Tag Archives: Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown

23 Queens individuals arrested in NYC-area child porn bust


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of ICE


Twenty-three Queens residents, including an NYPD cop, registered nurse and paramedic, were arrested as part of a large-scale operation targeting the online distribution of child pornography.

The largest-ever enforcement operation in New York directed at predators who possess, produce or distribute sexually explicit images of children, resulted in the arrests of 71 individuals in the five boroughs, other areas of the state and New Jersey, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and other officials announced Wednesday.

During Operation Caireen, which began April 4 and ran until May 15, HSI special agents, NYPD detectives and other law enforcement partners infiltrated peer-to-peer file sharing networks to identify users in the New York City metropolitan area who tried to acquire or distribute known or suspected images and videos of children engaging in sexually explicit activities, according to HSI.

Among the Queens residents arrested was an NYPD officer from Ozone Park, Yong Wu, who has been charged with possession of child pornography, officials said. He was arrested on April 28 following the execution of a search warrant on his home.

An Astoria registered nurse, Kenneth Gardner, who works at Westchester County Medical Center, has been charged with promoting a sex performance of a child under age 17, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child and possessing a sexual performance by a child, according to HSI.

Aaron Young, a paramedic, was arrested at his Queens home on April 28 and charged with possession of child pornography, officials said.

“It must be remembered that the images involved in these cases are of real children being sexually abused and that each time an image is viewed, traded, printed or downloaded, the child in that image is being victimized again,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

Others facing charges include an au pair, and a man who served as both a den master with the Boy Scouts of America and a little league baseball coach.

 

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Man sentenced to 30 years for Astoria shooting of stepdaughter, estranged wife


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A 54-year-old Long Island City man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for fatally shooting his stepdaughter and wounding his estranged wife, said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Guerino M. Annarumma, 54, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, according to Brown. Annarumma fatally shot his stepdaughter and critically wounding his estranged wife during a 2011 incident. He opened fire in their Astoria home on the day the couple’s divorce trial was set to begin in Queens Supreme Court.

“The sentence imposed by the court guarantees that the defendant will spend a long time in prison as a just punishment for the terrible tragedy he inflicted on a family,” said Brown. “It also spares his former wife from having to recount the events of that awful day at trial.”

According to the criminal charges and statements made to the police, Annarumma rented a car with New Jersey plates on the morning of December 5, 2011, and drove to the 38th Street home of his estranged wife, Olga Annarumma, 57, and waited for her, armed with an automatic handgun. When the victim stepped out to walk her dog, he confronted her and threw her to the ground and kicked her in the face. He then dragged her to the door and rang the bell. When the victim’s daughter Valeria Kuzmina Lowery, 32, opened the door he stepped inside and shot both women. Annarumma then fled and disposed of his weapon by putting it in a trash bag.

Both women were taken to a local hospital where Lowery died from her wounds. Olga Annarumma was left blinded and cognitively impaired.

 

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Jamaica man gets 95 years to life for double murder, attempted murder


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A Jamaica man has been sentenced to 95 years to life for a December 2011 shooting spree where he fatally shot an 18-year-old, then shot and killed one man and injured another man on a city bus while fleeing, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

“The defendant’s capacity for causing senseless violence in such a short period of time can only be described as incomprehensible and as having no place in a civilized society,” said Brown. “His actions were both vicious and unprovoked. The sentence imposed by the Court is more than justified in order to punish the defendant and forever protect society.”

According to the District Attorney, Damel O. Burton, 34,  shot Keith Murrell, 18, once in the chest inside Murrell’s Foch Boulevard apartment.  After being shot, Murrell fled into his room, closed the door and jumped from the second-story window. He was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital.

Burton then left the apartment and walked to the Q111 bus stop, where he got on a bus. While on the bus Burton fatally shot Marvin Gilkes, 36, in the back of the head and shot Jojuan Lipsey, 31, in the face. Gilkes was pronounced dead at the scene. Lipsey was removed to Jamaica Hospital and underwent surgery.

Burton was convicted earlier this month of  two counts of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

 

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Homeless woman found guilty for 2010 Astoria Park murder


| editorial@queenscourier.com


BY JOHANN HAMILTON

A homeless woman has been found guilty of strangling and beating a man to death in Astoria Park.

According to District Attorney Richard A. Brown, Kelly Harnett, 32, and her boyfriend Thomas Donovan, 34, were arrested on July 7, 2010, in connection with the murder of Ruben Angel Vargas, who police found strangled and beaten around 4 a.m. that morning. Donovan, who pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence.

Following her arrest, Harnett had been ordered without bail, and has since been convicted of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after a jury trial presided by Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory L. Lasak. Harnett’s last known address was on Shore Boulevard in Astoria, said the district attorney.

“This was a senseless crime in which an innocent victim was robbed of his life,” said Brown. “Justice will only be served – and society protected – when the defendant, like her co-defendant, is given a length prison sentence to punish her for such a wanton act of violence.”

According to trial testimony, Vargas, 32, was in Astoria Park when Harnett repeatedly kicked him in the head and torso while Donovan choked him, said Brown. Afterward, Harnett handed a shoelace to Donovan, who used it to further strangle and kill Vargas before fleeing the scene. The couple was arrested shortly afterwards. Donovan, whose last known address was in Manhattan, pleaded guilty on August 2, 2010.

Harnett’s sentencing is scheduled for November 20. If convicted she faces up to 25 years to life in prison

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National Guardsman guilty in murder of girlfriend


| mhayes@queenscourier.com


He went from hero to felon.

A National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran has been convicted of second-degree murder for punching, drowning and ultimately killing his girlfriend on the beaches of Far Rockaway.

David Lynch, 33, served two tours in Iraq and was a reservist in the New York National Guard at the time of the November 2010 killing. He was convicted on Thursday, March 21.

“The defendant was trained to defend the weak and protect the innocent,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “In this case, he went against everything he was taught.”

According to trial testimony, Lynch brutally beat and drowned Althea Lewis, 45, of Springfield Gardens. In the early morning, Lynch and Lewis were on the beach having an argument. Lynch punched and bit Lewis on her head and face, threw her in the water and dragged her out by her feet, causing her head to be submerged.

Police discovered her clothed body on the beach with four puncture wounds on her face, later revealed to be from Lynch’s Army ring. The cuts were so deep that cops initially thought Lewis was shot. Ultimately, she died as a result of blunt force injury to her head and submersion in water.

“[Lynch’s] actions have irreparably shattered a family by robbing them of a loved one,” said Brown. “Conviction warrants imposition of a maximum prison sentence to punish him and protect society.”

The Supreme Court set sentencing for Monday, April 29. Lynch faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

 

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Three Bronx men charged with conspiring to bring cocaine through JFK Airport


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Three Bronx men have been charged with conspiring to bring cocaine into the United States by arranging for a citizen of the Dominican Republic to swallow drugs and fly them into John F. Kennedy Airport, the Queens District Attorney’s Office announced Friday, March 22. The drug carrier was also arrested.

The announcement came from Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, joined by Port Authority Police Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko and Port Authority Police Chief John Ryan.

Brown identified the defendants as Jarrol De La Cruz, 20, Pedro DeLeon, 34, Edward Rivera, 30, all from the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, and Sergio Feliz Feliz, 19, of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

According to Brown, the arrests are part of a long-term narcotics investigation involving the defendants and the airports, which is under the jurisdiction of the Port Authority Police Department. The investigation involved physical surveillance, court-authorized electronic eavesdropping and other investigative techniques.

“The defendants are accused of using a drug ‘mule’ to transport illicit drugs into this country in an apparent effort to conceal their activities from law enforcement. However, thanks to the diligent efforts of the Port Authority Police and members of my staff, their alleged scheme was foiled,” Brown said.

According to the charges, on December 1, 2012 at approximately 6 p.m. Port Authority Police conducted a car stop of a burgundy Chevy Impala on the Van Wyck Expressway in which the defendants De La Cruz, DeLeon, Cruz and Feliz were riding. Later, Feliz reportedly admitted to authorities he had swallowed 80 pellets containing cocaine and was taken to a local Queens hospital where he passed the pellets, containing an excess of eight ounces.

De La Cruz, DeLeon and Rivera are presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging them each with first- and second-degree attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, second-degree conspiracy and fourth-degree criminal facilitation. The fourth defendant, Felix, was arraigned on December 5, 2012, before Queens Criminal Court Judge John Zoll and was held on $200,000 bail. His next court date is April 9, 2013. If convicted, each of the four defendants faces up to ten years in prison.

 

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Two charged with murder, starting fire to cover it up


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Maggie Hayes

Authorities have arrested and charged two men in conjunction with the South Richmond Hill fire that revealed one man tied up and shot.

Jason St. Hill, 17, and Stephen Peters, 22, of Richmond Hill were arrested on Thursday, February 28. Both were charged with kidnapping, arson, murder and burglary, among other charges.

The victim, Azeem Ali, 43, was found unconscious and unresponsive after firefighters extinguished the blaze on 95th Avenue early the morning of Sunday, February 24.

St. Hill and Peters allegedly went to Ali’s second floor apartment to steal money from him. Once inside, Peters punched and pistol-whipped Ali, then tied his hands and feet with electrical cord, according to the criminal complaint.

Peters then went to the basement, where he found gasoline to bring back to Ali’s apartment. St. Hill allegedly held Ali at gunpoint, and Peters demanded Ali’s PIN number and his ATM card.

Then, Peters shot Ali in the head, and poured gasoline around the apartment before lighting it on fire.

After committing the grisly act, St. Hill and Peters allegedly left the scene and went to a gas station where they withdrew $200 cash using Ali’s card.

The pair is being held without bail and will return to court on Thursday, March 14. If convicted, they face up to 25 years to life in prison.

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Queens babysitter gets 11 years in shaken baby death


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


A Corona babysitter has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for shaking a baby to death in December 2010, said the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

According to the DA’s office, on December 29, Ana Delarosa, 28, was babysitting the three-month old of a family friend in Queens. When the baby woke up and started crying, she tried to calm the child. But when it didn’t work, she violently shook him, exclaiming, “What is wrong with you? Why are you crying?”

The child went limp, and was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest and later died. Autopsy results showed that he had brain damage and other signs that he had been shaken to death.

In June of this year, Delarosa pled guilty to one count of second-degree manslaughter and one count of first-degree assault in the child’s death. She also waived her right to an appeal and will be deported to her native Mexico after she serves her time in jail.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with thunderstorms and rain showers, then thunderstorms in the afternoon. High of 81. Winds from the SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.4 in. possible. Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 75. Winds from the West at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Alobar’s Tomato Festival

All this week, Long Island City restaurant Alobar is honoring the harvest season with a rotating menu of tomato dishes supporting local farms at $30 per person for two courses and a cocktail or glass of wine. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Seven Queens schools slated for closure re-open this week

After months of uncertainty, many teachers at seven Queens high schools previously slated for closure are going back to work. Read more: New York Daily News 

Internet currency exchange biz owner gets jail for tax conviction

The owner of an Internet currency exchange business is going to prison on a tax conviction. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the two-year sentence today for Ilya Boruch of Forest Hills, Queens. Read more: New York Post

 School in Queens to serve “brunch”

he thought of having lunch, or as the principal of IS25 calls it “brunch,” at 9:45 in the morning is not going over well. Come Thursday, many students at the middle school in Auburndale, Queens will feast on roast chicken, rice and pinto beans, just two hours after their day. Read more: ABC New York

Juniper Valley Park plagued by trash, vandalism and under-aged drinking, civic leaders say

Underage boozing, vandalism and mounds of trash have plagued Juniper Valley Park all summer due to lack of Parks Enforcement Patrol officers, civic leaders say. Read more: New York Daily News

With City Council redistricting looming, activists unveil “Unity Map”

Activists are trying to protect the city’s minority groups as the City Council district lines are about to be redrawn. Minority advocate groups unveiled their so-called Unity Map Tuesday. Read more: NY1

Ed Koch being treated for anemia at New York Presbyterian

Former mayor Ed Koch was being treated at New York Presbyterian on the Upper West Side and will remain hospitalized for a few days after undergoing a blood transfusion, officials said Tuesday night. Read more: CBS New York

Airlines to face trial over 9/11

The AMR Corporation’s American Airlines and United Continental Holdings must face a federal trial over negligence claims tied to the hijacking of jetliners used in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. Read more: New York Times

Mrs. Obama: Husband knows what struggle means

Democrats are using one of Barack Obama’s strong suits, that voters believe he understands the problems of ordinary people, to trump his weakest suit, the economy. Read more: AP

Taminent Club celebrates 80 years


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo

Members of the Taminent Democratic Club, a political organization that supports local government, gathered at Riccardo’s by the Bridge in Astoria on November 5 for their 80thannual dinner dance. Several members of the Taminent Democratic Club received awards, including Linda Perno for “Woman of the Year” and Jeffery Sandhaus M.D. for “Man of the Year.” Dolores DeCrescenzo and Patrick Dolan won the Gloria D’Amico and the Ralph DeMarco Awards, respectively.

Perno is a member of the Astoria Kiwanis and serves on the Board of Directors for the Astoria Civic Association. Sandhaus is the Chief of Urology at Mount Sinai Queens. DeCrescenzo last served as the Deputy City Clerk of Bronx County, and Dolan is the President of the Steamfitters Local Union 638.

Also in attendance were local government officials such as District Attorney Richard A. Brown, City Comptroller John Liu and State Senator Michael Gianaris.

Taminent District Leader and former State Senator George Onorato spoke briefly. Afterwards, a surprise cake was revealed in honor of his birthday.

Queens Election Day results


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, seen voting, secured his record sixth consecutive term as county prosecutor

Election Day was quiet in Queens with only three races on the ballot – two of which featured only a single candidate.

Both Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown and Councilmember Ruben Wills retained their seats after running unopposed in their respective elections.

Brown secured his record sixth consecutive term as county prosecutor. The D.A., who is in his 20th year on the job, ran with endorsements from his own Democratic Party, as well as the Republicans and Conservatives.

The 2,400 voters who turned out for the District 28 race had only Wills to vote for after the incumbent defeated Allan Jennings in the September Democratic Primary with over 67 percent of the vote.

Wills was first elected to the council in a special election last November after Councilmember Thomas White passed away. District 28 encompasses South Jamaica, South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.

Twelve candidates ran for the six available Queens Supreme Court justice seats. Over 213,000 votes were tallied in the race with the six Democrats running securing victories. Democrats Janice A. Taylor of Jamaica, Allan Weiss of Forest Hills, Rudolph E. Greco Jr. of Jackson Heights, Timothy J. Dufficy of Breezy Point, Pam B. Jackson-Brown of Jamaica and Ira H. Margulis of Oakland Gardens each received over 9 percent of the vote.

The results of the elections remain preliminary while a complete recanvass of all voting machines and the counting of all valid absentee, affidavit, and military ballots before the election results can be certified.

– Additional reporting by Michael Pantelidis and Steve Mosco