Tag Archives: firearm

Queens-based counterfeiting ring busted, loaded weapon and marijuana discovered

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy NYPD

Authorities charged 17 people connected to a major credit and debit card fraud ring based in Queens following a yearlong investigation, prosecutors announced on Thursday.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, the suspects used the stolen credit and debit card account information to make purchases at department stores and other establishments in New York City, Long Island and Rockland County between December 2014 and May 2015. Police allege that several of the suspects were active gang members.

During its investigation and ensuring court-authorized searches, police reportedly recovered card readers, embossers and other equipment used for credit and debit card forgery along with more than $11,000 in cash, three vehicles, a loaded .40-caliber Glock firearm, 41 marijuana plants, two 5-gallon containers full of marijuana and high-intensity lights known to be used for growing pot indoors.

The joint operation was conducted by the NYPD Financial Crimes Task Force, Intelligence Bureau, 105th Precinct, Organized Crime Control Bureau-Asset Forfeiture, Detective Bureau-Warrant Squad and Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Photo courtesy NYPD

The counterfeiting crew has been variously charged in six indictments with the crimes of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, attempted petit larceny and third-degree unlawful possession of personal identification information, Brown said. The defendants each face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

“The indictments are the result of a yearlong investigation by my Economic Crimes Bureau and the New York City Police Department’s Financial Crimes Task Force and included seven months of court-authorized wiretaps, physical and video surveillance and thousands of intercepted telephone calls,” Brown said. “It is alleged that this fraud ring was basically made up of a loose affiliation of friends — all between 20 and 28 in age — who helped each other out with manufacturing and using forged cards to make purchases at Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Target and even Pathmark and Waldbaums supermarkets. Their alleged crimes victimized not just the businesses — costing them thousands of dollars in losses — but the consumers whose personal identification information was used to carry out the scheme.”

Fourteen of the 17 defendants were arraigned on Wednesday in Queens County Supreme Court, while 15 remain in police custody. Two of the individuals are currently being sought.

The defendants are Alexis Arrellano, 23, of Baldwin, Long Island; Deemy Balbuena, 20, of Freeport, Long Island; Jasmine Blair, 27, of Jamaica, Queens, who is presently being sought; Dashawn Coggins (aka Dayday), 27, of Jamaica, Queens, who is presently being sought; Rashem Davis (aka Sheimy), 25, of Jamaica, Queens; Brian Gwenden, 23, of Jamaica, Queens; Peter John (aka Peter Jean Gilles John), 21, of St. Albans, Queens; Omar Majeed, 27, of Jamaica, Queens; Emendjer Mathurni (aka Manny), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Antoine J. Miller (aka Fatboy), 21, of Flushing, Queens; Amir Mohamed (aka Chop), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Isijola Olesegun (aka Shea Black), 24, of Jamaica, Queens; Nicholas Pollard, 22, of St. Albans, Queens; Andrew Pottinger (aka Drip), 24, of Queens Village, Queens; Avion Smith (aka Abby), 26, of Hempstead, Long Island; Fendi Vance, 24, of Flushing, Queens; and Vegelia Waters (aka Vegillia O’Conner), 28, of Jamaica, Queens.

An 18th individual, Geovaunni Faucher, 21, of Elmont, Long Island, was arrested and charged with 32 counts of possession of a forged instrument, 32 counts of unlawful possession of personal ID and criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree.

According to the indictments, members of the fraud ring purchased the stolen credit and debit card account information from online black market websites. They proceeded to encode the stolen information onto blank cards and physically press the raised numbers and names on the cards. Then they allegedly hired “shoppers” to purchase items from several retailers using the fraudulent cards and proceeded to sell off the stolen goods.

Some of the establishments targeted by the ring include Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s stores in Flushing, Douglaston and the Queens Center mall, W&H Liquors in Hollis, Target stores in Nanuet and Long Island, a Pathmark supermarket in New Hyde Park, and Waldbaums supermarket in College Point.


Suspect wanted in gunpoint robbery at Astoria cellphone store

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo/video courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a man who robbed an Astoria cellphone store last week at gunpoint and then fled in a black Audi.

On April 17 at about 3:55 p.m., the unidentified suspect entered the T-Mobile store at 31-05 36th Ave. and displayed a firearm, according to authorities. He then demanded an employee fill a duffel bag with various boxed cellphones and he also took about $200 from the cash register.

The man then fled the store in a black Audi. No injuries were reported in the incident.

Police have released surveillance video and a photo of the suspect.

The suspect is described as a black man, about 35 years old, 6 feet tall, 275 pounds, and with black hair. He was last seen wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt, black sneakers and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.


Police searching for suspects in Flushing, Briarwood robberies

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Video Courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for two men wanted in connection with two robberies on Saturday.

According to the NYPD, the first robbery occurred at approximately 12:25 a.m. in the vicinity of 58th Road and 138th Street in Flushing. The two suspects approached a 22-year-old male victim, placed him in a chokehold, displayed a firearm and then removed his Samsung Galaxy cellphone and wallet. No medical attention was requested after the incident.

The second robbery took place the same day around 12:45 a.m.near 84th Drive and 148th Street in Briarwood , said police. The suspects approached the 31-year-old male and 38-year-old female victims, displayed a firearm and removed their iPhone, purse and wallet, and then fled. No medical attention was requested after this incident.

According to police, the suspects are described as being 18 to 20-year-old males, approximately 5’7”to 5’9” with thin builds.

The NYPD has released a video of the first robbery in Flushing.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.



Six arrested after cops find weapons, narcotics inside home

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of NYPD

One man and five women have been arrested after cops executed a search warrant and found 10 firearms, a large knife, marijuana and other drugs, according to the NYPD.

On Friday, April 5 at 6 a.m. members of the 105th Precinct Anti-Crime Team and Field Intelligence Officers searched a home located at 104-23 210th Street and recovered 10 firearms including two Raven Arms .25 caliber semi-auto firearms, 2 Jimenez Arms .380 caliber semi-auto firearms, one Masterpiece Arms (Mac10) 9MM machine pistol with a high capacity magazine and silencer, one Mossberg sawed-off shot gun with a pistol grip, one Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver, one Lorcin Arms 9MM semi-auto firearm, one Titan .38 caliber revolver and one Cobra .410 single shot firearm.

Six individuals were arrested including Aaron Lyttle, 25, Malika Evans, 19, Shaniqua Harris, 22, Lashonda Mitchell, 23, Aneesaa Gray, 20, and Michelle Evens, 51.

According to police, the individuals were hit with a large number of charges including several counts of criminal possession of a weapon and the criminal possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.

Queens’ Morning Roundup – 10/27/2011: NYPD detective who fired first at Sean Bell believed victim’s friend was about to shoot

| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Round Up

NYPD detective who fired first at Sean Bell: I believed slain Queens man’s friend was about to shoot

The detective who fired the first shot in the barrage that killed Sean Bell testified Wednesday he used his gun because he thought a pal of the groom-to-be was primed to strike first. Gescard Isnora, who was undercover at the time of the shooting, testified in his NYPD trial that he believed Bell’s friend held a firearm in his hand – and that this fear trumped the detective’s reluctance to use his gun. Read More: Daily News


Occupy Wall Street protester punched by NYPD police inspector on video to meet with prosecutors
Prosecutors will meet with Occupy Wall Street protestor Felix Rivera-Pitre, who was filmed being punched in the face by an NYPD supervisor in a video that quickly went viral. Lawyer Ron Kuby said Wednesday he’ll bring his client in now that that cops have agreed not to press charges against Rivera-Pitre until an investigation is complete. The NYPD has said Rivera-Pitre was the aggressor in the October 14 incident – and that he tried to elbow Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona. Read More & Watch the Video: Daily News



Barbara Sheehan, woman acquitted of killing her husband says he visited transgender prostitutes


The Queens woman acquitted in the fatal shooting of her abusive ex- cop husband says she withheld sex from him for a decade because he patronized transvestite prostitutes. Sheehan also claims that her husband had an infantilism fetish and that the guilt from these deviances would propel him into a rage. Read More: New York Post


NY lawmaker to bring home US-Israeli

A U.S. congressman has arrived in Israel to bring home a U.S.-Israeli citizen who was arrested in Egypt four months ago on suspicions of espionage. A statement from Congressmember Gary Ackerman on Wednesday said he traveled to Israel to bring home Ilan Grapel, a Queens constituent. Grapel is expected to be released Thursday afternoon. The timing on his return to New York is uncertain. Read More: Washington Post



Man Charged With Shooting Woman In Maspeth

Police arrested a man Tuesday in connection with a shooting that injured a woman in Maspeth the previous night. Elijah Stamateris, 22, faces assault and weapons charges. According to police sources, a group of people was smoking marijuana and playing with a gun late Monday, when the 21-year-old woman was shot in the head. She was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition. Read More: NY1


Cornell president says own university’s plan is best bet to win Bloomberg’s contest for tech school

Cornell has launched a media blitz in recent weeks, unveiling several details of its plan to build a state-of-the-art tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Lured by the promise of free land and a $100 million grant, Cornell is among an impressive roster of top universities vying to set up an applied-sciences campus in the city. The deadline for proposals is Thursday, and Mayor Bloomberg is expected to announce the winner by year’s end. Read More: Daily News