Tag Archives: FBI

Man wanted in armed, police-impersonation robberies in Queens and Brooklyn


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FBI

Authorities are looking for a suspected member of a street gang who they say is responsible for several armed, police-impersonation robberies in Queens and Brooklyn.

Ringo Delcid, of Brooklyn, is being sought after the arrest of one of his suspected associates on Oct. 21, according to the FBI.

Delcid is described as 26 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 220 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, and was born in Panama. He was last seen with a goatee beard and is often referred to as “Castro,” “Ringo Castro,” or “Ringo Halister Del Cid Carrillo.” Delcid should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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Gambino crime family associate arrested in 2002 Queens murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Gavel 2

A longtime associate of the Gambino crime family has been indicted for his role in a racketeering conspiracy, including allegedly shooting a man to death in Queens more than 10 years ago.

After starting out at a young age as a member of a street gang and serving several years in prison, Gennaro “Jerry” Bruno, now 41, became a Gambino associate, according to officials. For 14 years, up until his arrest Tuesday, he allegedly took part in an array of crimes for the organized crime family, including drug trafficking and extortion.

When Bruno’s criminal associate Martin Bosshart began efforts to exclude one of Bruno’s co-conspirators from a marijuana import operation, Bruno plotted with other Gambino members and associates to murder Bosshart, authorities said.

On the night of Jan. 2, 2002, Bruno and others lured Bosshart to an isolated location in Queens, specifically Howard Beach, according to the Daily News. He then allegedly shot 30-year-old Bosshart in the back of the head. His body was recovered at the scene.

Officials from the FBI and United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said as Bruno evaded arrest for years, he “conspired with other Gambino associates to “obstruct an official grand jury proceeding into the Bosshart murder.” He also allegedly continued his racketeering activity and extracted payments from the owner of a waste carting company in Queens.

Bruno has been indicted on charges of racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, including predicate acts of murder, narcotics trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice, according to officials. As of Wednesday, removal proceedings to New York were still underway for Bruno, who was arrested in Las Vegas, where he is currently living.

In April 2012, a fellow Gambino associate Todd LaBarca pleaded guilty to racketeering, with predicate acts of conspiracy to murder Martin Bosshart, narcotics trafficking, extortion and bookmaking, as well as conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.

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Ridgewood woman recounts childhood abduction to Egypt, escape in YouTube video


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos © Moral Courage Project 2014

She found the courage to escape. She then found the courage to share her story.

Nashwa El-Sayed was abducted to Egypt from Queens at the age of 2 by her father. After suffering from abuse, years of separation from her mother and an impending arranged marriage at the age of 17, she was finally able to leave the country and return to America.

El-Sayed, now 24, and living in Ridgewood, has since graduated from Queens College with a degree in international relations and recounted her tale, hoping others in her situation will do the same.

“Hopefully they see it as something that can change lives,” she said.

Though El-Sayed has shared her story before, she is telling it in a new medium: video.

The Moral Courage Project, an educational nonprofit started in 2008, posted a video of El-Sayed’s story, “Forced marriage in Egypt: How I escaped,” on its YouTube channel last month.

The nonprofit mentors, teaches and provides role models for people who want to build up moral courage, or do “the right thing in the face of your fears,” according to Adam Grannick, multimedia producer with the Moral Courage Project.

It showcases its role models through videos it creates for its YouTube channel, Moral Courage TV. They are “everyday people” from a middle-schooler facing a bully to corporate whistleblowers and everyone in between.

Launched in April 2012, the videos are accompanied by related social media posts to bring awareness to whatever issue they highlight and can each have their own look, depending on the story.

Since filmmakers didn’t have footage from El-Sayed’s childhood, her video featured animation.
“Animation usually takes away from the seriousness of a story, but this one was not the case,” El-Sayed said.

NashwaElSayedMC7

El-Sayed’s story begins on Father’s Day 1993 — the day she was taken. She was living in Richmond Hill at the time, and her Egyptian father and American mother were in the process of filing for divorce.

“[My mother] knew deep down that she wasn’t going to see me again,” El-Sayed said in the video.

A couple of years after landing in Egypt, El-Sayed was living in Alexandria with her father and a stepmother who physically and emotionally abused her. She also had to be “a pious Muslim girl who should not be seen in public, who should not speak in public.”

At around age 9, she found some relief when her father divorced the woman. He soon married another woman who also tried to abuse El-Sayed, but she retaliated and the woman never tried it again.

Also at 9 years old, she saw her mother for the first time since she was abducted. That moment was when she knew there was another place she belonged to and that she could study what she wanted.

Her mother from then on would send her items from the U.S. — media, such as music from the Backstreet Boys; toys, such as Barbies; new gadgets, such as CD players; and school supplies, such as glitter.

NashwaElSayedMC5

El-Sayed’s father promised she could go to college in America as long as she got good grades. But during her final year of high school, her father told her that he found her a husband and that she was going to meet him on her wedding day in four months.

“All of a sudden there is a major change in plans and that is when I decided it was time to go,” El-Sayed said.

She called her mother in April 2008, who contacted the appropriate authorities, and within a few months El-Sayed was touch with the FBI and American embassy to plan a way out of the country.

But after her father found out about a visit she made to the embassy, she was put on lockdown and became suicidal.

As she recounts in the video, El-Sayed, through luck and bravery, managed to escape while she was at a friend’s house in Cairo.

But El-Sayed’s story and her ups and downs didn’t end with her escape.

NashwaElSayedMC2

Most of the Moral Courage Project videos are two to three minutes long, but El-Sayed’s is 10 minutes.

“I tried cutting it down but it just felt wrong to leave out a lot of it,” said Grannick, who wanted the video to discuss El-Sayed’s life after she returned to America.

Back living in Richmond Hill with her mother, El-Sayed went through a major depression the first year as she tried to figure out her purpose and why she went through what she did.

Her relationship with her mother, good for the first two years, became fractured when differences began to show between them, and they disagreed over El-Sayed’s publicly sharing her story, including a June 2013 Daily News article.

But she considers herself one of the lucky ones. Children around the world are abducted by parents every year, she said, and she is not only one of the few who has survived and is functional, but is one of the few who has also come out with her story and become an activist.

NashwaElSayedMC3

After graduating from Queens College in the summer of 2013, El-Sayed now works with the school’s Ibrahim Leadership and Dialogue Program as the assistant manager. The program gives college students from a variety of religious backgrounds the opportunity to travel to the Middle East to interact with government officials, entrepreneurs, students, educators and philanthropists, create a dialogue and experience what the region is really like.

El-Sayed also works, through the Epic Theatre Ensemble, with a women’s group regarding issues in the Arab American community, and continues to work with the FBI to bring awareness to the issue of childhood abduction by parents.

“It is possible for you to survive,” she says to end the video. “It is possible for you to leave behind the stigmas and actually carry on and make something of yourself.”

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Assemblyman William Scarborough arrested


| slicata@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated 3:32 p.m.

Assemblyman William Scarborough was arrested on Wednesday on state and federal corruption charges, officials said.

Scarborough, who has represented the 29th District in southeast Queens for two decades, was arrested for allegedly stealing campaign funds and collecting travel reimbursement checks through the voucher system, which each legislator gets when he or she is in the state capital, even when he was not there, according to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“The crimes Mr. Scarborough is accused of committing would represent a shameful breach of the trust his constituents placed in him,” Schneiderman said. “New Yorkers are repeatedly asked to have faith in our leaders, and every allegation of political corruption shatters that trust. Each time my office arrests a corrupt public official, it sends the message that there must be one set of rules for everyone and no one is above the law, no matter how powerful or well-connected.”

Scarborough pleaded not guilty to a 23-count state indictment accusing him of withdrawing and diverting over $40,000 from his campaign account to use for personal expenses and an 11-count federal indictment of him improperly claiming “per diem” expenses in excess of $40,000 for travel that didn’t take place, according to Schneiderman.

If convicted on all charges he faces up to 37 years in prison.

He was released on his own recognizance in both courts, but was forced to give up his passport, according to published reports. Reports also said he has no intention of withdrawing from his re-election bid this year.

In March, the FBI raided Scarborough’s office and home as part of this investigation. The agency seized “just about everything,” according to what Scarborough told reporters then.

The arrest on Wednesday came as part of a joint effort by the offices of Schneiderman, State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian.

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FBI, NYPD seek ‘violent’ Queens bank robber  


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FBI

Authorities are looking for a suspect they are calling armed and dangerous after he threatened to shoot a bank teller during a robbery.

The man is wanted for holding up a Capital One Bank at 216-19 Jamaica Ave. on Friday, according to the FBI.

After entering the Queens Village branch, the suspect passed a demand note, threatened to shoot the teller and displayed a black handgun in his waistband, officials said. He then received an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot westbound on Jamaica Avenue.

The FBI describes the suspect as a black man in his late 40s to early 50s, with an average height and medium build. He was last seen wearing a black Kangol hat, dark glasses, a blue and white striped short-sleeved button-down shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

 

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FBI offers reward for fugitive in Ozone Park home invasion, murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FBI


The FBI is offering a reward for a man who has been charged with murdering the son of a Queens pizza shop owner after he tried to defend his father during a 2009 home invasion.

Antoine Burroughs, also known as “Butter” or “Youngblood,” along with an accomplice, Leon Whitfield, is accused of attempting to rob Bartolomeo Antoniello at his Ozone Park residence in September 2009, according to officials.

The pair was allegedly targeting any cash he had on hand from his pizza shop, Antoniello’s. His son, 29-year-old Gerardo Antoniello tried to protect his father, and was fatally shot in the head during the struggle, officials said.

Burroughs, who was indicted in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, on March 13, is charged with murder, robbery conspiracy, attempted robbery and discharging a firearm, according to the FBI. An arrest warrant for Burroughs was issued the same day. Whitfield was arrested on March 18.

The FBI is now offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of Burroughs.

He is described as 25 years old, 6 feet 1 inch tall, weighs about 180 to 190 pounds and has a prominent mole on his right cheek. Burroughs was last known to be in Harlem, and is believed to have family and friends in Harlem and the Bronx. He should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Burroughs can contact the FBI at 212-384-1000.

 

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FBI releases video in Elmhurst unsolved armored car robbery, links suspects to second heist


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo/video courtesy of the FBI

The FBI has released video footage of the unsolved robbery of an armored truck guard in Elmhurst earlier this year.

Authorities now believe the same suspects may be linked to a second heist at a PLS Check Cashing location at 105-22 Northern Blvd. Corona in on January 25, 2013.

During the Elmhurst robbery, a GardaWorld armored truck arrived at the HSBC Bank at 82-57 Broadway just after 12 p.m., on January 31 to make a regularly scheduled deposit pick-up.  As one of the armed guards was leaving the bank, the three suspects attacked him at gunpoint inside the ATM lobby, according to the FBI.

The suspects may have used a .45 semi-automatic handgun during the robbery and as they fled they sprayed the guard with mace. The three men then fled on foot with cash from the guard, the FBI said.

Authorities describe the men as either Asian or Hispanic and they were dressed in heavy winter clothes. The getaway vehicle is believed to be a green Ford Explorer XLT, possibly from 2002 or 2003, with a dealer or out-of-state rear license plate.

GardaWorld is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the capture, arrest, and conviction of those responsible and the recovery of the stolen money.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (212) 384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

 

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FBI seeks ‘Gatsby Bandit’ in Queens bank robberies


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of FBI

A man the FBI is calling the “Gatsby Bandit” is wanted in three bank robberies around western Queens.

The suspect, who was given his nickname because of the hat he was wearing, last robbed the Astoria Federal Savings Bank on Broadway near 73rd Street in Jackson Heights on May 16, according to authorities.

He is also accused of robbing an Investors Bank on Broadway at 31st Street in Astoria on May 13 at 4:40 p.m., and a Santander Bank, on Roosevelt Avenue near 84th Street in Jackson Heights on May 7 at 3:30 p.m., where he may have pulled out a black handgun, the FBI said.

Authorities describe the “Gatsby Bandit” as a white man, around 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall and about 45 to 50 years old. He has gray hair, blue eyes and a skinny build, and was last seen wearing black-framed glasses, a tan Gatsby hat, a black coat and blue pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI  at 212-384-1000. Tipsters will remain anonymous.

 

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FBI seeking Delta Air Lines laser attack suspect from Elmhurst


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Follow me @liamlaguerre


The FBI is seeking help to identify the perpetrator behind a laser attack, which caused flash blindness and disrupted the vision of a Delta Air Lines pilot on Tuesday.

As the plane was approaching LaGuardia Airport to land just before 8 p.m., a green beam that came from Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst entered the cockpit twice, the FBI said.

The injured pilot continued to experience pain in his right eye for a while after the attacks.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers, and we are asking anyone who knows anything to contact us.”

There have been various laser attacks that caused injury in pilots recently.

On January 25, a beam that originated from Staten Island blinded a United Airlines pilot as the flight was approaching LaGuardia Airport.

In another incident on December 26, 2013, a JetBlue pilot experience blurry vision for more than a week after being blinded by a laser while approaching JFK Airport.

Laser beam strikes targeting in-bound planes have increased 39 percent in the city, the FBI said recently. The number of incidents jumped to 99 in 2013 from 71 in 2012.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. A $10,000 reward is available for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in these incidents. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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Queens Library CEO claims long hours at $114K consulting job: report


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Queens Library President and CEO Tom Galante logged a seemingly impossible amount of hours as a consultant while performing his day job, according to a published report.

A payroll review by the New York Daily News found Galante, who is currently the subject of an FBI inquiry over construction contracts, billed the Elmont School District $114,673 for work as a business consultant. During that recent seven-month period he allegedly averaged 26 hours of work per week.

At the same time, he claimed he put in an average of 70 to 80 hours a week at his public library gig, where he earns a $392,000 salary, according to the Daily News.

Galante has said that his consultant work is done during his off-hours, the publication reported, but a review of his work logs showed he billed numerous hours for the Elmont job while having a packed schedule for the library.

The CEO and the library have faced scrutiny after news reports revealed Galante’s salary and that he spent nearly $140,000 to renovate his office, while many workers have been let go in recent years.

Galante currently makes the most money of the city’s three library systems’ leaders, according to SeeThroughNY, which list how tax dollars are spent.

Borough President Melinda Katz penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this month, asking him to suspend the ability of the Library to spend any funds on renovations until the issues are resolved.

 

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FBI raids Assemblyman Scarborough’s home, office: reports


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

The home and office of southeast Queens Assemblyman Bill Scarborough were raided by the FBI Wednesday morning, according to published reports.

Scarborough’s Albany office and Queens home were searched as part of an investigation into his travel reimbursements, the New York Post reported.
His district office and an Albany hotel room were also searched, according to the Daily News.

Scarborough, who served in the legislature for more than 20 years, told reporters that officials from the FBI and the office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman seized his cell phone, calendars and “just about everything,” another report said.

“I’m innocent, but I understand the reality,” Scarborough said to a group of reporters, according to Capital New York. “I don’t know what’s going to go on. I am going to talk to a lawyer. This is just stunning to me.”

The Post reported in 2012 that Scarborough claimed per diem payments for spending five consecutive nights in Albany in 2011, but reporters spotted him at a town hall meeting at York College in Jamaica on one of the days he claimed to be in the state capital.

“I may very well have gone to that meeting, turned around and gone back to Albany that night,” he told the paper when they broke the story.

Scarborough said agents hinted there would be other politicians in hot water – and that he might be off the hook – but then the officials appeared to have backed off, Capital New York reported.

“What I was told was there might be indictments and I would not be one of them. When I spoke with people here, they seem to have tempered that statement, so I have no idea,” Scarborough told a reporter, according to the website.

Schneiderman’s office referred callers to the FBI, who did not return a call for comment by press time.

There was no answer at Scarborough’s district office or his Albany office.

 

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FBI: Laser beam strikes targeting planes increase in NYC airports


| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

A crime that can temporarily blind airplane pilots and put air passengers at risk is spiking in New York City airports, authorities said.

Laser beam strikes targeting in-bound planes have increased 39 percent in the city, the FBI said. The number of incidents jumped to 99 in 2013 from 71 in 2012.

Authorities believe youngsters on top of residential roofs are aiming the powerful light beams at airplane cockpits as a prank.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless acts. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos. “A laser pointed at a plane’s cockpit could blind a pilot and down an aircraft.”

At least 35 pilots have been injured by laser strikes since last December, the FBI said.

In one instance, a JetBlue pilot flying into John F. Kennedy International Airport last December was temporarily blinded for more than a week, the bureau said.

The federal agency is offering up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and is hoping its regional awareness campaign deters the felony, which is punishable by five years in jail.

“It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions,” said Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.

The pointers can be easily and legally purchased, authorities said, and the beams can travel further than one mile.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000.

 

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FBI looking for three suspects in robbery of armored truck guard in Elmhurst


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the FBI

The FBI is looking for three men who attacked and robbed an armored truck guard on Friday at an Elmhurst bank.

After 12 p.m. on Friday, a GardaWorld armored truck arrived at the HSBC Bank at 82-57 Broadway. One of the armed guards went into the bank to make a regularly scheduled deposit pick-up and as he was leaving the three suspects attacked him at gunpoint inside the ATM lobby, according to the FBI.

The suspects may have used a .45 semi-automatic handgun during the robbery and as they fled they sprayed the guard with mace, according to the FBI.

The three men then fled on foot with cash from the guard and may have driven in a navy blue or black Ford Explorer described by witnesses as “dirty from the winter weather and missing a front license plate,” the FBI said.

The men are described as either Asian or Hispanic and were dressed in heavy winter clothes.

The FBI has released surveillance photos of the suspects and together with the NYPD is asking for the public’s help in identifying and finding the three armed men. GardaWorld is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the capture, arrest, and conviction of those responsible and the recovery of the stolen money. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (212) 384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous. The suspects should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

 

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$100K reward for information on million-dollar theft onboard JFK-bound plane


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A $100,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the recovery of $1.2 million stolen onboard a flight from Switzerland to New York City last month or to the arrest of those involved, said the FBI.

The U.S. currency shipment was taken during a Swiss International Air Lines flight between June 21 and June 24.

The company that insured the money is offering the reward, according to the FBI.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers in the afternoon. High of 93. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%. Tuesday night: Partly cloudy with thunderstorms and rain showers. Low of 73. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Farmhouse Fest

Get Real presents “Farmhouse Fest” at Alewife in Long Island City on Tuesday, June 25. Ticket includes entrance to the festival unlimited tastings of Belgian, Dutch, French and American style Farmhouse craft beers; unlimited tastings of Farmhouse style wines; and tastings of Farmhouse style foods like cheeses, breads, meats & gourmet pickles all perfectly paired with featured wines and beers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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