Tag Archives: Richard A. Brown

Drug bust nets cash, guns, lands 45 in jail

| tcimino@queenscourier.com

A large-scale bust landed 45 people – alleged members of two drug organizations operating in southeast Queens – in jail on drug, weapons and other charges.

The two organizations were allegedly being run by a set of the Bloods street gang known as the “South Side Bloods” and by James “Wall” Corley, an original member of the Queens Supreme Team, a violent narcotics gang that flourished during the height of New York City’s crack epidemic in the 1980s.

It is alleged that the two gangs grossed more than $15,000 per week by distributing narcotics to numerous street dealers who, in turn, sold the drugs to customers. In total, 45 people have been arrested, including 19 customers.

“This investigation resulted in dozens of arrests, including that of James ‘Wall’ Corley, one of the principal suppliers of cocaine throughout Queens South,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “Corley began his drug career as an associate of ‘the supreme team’ during the crack epidemic of the 1980s, and associated with the felons who sanctioned the execution of New York City Police Officer Edward Byrne in 1988. While Corley was not charged in the murder of Eddie Byrne, generations of police officers will take no small satisfaction in the fact that an associate of his killers has been brought to justice.”

District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that, since February 2011, the NYPD’s Queens Gang Squad and his Narcotics Investigations Bureau have been watching two separate organizations allegedly supplying narcotics in southeast Queens.

As a result of traditional investigative means such as physical surveillance and search warrants, coupled with court-authorized electronic surveillance, authorities allegedly developed information that the first group, the Corley Crew, allegedly led by James Corley, supplied customers in the South Jamaica Houses, the Baisley Houses, Rochdale Village and other areas in Jamaica, while the second group, the South Side Bloods, supplied customers in Baisley Gardens and other parts.

In addition to the arrests, officers executed 14 court-authorized search warrants and allegedly seized approximately one-and-one-half kilograms of cocaine, over 50 decks of heroin, a quantity of marijuana, approximately $70,000 in alleged narcotic proceeds, numerous cell phones, four handguns and a 9mm Intratec submachine gun.

The defendants are variously charged criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal sale of marijuana.

Among those arrested was Corley, who was charged on May 10 with three narcotics sales and other related charges. In executing a search warrant at Corley’s residence in Rochdale Village, police allegedly recovered a quantity of cocaine, 10 vials of Lidocaine (commonly added to cocaine), 45 forged $5 bills and various narcotics paraphernalia.

Family lauds ‘Justice for Jerry’

| aaltman@queenscourier.com


Another suspect in the tragic murder of beloved Ozone Park son Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello has been found guilty.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced on Monday, April 2 that Francis LaCorte has been found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery, first-degree attempted burglary, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and fourth-degree conspiracy in conjunction with the 2009 murder of 29-year-old Antoniello.

“The defendant in this case has been found guilty following a jury trial of having orchestrated, planned and carried out three separate home robberies, one of which culminated in the untimely death of a young man who bravely went to the aid of his father during one of the robberies,” said Brown. “Under the circumstances, the defendant has forfeited his future and can expect to spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life behind bars.”

Three other individuals were previously arrested in connection with this case, including Vincent Mineo, who was sentenced on March 20 to 20 years for first-degree burglary.

Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello was killed on Wednesday, September 9, 2009, during a push-in robbery at his family’s home on 95th Street and North Conduit Avenue in Ozone Park. Two men, now known to be Vincent Mineo and Francis LaCorte, attempted to gain entry to the Antoniello home as well as take cash from Romeo Antoniello, who had just finished closing the family’s pizzeria, Romeo’s, on Cross Bay Boulevard.

The perpetrators hit Romeo, who was suffering from cancer, in the head, before pushing their way into the residence. Gerardo was attempting to defend his family when he was struck in the head with a single gunshot. He was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, where he died early Thursday morning, September 10.

“I’m happy that the jury made the right decision,” said Jerry’s brother, Carmine Antoniello. “Hopefully he’s put away for a long time.”

LaCorte faces 75 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on April 16.

“It doesn’t bring Jerry back but hopefully they put him away for a long time so he doesn’t hurt anyone else,” said Carmine. “It’s one less piece of garbage on the street.”

Man kills girlfriend’s son, boards Q111 and shoots two more

| smosco@queenscourier.com


Holiday cheer turned to terrified screams as violence erupted in Jamaica on Friday, December 2.

Damel Burton, 34, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend’s son, 18-year-old Keith Murrell, in an apartment the three shared on the second floor of the Baisley Park Houses. Burton then boarded the Q111 bus at the Parsons-Archer terminal, where be shot and killed passenger Marvin Gilkes, 36, and injured a second passenger, Jajuan Lipsey, 29.

Gilkes was pronounced dead at the scene while Lipsey’s injuries are not life-threatening.

After he was shot, Murrell reportedly leaped from his window to a grassy area below and was helped across the street where he collapsed. The 18-year-old was later pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital.

Friends and family described Murrell as a basketball-loving role model who wanted to be a mechanic. All of that was erased when the tragic teen was shot in the chest by ex-con Burton.

“I can’t seem to grasp this sad situation, it’s just so sad and senseless to me,” said Murrell’s cousin, Sandy Thickness, in a Facebook post. “I love my family and we all miss our cousin Keith. My family just took a great loss.”

Burton reportedly used the Q111 to get away from the scene, but became agitated when he thought passengers on the bus were talking about him.

District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that Burton has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder following the shooting rampage.

“The defendant is accused of the cold-blooded shooting death of one young man, followed by the alleged shooting of two more people on a city bus – leaving one of them dead and the other seriously injured,” the district attorney said. “These shootings are particularly disturbing for having exploded during an otherwise routine afternoon bus ride filled with shoppers, students and ordinary people returning from work. Violence such as this will not be tolerated, especially aboard public transportation.”

Burton, who faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, was quickly captured by police officers a block away from the bus shooting, still carrying the alleged murder weapon.

Released on parole in August of 2010 after serving seven years for attempted robbery, Burton has six prior arrests and served a year in prison in 2000 for drug dealing and weapon possession.