was not linked to the previous two.

    Mayes was found lying dead in the street with a gunshot wound to his torso about 11:35 p.m. Sunday. Police said he had been walking on Wilson Boulevard when he was confronted and shot. Witnesses in the quiet neighborhood said they heard three loud shotgun blasts but no voices or screaming.

    Mayes' mother, Sabrina Mayes, 39, said her son and his girlfriend of two years, Chanice Graham, 19, were expecting their first child in December.

    She said her son was close to his brothers and sisters and others and avoided trouble.

    "He was never in a gang. He was a normal kid," she said yesterday at her Central Islip home.

    Russell was shot in the abdomen after a party as he gathered with several others outside a house on Acorn Avenue about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. A friend of Russell said he heard the gunshot, but did not see who opened fire. He turned and ran with others back into the house and only later realized his friend was missing.

    Russell was a rapper whose music was being noticed in the industry.

    Gilmore also aspired to be a rapper and wanted to open up his own car dealership despite brushes with the law over his driving record.

    On Wednesday, the families of all three men grieved separately for them.

    "I feel numb," said Matthew Gilmore's mother, Gloria Gilmore, 70, of Central Islip. "My body can't move. I have no money to bury him because I have no insurance. I don't know what to do."

    Gilmore said she was notified of her son's death at 11:47 p.m. Tuesday. She said she has no idea if her son was involved in any trouble.

    Police have no additional information on his case.

    "It's very, very scary," said Malachi Smith, 21, a friend of Russell's, about the threat of being targeted by a gang. "I was nervous the whole ride here. In the daylight!"

    Wednesday afternoon two Suffolk detectives visited Russell's father, Clemmie Russell. They chatted for about 10 minutes and left.

    "It's rough," Clemmie Russell said afterward. "This is chaos right now. Too many kids getting killed for no good reason. I don't see a reason. It's nonsense."Five of Russell's childhood friends stopped by to pay their respects as well. They said Russell was all about playing basketball, seeing his girlfriend, working and making music.

    "It's devastating," said Deshawn Carter, 21 of Central Islip. "He was one of my closest friends. You don't imagine losing your closest friends like this. It's hard to bear."

    Deron Williams, 21 also of Central Islip, was with Russell at the party shortly before he was shot. They were standing in front of the home that was hosting the party when the shots rang out.

    "I didn't see nothing," said Williams. "My back was turned to the street. All I heard was the gunshots. Everybody started running and when I looked behind me to see if he was there, he wasn't."

    Williams said he called Russell on his cellphone to check on him and tell him he had run into the house. Russell picked up. "He told me, 'I'm good' and then my phone died."

    Those were his last words to Williams. The last he saw of Russell was the red Cubs baseball cap Russell wore earlier, lying in the street.

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:48 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    A crack down on increasing gang violence on Crandall and Thorp Streets in Binghamton results in the arrest of an alleged Latin King Gang Member.

    The Broome County Special Investigations Unit Task Force and Joint Area SWAT Team raided the first floor apartment at 25 Berlin Street in Binghamton Tuesday.

    Police say 18 year old Gabriel Gonzalez attempted to flee out the back door but was caught by officers. They say Gonzalez admitted to being a Latin King.

    He was found in possessions of a stolen revolver hand gun and a sawed-off 20 gauge shotgun.

    He will be arraigned in the City of Binghamton Court.
  • Fri, May 31, 2013 4:47 PM | Trevor (Administrator)

    Mount Vernon Police arrested three members of the “Goonies” street gang Friday evening in connection with a murder inside a crowded Alamo Bar at 166 Gramatan Ave.

    Bronx resident Demetrius Price, 24, and Yonkers resident Donnie Dixon, 24, whose home Hill was hiding in, were subsequently arrested.

    Hill was charged with second-degree murder, a felony, Price was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution, a felony, and Dixon was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution, a felony.

    Hill’s criminal record dates back to 2005 and include seven arrests. He was charged with torturing an animal, robbery, possession of stolen property and reckless endangerment. He was convicted of seven misdemeanors and one felony.

    Mayor Ernest D. Davis praised the work of the Mount Vernon Police for their work.

    “The Mount Vernon Police Department moved swiftly to arrest those responsible for brazenly open fire in a location where others could have easily been killed or harmed,” Davis said. “Those involved in criminal activity should be forewarned; Mount Vernon Police Department will relentlessly pursue offenders and bring them to justice.”

    Sgt. Daniel Fischer led the Mount Vernon Police Department Major Case Unit in the investigation along with investigators from the Westchester County District Attorneys’ Office, FBI, Yonkers Police and Westchester County Police.

    Christopher Foe was fatally shot in the chest and abdomen around 2 a.m. on May 19. He was the second murder victim in Mount Vernon in a three-day span.

  • Tue, May 28, 2013 9:35 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    YONKERS, N.Y. – A reputed Yonkers gang member faces the death penalty after federal prosecutors say he murdered a rival gang member in 2011.

    Marquis “Smurf” Jones, who is already in federal custody on drug charges, was named Wednesday in a six-count indictment charging him, among other things, with the murder of Carlos Patricio, 28, of Mount Vernon.
    Jones is alleged to have shot Patricio in the head on July 28, 2011, after firing several bullets into a crowd of people.

    Patricio’s death had been labeled as unsolved before Jones was charged Wednesday with use and discharging of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence causing death, a crime that is punishable by the death penalty.
    Also included in the lengthy indictment were drug, weapons and conspiracy charges, each punishable between 20 years and life in prison.

    Prosecutors said Jacobs carried loaded guns while peddling crack cocaine on city streets and robbed other drug dealers, including a November 2011 incident in which he ripped off a Cliff Street drug dealer and shot the man in the stomach, prosecutors said.

    Jacobs was initially arrested by the FBI and Yonkers police on Dec. 2, 2011 and charged with distributing crack cocaine. He, along with three others, was later charged with additional drug and weapons charges along with conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted robbery.

    The other men, Donald McIntosh, Maurice Anderson, and Manny Dossantos, have since pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

    “With the additional charges filed against Marquis Jacobs today, we continue the painstaking process of developing evidence against these marauding groups of alleged gang members and holding them to account,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “This defendant’s alleged catalogue of crimes typifies the gang warfare that is all too familiar and that we are bound and determined to extinguish.”

    Wednesday’s charges come as part of a long-term investigation into the gang activity in the Nodine Hill neighborhood.

    In August 2011, 66 reputed members and associates of the Elm Street Wolves and Cliff Street Gangsters were charged with narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses.

    Four of the Elm Street Wolves were also charged with the murder of Christopher Cokley, who prosecutors say was a leading member of another Yonkers gang, the Strip Boyz. Sixty-three of these defendants have since pleaded guilty, prosecutors said.

    Then, in June 2012, 22 more alleged gang members, including 20 members of the Strip Boyz, were also hit with drug and weapons charges. Ten of these defendants have since pleaded guilty.

    “These ongoing investigations have significantly reduced crime and illegal gang activity in our city and they send a message that there is a heavy price to pay for such illegal actions,” Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said in a statement.
  • Tue, May 28, 2013 9:33 PM | Trevor (Administrator)
    Gun death of driver tied to robbery spree.

    The loosely knit gang of teenagers began its robbery spree last December, pointing handguns at taxi drivers and fast-food delivery workers, taking their hard-earned money, authorities said.

    But on March 6, two of the teens allegedly took something money can’t replace: the life of 55-year-old taxi driver Mazen Abdallah.

    Thursday, the gang members appeared in State Supreme Court, indicted on charges that could, if convictions are secured, bring about prison sentences adding up to 270 years.

    Maurice “Quell” Howie, 17, of Hamburg Street, a South Park High School football star previously arrested in the slaying, and Sean Austin, 16, of Emslie Street, were each indicted on two counts of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the slaying.

    Rokym Knox, 19, of Emslie; Dequan Bailey, 17, of Hewitt Avenue; and Devante Wells, 17, of Bickford Avenue, were all charged with multiple counts of robbery.

    “It is principally alleged that this group of defendants, in varying combinations, robbed taxi drivers or pizza delivery drivers at gunpoint, culminating in the death of Mazen Abdallah,” Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said.

    As it turns out, Austin, the youngest of the teenagers, was the most prolific of the robbers, according to investigators, who allege that the teens were involved in the following holdups:

    • Dec. 2, Austin and Bailey robbed a cabdriver and a pizza delivery driver.

    • Dec. 3, Austin, Bailey, Wells and Knox robbed a cabdriver.

    • Feb. 1, Austin and Bailey robbed another fast-food delivery worker.

    • Feb. 9, Austin and Howie robbed a taxi driver.

    Then, in the early morning hours of March 6, after spending a night “hanging out” at a friend’s apartment, Austin and Howie called Airport Taxi requesting a ride to a Bailey-Kensington address.

    Abdallah, who was just starting his work day at about 5:30 a.m., picked up the pair and soon found himself in a struggle for his life, according to police, who believe that he refused to turn over the cash he had.

    “We think he resisted when they demanded his money,” an investigator said.

    Howie then shot Abdallah twice in the back of the head, according to authorities. The teens then placed his body in the back seat of the 2006 white Lincoln Town Car, police say, and parked it in the 700 block of Norfolk Avenue, a short distance from Kensington Avenue.

    A frantic search for Abdallah began when he failed to answer the two-way radio in his cab. His body was found by co-workers at about 7 a.m. A witness on Norfolk would later tell police of seeing two men walking away from the cab earlier that morning.

    Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said the arrests came about from a collaborative effort involving officers and detectives in the South and Northeast districts and the Homicide Squad.

    “This crime spree was put to a halt due to excellent police work,” Derenda said,

    The commissioner and Sedita also credited workers at the Erie County Crime Analysis Center for assisting investigators.

    After Abdallah was killed, Chief of Detectives Dennis J. Richards said, investigators sought help from the crime analysts in looking for patterns involving other robberies of taxi drivers and fast-food deliverymen.

    “Similar methods of operations emerged,” Richards said, “and that led investigators to this loosely knit gang who preyed on vulnerable people in the service industry.”

    The teens were arraigned in front of State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia. Prosecuting the case is Assistant District Attorney Paul A. Parisi, a member of Sedita’s recently established Tactical Prosecution Unit.

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