<![CDATA[NBC New York - Crime and Courts]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcnewyork.com/feature/crime-and-courts http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/4NY_Horizontal.jpg NBC New York http://www.nbcnewyork.comen-usMon, 21 Aug 2017 03:05:58 -0400Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:05:58 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dozens Snared in Huge NY Gang Bust]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:51:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/gang+bust+dutchess.jpg

More than two dozen members of rival street gangs based in the Poughkeepsie area are facing federal racketeering charges including murder and conspiracy.

In total, 31 people are charged in the indictment unsealed Thursday. Eleven suspects were arrested in and around Dutchess County Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday; one was taken into custody in Florida and one in North Carolina. The other 18 defendants were already in custody on state charges and are being transferred to federal custody to face the charges in the indictment.

The indictments arise from a joint investigation by the FBI’s Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force, the Poughkeepsie Police Department, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office into the gang war between Uptown and Downtown. The rivalry has led to multiple fatal and non-fatal shootings since 2012 in Poughkeepsie, officials said.

"Two violent Poughkeepsie street gangs have been at war with each other for the last several years," Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon Kim said in a statement. "Their war has left in its wake a bloody trail of tragedy – alleged murders, attempted murders, shootings, and rampant drug dealing … When gangs flourish, neighborhoods suffer, parents grieve, and children die; it is as simple as that."

The murder counts include the March 2016 shooting death of Caval Haylett, the 18-year-old bystander gunned down at a barbecue where he had been celebrating a big win in All-Star basketball game. Also included: the December 2012 slaying of Daquell LeBlanc, a 17-year-old Poughkeepsie resident.

"Two young lives were lost in the alleged ongoing criminal activity of these street gangs," FBI Assistant Director William Sweeney said in a statement. "We will not sit idly in the midst of violence, as shown by the diligent and dedicated work of our FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force and our law enforcement partners."

The defendants, who range in age from 21 to 43, face varying charges including racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, narcotics conspiracy and weapons offenses. Some of the counts carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Exclusive: NYPD Hatchet Attack Survivors Talk to News 4]]> Thu, 07 May 2015 17:51:22 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC_000000007039683_1200x675_440437827788.jpg The four officers who were attacked in Queens last October speak exclusively to News 4's Jonathan Dienst.]]> <![CDATA[Queens Newspaper Publisher Tried to Intimidate Family: Feds]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:27:10 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/WNBC+11PM+AIRCHECK+M-Sun+-+23063801_WNBC_000000017464295.jpg

The publisher of a small Queens newspaper has been arrested by the FBI, accused of trying to intimidate a family out of pressing charges against a Bonanno crime family associate with whom the publisher was acquainted, authorities say.

Patricia Adams, 58, owns The Forum, a newspaper covering Howard Beach, Ozone Park and other neighborhoods. She was arrested at her Howard Beach home early Wednesday on federal witness tampering charges in connection with a bail hearing for an alleged mobster, law enforcement officials said.

According to court papers, Adams played cards at a social club controlled by the Bonanno crime family in Ozone Park, and incurred losses of up to $1,500 a week from sports betting and card games. One of those Bonanno associates to whom she owed money, Robert Pisani, had been arrested in March along with nine others on federal racketeering charges. He was released on a $500,000 bond and allowed to work at two stores he operates, court papers say.

An employee at one of those stores, the All American Bagel & Barista Company, accused Pisani of sexually abusing her, and Pisani was arrested by the NYPD in April on sexual abuse and forcible touching charges. As a result of the new arrest, feds investigating his federal racketeering case set up a new bail violation hearing in Brooklyn for Pisani, scheduled for May.

That's when Adams allegedly reached out to the father of the bagel shop worker who accused Pisani of groping her. Adams allegedly met the dad at a Starbucks store four days before the May bail revocation hearing, and over the course of two hours, threatened and intimidated him to try to have him convince his daughter not to testify against Pisani at the bail revocation hearing, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Adams allegedly said that if the victim testified, she would humiliate the victim and disseminate embarrassing information about her. Unbeknownst to Adams, the victim’s father recorded his conversation with Adams. 

In federal court in Brooklyn Wednesday, prosecutors said Adams wanted to "use her newspaper as a sword" against the witness. Prosecutors argued against bail for Adams, saying she was a potential danger to other witnesses in the upcoming Bonanno rackateering case -- especially if she was allegedly threatening a witness in a misdemeanor sex abuse case. 

Adams' defense attorney said they were just allegations and she deserved bail. 

Ultimately, she was ordered released with electronic monitoring after a house with an equity of $450,000 was signed for bail. She was also ordered not to communicate with any witnesses or anyone associated with the Bonanno crime family. 

A message was left with Pisani’s attorney. During a call to the All American Bagel & Barista Company a man identifying himself as Robert Pisani’s brother said his brother would have no comment.

<![CDATA[Sentencing Postponed for Doc Accused of Bribing Menendez]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:05:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/MENENDEZ+2.jpg

A sentencing hearing in a Medicare fraud case against a prominent Florida eye doctor accused of bribing New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has been postponed.

Attorneys for Dr. Salomon Melgen said in court documents filed Thursday they and prosecutors have agreed to cancel Friday's scheduled sentencing hearing until December. That would be after next month's scheduled joint bribery trial against Menendez and Melgen in New Jersey.

Melgen's attorneys say in court documents the delay is necessary because the hearing could take longer than a day.

Federal prosecutors declined comment. 

Melgen was convicted in April on 67 counts in one of the largest Medicare rip-off schemes in recent years. Prosecutors said Melgen intentionally misdiagnosed patients for serious eye conditions to inflate and falsify Medicare billing statements.

Menendez (D-NJ) is accused of using his office to try to help Melgen get out of millions in federal fines in exchange for campaign cash and gifts, including free vacations to Europe and the Caribbean and free flights on Melgen’s private jet. New Jersey's senior senator is also accused of abusing his office to try to help Melgen win private business deals, including a port security contract with the Dominican Republic potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Menendez is set to go on trial in September in New Jersey, along with Melgen on the federal corruption charges. Both men deny any wrongdoing, claiming in part that they have been close personal friends for years.

Melgen faces 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Friday for the separate Medicare fraud charges.

“Corrupt health care providers who defraud federal health care systems divert precious tax dollars from where they are needed most," Department of Defense investigator John F. Khin said after Melgen was convicted.

Melgen ran his scheme from 2008 to 2013, improperly earning tens of millions of dollars annually, authorities said. For example, Melgen billed Medicare $21 million in 2012 – more than any other doctor in the country.

Melgen met Menendez at a campaign fundraiser in 1993 shortly after he opened his eye clinics. Since then, Melgen has allegedly donated almost $700,000 to Menendez’s campaign and a separate political action committee.

The FBI said Menendez took numerous free flights aboard Melgen’s private plane as well as accepting a free stay at a five-star Paris hotel. After the criminal investigation began, Menendez said he reimbursed Melgen for the cost of some of those flights.

Prosecutors said Menendez helped Melgen’s foreign girlfriends get visas and push for changes to Medicare’s reimbursement policies, which potentially would have generated millions more for Melgen.

Menendez has repeatedly vowed to beat the charges, stating, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Prosecutors may try to use Melgen’s conviction as leverage to try to get his cooperation but to date Melgen has shown loyalty to the senator and has denied wrongdoing.

Former federal prosecutor Robert Ray says Melgen’s conviction in Florida could spell trouble for both men in the upcoming corruption trial in New Jersey.

“You can sort of see the correlation of evidence of intent that amounts to Medicare fraud and evidence of intent to commit honest services fraud," said Ray.

His attorney, Michael Menchel, declined to comment.

Menendez has tried to get the charges dismissed in part because of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling narrowing the definition of corruption when they threw out the bribery conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)

The Supreme Court recently denied Sen. Menendez’s attempt to dismiss his case and U.S. District Judge William Walls ruled this week that the corruption case will move forward, and he will reassess Menendez’s request after the prosecution presents its evidence in this case.

<![CDATA[5 Accused in NYC of Trying to Get 5K Lbs of Cocaine Into US]]> Mon, 07 Aug 2017 14:37:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Cocaine-Generic3.jpg

Five Mexican citizens have been charged in Manhattan federal court for allegedly trying to ship nearly 5,000 pounds of cocaine to the United States in speedboats, then trying to outrun authorities in the waters off their home country. 

According to the criminal complaint made public Monday, a U.S. Navy aircraft on patrol off the western coast of Mexico July 8 noticed what appeared to be a "Go-Fast" boat, a vessel the DEA has found a Colombian drug cartel to use to ship cocaine to various parts of the world. The hulls are 20 to 50 feet and most have a maximum capacity of just five passengers. 

The Navy aircraft notified the command of the U.S. Coast Guard, which dispatched a team to intercept and board the Go-Fast. The Go-Fast was eventually intercepted, and Coast Guard members gained access to the deck, where they noticed a number of large bundles wrapped in black plastic and brown tape covering a "substantial portion" of the deck, the complaint says. 

In total, more than 100 bales and one loose brick were recovered. One of two field-tested samples indicated the presence of cocaine. A search of all the bundles yielded about 4,720 pounds or 2,141 kilos of the drug. 

The five men on the ship, who range in age from 30 to 51, were taken into custody and sent to Manhattan on Friday. They are expected to appear in federal court Monday to face charges of conspiring to violate maritime drug enforcement laws and violating maritime drug enforcement laws by possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine. Each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. 

The DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which is comprised of officers from the DEA, NYPD, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations, New York State Police and the U.S. Marshal Service, among other agencies, and the U.S. Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Navy and Naval Criminal Investigative Service assisted in the investigation and extradition. 

Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim is in charge of the prosecution in New York.

<![CDATA[$4 Million in Heroin Seized in Bronx Drug Mill Bust]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 17:03:50 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Packaging+Materials+and+Loose+Heroin.jpg

Authorities arrested five people and seized $4 million worth of heroin in a Bronx heroin mill bust Wednesday.

A task force made up of members of the DEA, the NYPD and New York State Police had been conducting surveillance on the apartment building on Nelson Avenue in Morris Heights, according to Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan. 

Investigators saw a man leave the apartment with a backpack and trailed him as he drove to the Cross County Mall in Yonkers. There, he met a couple in another car and slipped the backpack to them; when investigators pulled them over, they found one and a half kilograms of heroin in the backpack, said Brennan. 

A search warrant executed at the apartment turned up 16 kilograms of heroin, scales, grinders and other drug paraphernalia. Dozens of stamps used to brand the heroin had names like 7Up, HIV, Came to Kill and Crocodile, Brennan said. 

Three men in the apartment were arrested, along with the couple pulled over in their car. They were to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court Thursday. 

Brennan also warned Thursday that black-market fentanyl is most commonly mixed into heroin, and users often don't know they're taking fentanyl. Fentanyl was a factor in nearly half of the 1,374 drug overdose deaths in New York City last year (an all-time high, and a 46-percent increase in overdose deaths from 2015, according to data from the NYC Department of Health and Hygiene). 

Photo Credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration]]>
<![CDATA[Man Nabbed in LI Burglary May Be Serial NYC Jogger Rapist]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:36:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/Mark+Andrade.jpg

A man arrested in Nassau County for an alleged burglary has been linked by DNA to a 2013 rape on a running trail in Queens, and authorities say he could be responsible for nearly a half-dozen other sex crimes on the same path since 2011. 

Mark Andrade, 46, faces charges in connection with the 2013 rape, and investigators are looking to match his DNA to the others, which all occurred on the trail in the 104th Precinct, NYPD officials said at a news briefing Thursday. 

The jogger in the 2013 case made a move that was crucial to linking Andrade to the attack.

"This one young lady struggled with him and pulled a beer bottle out of his back pocket and threw it," said NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce. "We retrieved that bottle as part of the crime scene and swabbed it and got the DNA and that's how we identify it. We have a young lady who helped us identify her attacker." 

In total, officials said they're looking to connect Andrade to five additional cases, all happening in the daytime. Sometimes a stun gun was used, police said. The first case in the pattern was in March 2011, when a 54-year-old jogger was attacked. In September of that year, a 13-year-old jogger was attacked.

The following August, police say someone attacked a 34-year-old jogger, and then three months later, they believe the same person sexually assaulted a 40-year-old woman walking her dog. The most recent sex crimes in the pattern were in March and August of 2013, when 24- and 69-year-old joggers were attacked, cops say. 

In 2015, police say they arrested Andrade for stealing copper from utility poles in Nassau County. After pleading guilty to those charges, his DNA was entered into a state database. Police say that DNA matched evidence lifted from the crime scene. 

Details on Andrade's alleged involvement in the Nassau burglary, weren't immediately available. His last known address was in Richmond Hill, Queens. It wasn't clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

<![CDATA[D.A. Staffer Steals $440K, Flaunts Spoils on Instagram: DOI]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 18:30:09 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/da+staffer+steals.jpg

A former manager who helped oversee finances at the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office is accused of stealing almost half a million dollars over a decade, of which the spoils were flaunted on Instagram. 

Federal prosecutors say 44-year-old William Nelson of Manhattan abused his position to hide his theft of $440,000. Investigators said he spent the stolen cash on luxury vacations, sports tickets and an extensive knife collection, which he showed off on his Instagram account. 

“This case is a textbook example of what can happen when power goes unchecked,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. “Our communities place a high level of trust in those who hold these positions, and that trust should never waver.”

The 10-count corruption indictment includes theft of funds and mail fraud charges.

Nelson worked as the procurement director from June 2005 until December 2016. During that time, he allegedly concealed his use of office credit cards for personal use. Officials said he hid the financial statements by sending them to his personal email and then approving his own transactions.

Nelson spent about $100,000 on knives and over $99,000 on personal items from online vendors including Amazon, and he moved roughly $12,000 into his personal account, according to the city’s Department of Investigation, who looked into his social media posts as part of their investigation. 

He spent thousands on family trips to Disney World, the Landsdowne Resort and Spa in Virginia, and the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, New York, authorities allege.

He also spent $13,000 of stolen money on football games, include a Nov. 15, 2015 game between the Giants and the Patriots, and a Dec. 28, 2014 game between the Steelers and the Bengals. 

A failure of internal controls within the Staten Island DA’s office allowed Nelson’s scheme to continue for years, DOI officials said.

Nelson was arraigned Thursday afternoon at the Brooklyn federal courthouse and released on $500,000 bond. Nelson’s attorney, Patrick Brackley, did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesman for the Staten Island DA’s office referred calls to the US Attorney’s office.

In a statement, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon said the crimes allegedly committed by Nelson "signify a deep betrayal of the public trust over an extended 11-year time-frame and exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars" that "were meant to make Staten Island safer." 

"Instead they allegedly used for personal indulgences," McMahon said. 

Prosecutors said the top mail fraud count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if convicted.

Photo Credit: Instagram via U.S. Attorney's Office]]>
<![CDATA['80s Rap Pioneer Charged in Deadly Stabbing of Homeless Man]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 07:29:11 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/KIDD+CREOLE+PERP+WALK+RAW++-+00002517_WNBC_000000017288756.jpg

UPDATE: 1980s Rap Pioneer The Kidd Creole Charged in Deadly Stabbing of Homeless Sex Offender Is 'Extremely Remorseful,' Cops Say

Nathaniel Glover, aka The Kidd Creole of the pioneering rap group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, has been charged in the deadly stabbing of a homeless man in Midtown, Manhattan, law enforcement sources tell News 4 New York.

Glover, a 57-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, was arrested and charged with murder after being questioned at the 13th Precinct in Manhattan. He had been taken into custody at his home in the amount Hope section of the Bronx earlier on Wednesday. Police said he is "extremely remorseful." 

Glover confessed to stabbing the man, later identified as 55-year-old John Jolly, though a motivation for the killing has not been released, the sources said. He was walked from a police precinct Wednesday night in handcuffs. 

Jolly, a homeless man, was found with three stab wounds to his chest near Third Avenue and East 44th Street shortly before midnight on Tuesday, according to sources, who said he may have been stabbed somewhere else before collapsing at the spot a couple of blocks from Grand Central Terminal. Jolly is a convicted sex offender, according to records. 

He was taken to Bellevue Hospital and pronounced dead less than an hour later, sources said, adding that he had been staying at a homeless shelter in the Bowery and had 17 prior arrests. 

Glover has four prior arrests, the most recent being in 2007 for possession of a knife. In 1995 and 1982, he was arrested for possessing a gun, according to police. A fourth arrest is sealed. Glover worked security at a building on 44th Street near where the victim was found. 

His neighbor, Raymond Sanders, said he woke up to see police in Glover's apartment. "I said, 'What the heck is the police doing here?'" he said. 

Sanders couldn't believe his neighbor was wanted in a killing. 

"He's a nice guy," Sanders said. "All he do is go to work, come home. He's polite, he's very respectful of people. He doesn't say anything out of the way and he minds his own business."

It wasn't immediately known if Glover had an attorney who could comment on the charges. 

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five formed in the Bronx in the late 1970s. They're most known for their influential 1982 rap song, "The Message." The group broke up in the late 1980s. 

<![CDATA[NYC Employee Downloaded Child Porn at Work: Feds]]> Wed, 02 Aug 2017 22:14:57 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/daniel+sherlock+child+porn+arrest.jpg

A 28-year-old IT worker employed by the city was arrested by federal prosecutors Wednesday after authorities say he used his computer at work to download child pornography, the second time he's accused of the crime. 

Daniel Sherlock of East Meadow, Long Island, allegedly looked at over 80 images of young girls engaged in sexual activity on his work computer while working for the city's Health and Hospital agency, federal prosecutors say. He allegedly tried to hide the activity through a computer program designed to delete files. 

Sherlock worked as an IT technician in non-clinical office, according to officials.

A judge ordered him released on home incarceration Wednesday to be enforced by electronic monitoring and a $50,000 bond co-signed by two financially responsible people as well as his mother, although he must remain detained until his mother signs the bond and electronic monitoring is set up at his home. 

Among the other conditions of his release, Sherlock isn't allowed to access the internet, view sexually explicit images, or have contact with minors. 

It's the second time Sherlock has been arrested on these kinds of charges: records show Sherlock was charged in 2014 by the Nassau County District Attorney’s office for allegedly possessing images of young girls engaging in sexual performances.

He pleaded guilty in the case on March 31, 2015, and was sentenced to three years probation, plus sex offender conditions, according to court records. His federal arrest in Manhattan violates his probation.

NYC Health and Hospital records confirm Sherlock was at work on the days the child porn was created, and the file-cleaning program, CCleaner, was installed, according to the criminal complaint. 

A spokesman for HHC said in a statement, "We have zero tolerance for this kind of criminal behavior. NYC Health + Hospitals will continue to provide DOI and SDNY with the information needed to pursue this case." 

HHC is moving to fire Sherlock, an official said. 

New York City HHC is the largest public health care system in the U.S., providing health care services to over 1 million residents of New York every year, according to authorities. It's also one of the largest employers in New York. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim said Wednesday, "Whatever efforts are made to avoid detection, we are committed to prosecuting child pornography offenses and protecting children from sexual exploitation." 

"This charged crime is serious," said Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters. "There can be no tolerance for this kind of grotesque behavior." 

Sherlock was expected to appear in federal court in Manhattan later Wednesday. Messages have been left with his attorney. 

He faces up to 20 years in prison if he's convicted of possessing child pornography.

<![CDATA[Karina Vetrano's Family Reflects 1 Year After Her Killing]]> Thu, 03 Aug 2017 00:49:53 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/muchacha-muerta-corriendo-portada.jpg

The family of Karina Vetrano gathered for a memorial walk Wednesday evening a year after she was killed while going for a run in her Queens neighborhood of Howard Beach.

Parents Phil and Cathie Vetrano hosted the first anniversary walk dedicated to their daughter in Howard Beach. A memorial service followed at St. Helen's.

Her father reflected on the tight-knit community he says uplifted the family after she died, a killing that changed the Vetrano family forever and rocked the Howard Beach community altogether. That community helped console the heartbroken family Wednesday night.

"There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of her, that we're not crying," Jackie Hartstein, Karina's best friend, said. "It never gets easier."

With balloons in their hands and love and empathy in their hearts, the community showed up by the dozens, marching down the same streets Karina ran in the neighborhood where she grew up. 

"I'm here because I have to be here, I can't ignore this," Rich Conklin of Howard Beach said. "This is something that has to be dealt with."

Karina was discovered near a path at Spring Creek Park last August. Police say she was strangled, brutally murdered by a man she never met.

Police arrested 20-year-old Chanel Lewis in early February and charged him with murder and sexual abuse. They said evidence included genetic material found under the 30-year-old Vetrano's fingernails and on her phone and neck.

Police officials also said Lewis made detailed, incriminating statements to detectives. According to police sources, Lewis twice confessed on video -- once with the NYPD and the other time during an interview with the Queens district attorney's office.

Lewis' family has insisted he is innocent.

The arrest didn't ease the pain felt by Karina's family walking to remember her. 

"We are inconsolable, our family and friends," Cathie Vetrano said. "All of you people who we don't even know you have kept us standing."

Karina's father said Howard Beach is "where everyone knows each other, where everyone knows your name and looks out for each other." 

"As you all it's been a year since my baby girl was murdered by that filth, that looser [sic] animal," Phil Vetrano wrote on a fundraiser page for a scholarship in his daughter's name. "But. This post is about giving thanks." 

Vetrano's family has been raising money for the Karina Vetrano Memorial Scholarship at Archbishop Molloy High School, from where Vetrano graduated in 2004. So far, nearly $300,000 has been raised. 

Photo Credit: WNBC
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<![CDATA[NY Cop Forced Arrested Woman to Perform Oral Sex: Feds]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:48:30 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/christopher+mccoy+arrest+2.jpg

A Long Island cop has been arrested on federal charges after he allegedly forced a woman he arrested to perform a sex act on him at the police station, prosecutors say.

Christopher McCoy, 38, was arrested Thursday morning and released on $500,000 bond after appearing in federal court in Central Islip Thursday afternoon. He pleaded not guilty to violating the alleged victim's civil rights by depriving an arrestee of the right to bodily integrity.

Federal prosecutors allege that on March 16, McCoy, while on duty, arrested a woman who had several outstanding warrants for unresolved vehicle and traffic offenses. She was taken to the First Precinct stationhouse in Wyandanch.

During the arrest processing, while McCoy and the woman were alone in the juvenile room, he forced her to perform oral sex, according to prosecutors. 

As soon as she was released, the woman reported the incident. The Suffolk Police Department suspended McCoy without pay in April.

"This is disgusting. This is rape," Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini said Thursday, adding the department will be seeking to terminate McCoy. He says the county will be adding cameras to all interview rooms in the wake of the allegations. 

"This type of behavior is outrageous," said FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. in a statement. "It won't be tolerated within our criminal justice system, and those who subject others to such cruel conduct will be swiftly removed from serving in any official capacity."

The victim's attorney told News 4 over the phone the woman is not speaking publicly but applauds the investigation by FBI and prosecutors. She has filed a lawsuit, which is pending and in the discovery phase, her attorney said. 

McCoy said nothing as he walked out of court Thursday, but an attorney for the officer told reporters, "It would be inappropriate for us to comment now regarding the reliability of this complaint, or the $40 million lawsuit that has been filed so quickly.  However, we will have much to say about this in court as the case unfolds." 

Another attorney said McCoy has "proudly" served as a police officer both in New York City and on Long Island for the past 12 years without incident.

"This is only a complaint, and as this case progresses, more will be revealed," he said.  

No one answered the door at McCoy's home in Sayville, but stunned neighbors told News 4 they found the allegations against the married father of three hard to believe. 

As part of his release, McCoy can't leave New York or carry a firearm. He also had to give up his passport.

Authorities are asking anyone else who may have been a victim of McCoy to call the FBI at 212-384-2166. 

The Suffolk Police Department wasn't immediately commenting on the officer's arrest Thursday. 

<![CDATA[NYC Heroin Ring Paid for $3,000 Stroller, Luxury Life: Feds]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:46:38 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/214*120/HEROIN+BUST+BRONX.jpg

A major heroin ring operating out of New York City was busted this week, and federal authorities say they’ve arrested dealers who’ve been living the high life, including a man who lavished his young children with a Versace stroller and Gucci sneakers.

Luis Lopez, Peter Vasquez and Victor Agosto were arrested in Brooklyn on Wednesday. The three men allegedly ran an international heroin ring from Brooklyn, Queens and other locations. Three other men were also arrested.

Twelve kilograms of heroin worth $900,000 were seized Wednesday morning during the arrests, authorities say.

Authorities allege the men had connections to Mexican cartels and were able to move heroin from Mexico to Los Angeles, and from there to Chicago and New York. Papers filed in federal court in Brooklyn say they also traveled to Mexico for meetings with a drug cartel there.

During the investigation, agents seized more than $800,000 in drug proceeds, prosecutors said. Ohio state troopers discovered about $300,000 of that total hidden in a car rented at LaGuardia Airport in 2011, the papers said.

An Instagram photo under the user account @fishmoneybagz shows some of the suspects — including Vasquez, Lopez and Agosto — posing in pricey bathing suits on a boat.

Authorities say photos like that one prove the accused were living large off money they made selling heroin, and that everything from a $20,000 watch to gold chains and bracelets were flaunted openly on social media.

Instagram photos show hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry owned by Lopez and his wife, as well as a $3,000 Versace stroller for one of their children and Gucci sneakers worth hundreds of dollars that their 8-year-old daughter wore to her fifth-grade graduation, authorities say.

The three men allegedly compiled a fleet of cars worth more than $1 million, including a Lamborghini Hurácan, Rolls Royce Ghost, Bentley, Audi R8 Spyder, Mercedes CLS63, Mercedes S550, Porsche Cayenne, Maserati, Range Rover Sport and BMW M4.

When they wanted to relax, the accused jetted off and spent large amounts of money to rent out a Miami waterfront property, authorities say.

If convicted, the men face decades behind bars.

It wasn’t immediately known if the six men had attorneys who could comment on their arrests.

Photo Credit: Handout
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<![CDATA[New Details Emerge in Killing of New Jersey Girl, 11]]> Thu, 27 Jul 2017 09:39:20 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/andreas+erazo+arrested+abbiegail+smith.jpg

The upstairs neighbor suspected of killing an 11-year-old New Jersey girl whose body was found on a rooftop in their apartment complex appeared in court Wednesday as prosecutors released grisly new details in the alleged murder. 

Prosecutors alleged during the detention hearing that 18-year-old Andreas Erazo admitted to killing Abbiegail Smith during a nine-hour interrogation with detectives. He didn't have a lawyer with him at the time, however. 

Abbiegail was taking trash out to the dumpster at her Keansburg apartment complex the evening of July 12 when she vanished. Her mother reported her missing an hour later, and police found the girl's body the next morning on a shed roof behind the suspect's apartment. 

The girl's body was found wrapped in a comforter and sheets, and bound with a computer cord, prosecutors said. She had trauma to both sides of her neck from stab wounds. 

Most of Abbiegail's clothes had been taken off, but it's still not clear if there was any sexual assault. 

There were blood stains found on the windowsill of Erazo's windowsill and a knife was found in his apartment, prosecutors alleged. He was arrested within 48 hours after Abbiegail went missing. 

Prosecutors say Erazo had been put on juvenile probation nine days before his 18th birthday in December for illegal possession of a weapon, a knife. But he had no adult criminal record. 

Abbiegail was laid to rest on Monday. 

Photo Credit: NBC 4 NY]]>
<![CDATA[Champion Boxer Convicted in NYC Woman's Pipe Beating Death]]> Fri, 21 Jul 2017 12:34:13 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/226*120/jail_cell_generic.png

A former champion pro boxer from Queens has been convicted of murder and other charges in the death of his ex-girlfriend, who was stabbed and bludgeoned to death with a pipe on a city street more than two years ago. 

Trevis Hall, a 28-year-old former featherweight boxer known in sports circles as "Black Mama," was taken into custody the same day the woman died. He was found unconscious in a dumpster after a suicide attempt, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Friday. 

"The defendant - a Golden Gloves winner in 2009 - used a knife and a pipe that he’d purchased just 90 minutes earlier to stab and beat the 31-year-old victim to death," Brown said in a statement. "The defendant now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars." 

According to trial testimony, Hall walked up to the victim, Margarita Rivera, on Watson Place in Jamaica the afternoon of Dec. 1, 2014 and stabbed her multiple times in a chest. He also repeatedly beat her in the head with a pipe. Responding officers found Rivera in a pool of her own blood, bleeding profusely from the head. 

Officers asked who had hurt her, but she was only able to say "Tre" three times. She later died at a Queens hospital. The knife and pipe were recovered at the scene. 

Later that same afternoon, Brown says Hall was found passed out in a dumpster on 127th Street in Richmond Hill. He was taken to the same hospital where Rivera was pronounced dead and arrested shortly thereafter. Police recovered a Home Depot receipt in one of his pockets that had the SKU number for the pipe that was found at the murder scene. Hall was also seen on video surveillance at Home Depot buying the pipe around 1 p.m. the day of the slaying, Brown says. 

Hall faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in September. The Guyanese boxer was also a Golden Gloves semifinalist as a bantamweight in the open class in 2010 and 2011.

<![CDATA[Silver's Corruption Conviction Overturned]]> Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:25:54 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/sheldon+silver+conviction.jpg

A federal appeals court has overturned the corruption conviction of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, citing in its Thursday decision a U.S. Supreme Court ruling from last year that raised the standards prosecutors must use when they accuse public officials of wrongdoing. 

Silver, 73, was convicted on Nov. 30, 2015 of honest services fraud, extortion and money laundering in a $4 million kickback scheme. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison but has remained free during the appeal process.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in question involved former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose corruption conviction was reversed when the high court narrowed the definition of the type of official misconduct on which such prosecution can be based. 

Lawyers for Silver had made the McDonnell ruling a key component of their appeal. And while the federal appeals court said in its opinion Thursday that there was sufficient evidence to prove Silver's guilt, it found issue with jury instruction related to the definition of an official act. The judge in Silver's case had defined it as "any action taken or to be taken under color of official authority," which "was erroneous under McDonnell," the appeals court said.  

A properly instructed jury may not have convicted Silver, the court said.

"Though we reject Silver’s sufficiency challenges, we hold that the District Court’s instructions on honest services fraud and extortion do not comport with McDonnell and are therefore in error," the opinion said  "We further hold that this error was not harmless because it is not clear beyond a reasonable doubt that a rational jury would have reached the same conclusion if properly instructed, as is required by law for the verdict to stand."

Attorneys for Silver said they were pleased by the court's decision.

"We are grateful the court saw it our way and reversed the conviction on all counts," attorneys Steven Molo and Joel Cohen said in a joint statement.

Prosecutors said they were disappointed by the ruling, but looked forward to retrying the case. 

"We look forward to presenting to another jury the evidence of decades-long corruption by one of the most powerful politicians in New York State history," Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon Kim said in a statement. "Although it will be delayed, we do not expect justice to be denied."

Silver led the Assembly for more than two decades before he became the centerpiece of one of New York's steepest political falls from grace. He resigned his seat when he was convicted.

More than 30 other state lawmakers have left office under a cloud of criminal or ethical allegations since 2000, including Silver's former state Senate counterpart, Republican ex-Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

Prosecutors said Silver came to trade his office for $4 million in kickbacks from a cancer researcher and real estate developers. They said he amassed more than $2 million in assets and arranged to receive a $70,000 annual pension from the state.

Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[Asthmatic NYC Toddlers Were Beaten to Death, Officials Say]]> Tue, 11 Jul 2017 23:49:48 -0400 http://media.nbcnewyork.com/images/213*120/kids+dead+bronx.jpg

The toddler siblings who died hours after being put to bed in their Bronx home Sunday night appear to have been beaten to death, the New York City medical examiner says. 

Olivia Gee, 2, and her 3-year-old brother Micha Gee, both died of blunt impact injuries to the torso, the medical examiner's office said Tuesday. 

Both children had histories of asthma and 911 was called after they allegedly had trouble breathing, but that condition apparently did not cause their deaths, the medical examiner's report indicates. Both deaths were ruled homicides.

No arrests have been made, though police earlier described an active investigation into the toddlers' deaths. 

Authorities have said the siblings' 31-year-old mother and her boyfriend had put the two to bed in the same room of their Van Cortlandt Park South home around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. The boyfriend woke up around 1 a.m. Monday and went to check on the kids, noticed they had breathing difficulty and called 911, according to the initial police report. 

Both kids were unresponsive when officers arrived; they were pronounced dead at a hospital. 

Olivia and her brother Micha had histories of asthma, and police said Monday it wasn't clear if they were looking at that as a possible factor in their deaths, though that was before the autopsy was completed. 

The boyfriend was interviewed by police and released, according to a law enforcement source. He has asked for a lawyer. 

Detectives hadn't been able to talk to the kids' mother, though, who was so distraught she had to be hospitalized, the source said. 

The siblings lived in an apartment at Amalgamated Houses, a tight-knit co-op community, according to people who live there. The children's grandmother works as director of education for the co-op and has lived there 25 years, building manager Charles Zsebedics told NBC 4 New York. He said Monday the children were "angelic and happy," and that "anyone that sees them knows they are well taken care of." 

Learning on Tuesday the children had been killed, he said, "We're as shocked now as we were yesterday, this is the unthinkable. Our worst fears were realized, we couldn't imagine this is something that could actually happen. We are very, very sorry for the entire family." 

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>