Tag Archives: queens da

Ex-teacher from Forest Hills cops plea in Internet sex sting

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

A former high school teacher from Forest Hills admitted in court Friday that he tried to lure someone whom he believed was a teen girl into a sexual tryst but who turned out to be an undercover officer, prosecutors announced.

Monsur Khan, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted criminal sexual act before Queens Criminal Court Judge John Zoll. Khan faces 30 days in jail and 10 years’ probation upon sentencing, which is set for June 16.

“The defendant has now admitted his guilt and will surrender his teaching license and register as a sex offender,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Parents must always monitor their children’s activities online to ensure that they are not being lured into dangerous situations.”

Formerly an earth science teacher at the Hillside Arts and Letters Academy in Jamaica, Khan first made contact online with the undercover officer — who was posing as a 14-year-old girl — on Feb. 12, 2014, authorities said. Over the next six weeks, Khan repeatedly sent illicit messages to the undercover agent and indicated his desire for an encounter.

Hillside Arts and Letters Academy is located within the campus of the former Jamaica High School.

On March 26, 2014, Khan showed up at a pre-arranged meeting place in Queens and was subsequently taken into custody.

As part of his sentence, Brown noted, Khan will also be required to complete a sex offender program and forfeit electronic devices that police seized from him.


Charges dropped against alleged Resorts World shooter: reports

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Prosecutors dropped charges against a man who allegedly fired shots in the parking lot of Resorts World Casino during Friday’s brawl at the South Ozone Park entertainment center, according to published reports.

Quoting sources within the Queens district attorney’s office, the New York Post reported Thursday morning that Jaquan Roberts, 22, will not be prosecuted over the gunplay due to a lack of evidence.

However, a Queens DA spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the report in a phone interview with The Courier Thursday, stating only that Roberts has not been charged and that the matter is still under investigation.

Jaquan Roberts (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Jaquan Roberts (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Police arrested Roberts Tuesday for allegedly opening fire in the parking lot on April 3 as a brawl erupted inside Resorts World’s Fat Tuesday daiquiri bar. No injuries related to the shooting were reported, but numerous individuals involved in the fight suffered minor injuries.

Two men were charged for their alleged roles in the melee and a third was issued a summons.

According to the Post, a security camera video that police obtained showed Roberts holding something that appeared to be a firearm. However, prosecutors reportedly deemed the video as insufficient evidence to charge him at this time.


Seven alleged southeast Queens gang members busted for murder plots

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Counting themselves among “killas,” seven street gang members based in southeast Queens were indicted for allegedly plotting two murders, prosecutors said.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, the suspects are part of the EBK (Everybody Killas) gang, which allegedly carried out plots in January 2013 to shoot two individuals whom they believed were members of a rival gang. One of the murder attempts took place in a busy shopping district during the evening rush hour, while the other occurred a few hours later at a grocery store, according to Brown.

“In both instances, the defendants’ alleged actions threatened the lives and safety of innocent bystanders as the victims were fired upon,” said Brown on Friday. “Today’s indictment is another example of police and prosecutors working together to reduce gang-based violence that too often plagues our neighborhoods.”

Brown identified the seven suspects as Jeffrey Bien-Aime, 19, of St. Albans; Anthony Biggs, 18, of St. Albans; Jonathan Jean-Pierre, 20, of Rosedale; Dayjah Knowles, 18, of Jamaica; Jerald Lowe, 22, of St. Albans; Kenneth Stokes, 20, of St. Albans; and Rasheed Watson, 22, of Jamaica.

All were variously charged with second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and conspiracy.

If convicted, each suspect faces up to 25 years behind bars.

Law enforcement sources said the first shooting occurred at 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, when Lowe, Bien-Aime, Watson, Jean-Pierre, Knowles and Stokes, along with unidentified EBK members, allegedly confronted rival gang members near Jamaica Avenue and Parsons Boulevard.

Following a verbal exchange, one of the EBK members pulled out a pistol and shot a rival in the right foot. The group then fled the scene, police said.

More than four hours later, Biggs, Stokes and two unidentified EBK members allegedly confronted another suspected rival at a deli located at 116-02 Merrick Blvd., according to prosecutors. Moments after arriving, an EBK member reportedly walked into the store, drew a .380-caliber pistol and shot the suspected rival in the left abdomen.

After the wounded rival fell to the ground, the EBK member attempted to fire again, but the gun jammed, authorities said.

Both of the gang’s targets were treated for their injuries at a local hospital. Detectives determined from shell casings recovered from both crime scenes that the same gun was used in each incident.

“I want to thank the members of the 113th Precinct who worked closely together with the Queens District Attorney’s office to build this case against these alleged EBK gang members,” Bratton said. “The NYPD remains committed to eliminating gang activity and improving the quality of life for the residents of the southern Queens communities.”


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup


Friday: Overcast with rain showers, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 70. Windy. Winds from the SW at 20 to 25 mph with gusts to 40 mph. Chance of rain 90% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Friday night: Clear in the evening, then overcast. Low of 55. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the NNW after midnight.

EVENT OF THE DAY: “Raus! Get Outta Here!” 

The Eclipses Group Theater, in collaboration with The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater NY, presents “Raus! Get Outta Here!” a play by M. Reppas and T. Papathanasiou. The play satirizes the current social milieu and financial problems currently affecting Greece. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. on Sundays from November 1 -30. at the Stathakeion Cultural Center in Astoria. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Federal court grants stay on stop-and-frisk decision

A federal court halted the decision that requires reforms to the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk practice. Read more: The Queens Courier

New York City school suspensions drop by 23 Percent

The number of New York City students suspended from school has dropped by 23 percent. Read more: NBC New York

Judge prepares to take on NYPD, Queens D.A. in court

The NYPD was dealing with another controversy involving a judge on Thursday night. Read more: CBS New York

Only 6 able to sign up on healthcare.gov’s first day, documents show

Only six people were able to enroll for health insurance through the Obamacare website on the first day, according to documents released Thursday by Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Read more: NBC New York

Bidding on $50 Banksy painting tops $310,000

Bidding on a painting that British graffiti artist Banksy bought for $50 and altered has climbed to more than $310,000. Read more: AP




Op-Ed: The impact of DNA cold hits on solving crimes

| oped@queenscourier.com


Last week my office announced that a Queens grand jury had indicted Jose Martinez for raping and murdering a 23-year-old Astoria woman in 2009. Martinez was indicted as a result of a DNA cold hit following a 2012 reckless endangerment conviction for which he was required to provide a DNA sample.  That sample is alleged to have matched blood and semen found on the murder victim. Once again, DNA collected for a relatively low-level, nonviolent offense proved to be one of the most powerful tools ever developed to solve cold cases and prevent other crimes.

Since New York’s DNA data bank was created 17 years ago, it has significantly enhanced criminal justice in the state. Yet, as effective as the data bank proved during the early years in solving cold cases, I was convinced that we could do more.  For instance, until 2012, DNA samples were being collected from only 48 percent of all those convicted of crimes in New York – meaning that more than half of all people proven guilty and convicted of crimes were still leaving our courts without being required to provide a DNA sample.  This made no sense since experience taught that the few times the DNA data bank had been expanded by legislation, thousands more cold cases were solved and countless crimes surely had been prevented. Even when, in 2006, just 35 misdemeanors were added to the list of crimes for which DNA could be collected, DNA leads were generated in more than 3,000 serious cold felony cases.

With this is mind, representatives of my office, along with crime victims and their families and others, met with elected officials in Albany last year to explain the need for more expansive DNA collection.  Experience showed that many criminals went on to commit more violent crimes and that between these violent crimes, there were often brief moments these criminals could be stopped when they came in contact with the criminal justice system for low-level offenses.  By obtaining DNA samples for those low-level convictions, DNA could be used to identify the perpetrators of cold cases before they went on to commit more violent acts.  And more importantly, by bringing these violent criminals to justice more quickly, we could bring an end to the fear and some of the pain in which their victims live.

Our elected officials listened and enacted historic legislation last year that expanded DNA collection to essentially all criminal convictions, and as last week’s indictment of Jose Martinez for rape and murder shows, nothing offers a surer way to identify a perpetrator in a cold case than DNA.



Mother of unarmed man killed by NYPD meets with Queens DA

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NY1

A day before burying her son killed by police during a traffic stop, Cecilia Reyes met today with the Queens district attorney.

Noel Polanco’s mother, along with her lawyer Sanford Rubenstein, met with DA Richard Brown for about a half hour today, according to reports, and was told the case will likely be heading to a grand jury.

“The district attorney this morning committed to a independent investigation,” Rubenstein said to reporters on the scene outside the Queens County Courthouse.

Reyes said she just wants the investigation handled correctly.

“All I want is justice,” she said. “I don’t want this to be repeated.”

Brown released a statement saying the “decisions in this case will be based solely on the facts and the law.”

Earlier this week Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also said he expected a grand jury investigation.

Polanco was fatally shot on the Grand Central Parkway last week after being pulled over for erratic driving. Reports said Polanco was shot after reaching below his seat. Diane DeFerrari, a passenger in the car, said his hands never left the wheel. No weapon was found in the car.