Tag Archives: U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

CB 7 says grand jury subpoena for information rescinded

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

File photo

A federal grand jury subpoena seeking information from Community Board 7 (CB 7) was rescinded because the board agreed to comply with requests for information, according to the advisory body.

Another Queens newspaper published a report last week about CB 7 being issued a subpoena on an order issued by the grand jury in the Eastern District of New York on May 29 for records concerning their land use decisions. The request covered a time span of January 2005 to the present, and included minutes from board meetings, Land Use sub-committee meetings, letters, memos, recommendations and other communications from the board Land Use committee to CB 7, among other documents.

“A subpoena was issued requesting meeting records and committee reports,” according to a CB 7 statement on Monday. “In discussions with the city Law Department and the U.S. Attorney, we made it clear we would disclose the issuance of the subpoena to the full board membership.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office subsequently agreed to rescind the subpoena in exchange for full compliance from CB 7 regarding the matter. The documents provided to the grand jury are all available to the public.

CB 7 insisted that the investigation related to the rescinded subpoena does not center on the board or any of its members.


Queens Village mailman busted for dumping letters in trash

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Property Shark/Christopher Bride

A postal carrier based in Queens Village dumped more than 2,000 pieces of mail in the garbage while on the job, federal agents charged in a criminal complaint filed last week.

Prosecutors said Norberto Cintron, 30, allegedly trashed hundreds of items over a five-month period dating back to January of this year. He is assigned to the Queens Village post office located at 209-20 Jamaica Ave.

Cintron admitted to postal investigators that he dumped mail once or twice a week during the period, according to the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York.

The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General was tipped off to problems regarding Cintron on April 28, when the acting manager of the Queens Village post office reported finding undelivered mail stored inside collection boxes on Hillside Avenue.

Later, an anonymous tipster reported to investigators observing a certain USPS vehicle — which they determined Cintron operated — was not delivering all of the mail.

Postal agents recovered undelivered mail from Cintron on May 1, which he allegedly claimed to have dumped two days earlier, according to the criminal complaint.

Cintron was charged on May 15 with delay or destruction of mail and was released following arraignment on $10,000 bail.


Ancient Italian sarcophagus lid, linked to convicted smuggler, found in LIC

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

An ancient Italian sarcophagus lid allegedly tied to a convicted smuggler is expected to be seized from a Long Island City storage facility Friday.

A civil complaint was filed Thursday seeking the forfeiture of an ancient Roman marble sarcophagus lid featuring a high-relief sculpture of a sleeping woman, according to U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch.

This specific piece matches pictures found in the files of convicted antiquities dealer Gianfranco Becchina, according to Italian authorities. The complaint alleges that the piece is considered property of Italy and can be confiscated as stolen property unlawfully brought into the United States.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security‘s Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) agents plan on removing the sarcophagus from the western Queens facility Friday afternoon, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

“Whether looted cultural property enters our ports today or decades ago, it is our responsibility to see that it is returned to its rightful owners, in this case, the Italian people,” Lynch said. “We will continue to use all legal tools available to us to seize, forfeit and repatriate stolen cultural property.”

Becchina, who is an Italian citizen, ran an antiquities gallery in Switzerland, and in 2011 was convicted in an Italian court for illicitly dealing in antiquities. During the investigation, before being convicted, authorities searched Becchina’s gallery and warehouse, and among the items seized were photographs, commercial records and customs paperwork relating to the sarcophagus lid.

Becchina allegedly bought the lid in Italy and shipped it to his Swiss gallery in 1981, according to seized records. The now restored marble lid then reappeared 30 years later at a public exhibition in New York. On Feb. 20, HSI agents located the lid in a Long Island City storage facility.

“The forfeiture of this sarcophagus lid brings us one step closer to returning this stolen treasure to its rightful owner, the Italian people,” said James T. Hayes Jr., special agent in charge of HSI in New York.