Friday, March 31, 2017

Thirty-Four Defendants Charged with Operating Sprawling Narcotics Distribution Ring that Sold Furanyl Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

Operation Spanned New York and Arizona; 
Approximately 10 Kilograms of Narcotics and 17 Guns Recovered

   Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that 34 people have been variously charged in a 357-count indictment with criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy and other crimes for their alleged roles in a narcotics trafficking operation that sold heroin and cocaine, both in Brooklyn and beyond. The case also involves alleged sales of furanyl fentanyl, a relatively new and potent opiate analog which is not yet classified as a controlled substance under New York State law.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “The indictment describes a sprawling narcotics ring that operated from Brooklyn across the city, the state and the country. Those who push these deadly poisons on our streets, concerned only with their own lucrative profits, devastate the communities where they operate and feed the disease of addiction, which ultimately touches all of us. Drug analogs, like the furanyl fentanyl in this case, highlight a dangerous gap in our narcotics laws that we will work to address with our partners in Albany.”
Commissioner O’Neill said, “These charges today mark the end of a far-reaching investigation into the illegal distribution of narcotics all over New York City. NYPD investigators will keep working hard along with our state and federal law enforcement partners to send a strong message to gangs, drug traffickers and all those who prey on New Yorkers: This activity is not acceptable in any of our neighborhoods. And through precision policing, we will continue to target the criminals responsible for this behavior.”
The Acting District Attorney said that most of the defendants were arrested and arraigned this week and last week before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Foley on a 357-count indictment in which they are variously charged with first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, first-, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, second- and fourth-degree conspiracy and related counts. The top count in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison. [See addendum for the full list of defendants.]
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, between June 2016 and March 2017, the defendants participated in a narcotics distribution operation that spanned all of New York City, some upstate New York counties, and Phoenix, Arizona. The investigation relied on court-ordered electronic intercepts as well as physical and video surveillance. Various members assumed different roles and the ring had a hierarchy in its supply and distribution operations.
Jerome Horton was the head of the Brooklyn-based distribution operation, according to the investigation, with Willie Billingslea directly below him. They allegedly had a number of redistributors who purchased and resold heroin and cocaine in amounts ranging from five to 800 grams. The alleged redistributors included Christopher Corley, Brian Davis, Stephone Nottingham, and Gary Felton.
The primary supplier of the ring was allegedly Nigel Maloney, who was based in Phoenix and would mail heroin and cocaine to Warren Appolon, who operated out of his home in Jamaica, Queens. Appolon is accused of supplying the narcotics to Billingslea, who worked on behalf of Horton. When that supply chain was not enough to satisfy the high demand of the ring, the investigation revealed that the members of the ring sought additional suppliers. Joseph Raffone and Kristian Cruz allegedly served as secondary suppliers of heroin and furanyl fentanyl, apparently referred to as “White China” and received in bulk through the mail.
Furanyl fentanyl is a highly potent opiate that can be stronger than similar drugs and is often cheaper than heroin – it is an analog of the opiate fentanyl. Based on its slightly different chemical composition, it is not currently a controlled substance under New York State law, although the federal government listed it as a Schedule I controlled substance in November 2016. The transactions involving this substance have been charged as attempted sales, based on the defendant’s belief that the substance was actually heroin or a controlled substance.
It is alleged that Horton, Billingslea and their co-conspirators stored narcotics and sales proceeds under floor boards, in storage rooms and other locations. They also utilized vehicles equipped with elaborate hiding spaces (or “traps”) to store and transport the drugs. Customers contacted members of the operation by making phone calls or sending text messages to arrange transactions. The sales were typically completed during hand-to-hand transactions in vehicles, in buildings or on the street, throughout New York City, according to the indictment. As alleged, when dealers ran out, they contacted the above-mentioned ringleaders and arranged for the pick-up of new supplies, at which point outstanding debts were also settled.
During the course of the investigation, a total of 2.455 kilograms of cocaine, 1.704 kilograms of heroin and 4.581 kilograms of furanyl fentanyl were recovered. Transactions relating to additional narcotics were identified through communications intercepted pursuant to court order. In addition, 17 operable firearms were seized in the course of the investigation.
The Acting District Attorney thanked the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Queens District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.
The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective Bureau’s Brooklyn North Gang Squad Detective Paul Molinaro, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, Captain Craig Edelman and Lieutenant Vincent Terrano.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ashlyn Miranda, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Adam Wolk, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division and Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
Defendant Addendum
Nigel Maloney, 49, of Phoenix, Arizona
Warren Appolon, 46, of Jamaica, Queens
Jerome Horton, 47, of East New York, Brooklyn
Willie Billingslea, 43, of East New York, Brooklyn
Brian Davis, 29, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
Stephon Nottingham, 30, of Canarsie, Brooklyn
Gary Felton, 30, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Kristian Cruz, 21, of the East Village, Manhattan
Joseph Raffone, 38, of Ridgewood, Queens
Chareefe Watkins, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
Marion Trombley, 28, of Cobleskill, NY
Basilio Hidalgo, 32, of East Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Christopher Corley, 40, of Freeport, NY
Jerome Eddie, 41, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Jackie Hillard, 43, of Ronkonkoma, NY
Taivon Wise, 35, of Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Ksun Hodgson, 34, of East New York, Brooklyn
Theo Jones, 33, of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Anthony Edwards, 32, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
Micky Hilton, 36, of Rockville Center, NY
Kye Robbins, 30, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
Alonzo Cunigan, 35, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Henry Bannister, 50, of Harrisburg, SC
Zakierfrare Scott, 39, of Harrisburg, SC
Oscar Murphy, 29, of Harrisburg, SC
Donnell Scott, 47, of Peekskill, NY
Dorian Brooks, 47, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn 
Gregory Campbell, 45, of Brownsville, Brooklyn
Miles Knight, 30, of Greensboro, NC
Jerome Harris, 30, of Canarsie, Brooklyn
Kenneth Christian, 44, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Antoine Leveque, 36, of Clifton, Staten Island
Gregory Boyd-Davis, 33, of Queens Village, Queens
Robert Meredith, 32, of Ditmars, Queens

Member Of Bronx Gang Pleads Guilty To Murder And Racketeering Conspiracy

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that today ELIJAH DAVILA, a/k/a “Montana,” pled guilty to committing the murder of Pablo Beard, participating in racketeering and narcotics conspiracies, and committing a firearms offense, all in connection with a violent street gang known as the “Taylor Avenue Crew” or “Bugatti,” which is based primarily in and around the New York City Police Department’s 43rd Precinct in the Bronx, New York. As part of his guilty plea, DAVILA admitted to shooting and killing Pablo Beard, in the vicinity of Leland Avenue in the Bronx. DAVILA faces a mandatory minimum term of 40 years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison, and will be sentenced before United States District Judge Katherine Polk Failla on July 13, 2017.
Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Elijah Davila and the Taylor Avenue Crew wrought havoc in their Bronx neighborhood, selling drugs and committing acts of violence. As he admitted today, as part of his racketeering and drug crimes, Davila murdered Pablo Beard. We are committed to bringing federal prosecutions like this one to reduce violent crime and drug dealing in our neighborhoods.”
According to the Indictment and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the plea proceedings:
DAVILA was a member of the Bronx-based street gang known as the Taylor Avenue Crew or Bugatti, and in that capacity committed the murder of Beard. From at least 2008 to September 2015, members and associates of the Taylor Avenue Crew enriched themselves by selling drugs, such as “crack” cocaine, and committed acts of violence, including murder and attempted murder, against various people, including rival gang members, rival drug traffickers, and innocent bystanders. As part of this enterprise, members and associates of the Taylor Avenue Crew – including DAVILA – killed and attempted to kill others individuals. On March 3, 2015, DAVILA shot Beard to death in the vicinity of 1504 Leland Avenue.
Mr. Kim praised the work of the New York City Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations. He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for their participation and support in this case.

Staten Island Man Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Defrauding Investors Of Over $2 Million

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that EDWARD J. SERVIDER, a/k/a “Nick Halden,” pled guilty to defrauding approximately 100 investors of over $2.4 million through his firm EJS Capital Management, LLC. SERVIDER pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud before U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Edward Servider lured investors into his scheme by falsely telling them he had achieved high annual rates of return through his Forex trading. In fact, he never made a single trade or achieved any returns for any of his nearly 100 investor-clients. Instead, he used his investors’ money to pay for personal luxuries like hotels, cars, and an engagement ring. I want to thank the FBI for their great work in putting a stop to this fraud.”

According to allegations contained in the Complaint and the Indictment filed against SERVIDER and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

In March 2013, SERVIDER set up a retail foreign currency exchange (“Forex”) trading firm, called EJS Capital Management, LLC (“EJS”), in Brooklyn. SERVIDER and his business partner (“CC-1”) ran EJS from March 2013 through July 2014. EJS employed salespeople (“cold callers”) who made unsolicited telephone calls to prospective investors. SERVIDER and the EJS cold callers told prospective investors that their funds would be used to trade in Forex transactions, and provided them with a “performance report” that falsely claimed that between 2010 and 2013, EJS had achieved gross annual returns for its investors of approximately 18 percent, 22 percent, 49 percent, and 77 percent (the “EJS Performance Report”). In truth, EJS had never conducted any trading or achieved any returns for its investors. To sustain the fraud, SERVIDER directed EJS employees to send account statements to the EJS investors, falsely showing positive returns on their investments.

In fact, instead of using the investor funds to execute Forex trading, the majority of the moneys was misappropriated and used to pay SERVIDER and CC-1’s personal expenses and purported business expenses for EJS. For example, SERVIDER used investor funds to purchase an engagement ring, to lease a BMW vehicle for his girlfriend, and to pay for hotel rooms, rental cars, and parking tickets.

SERVIDER, 29, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit commodities fraud, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison and a maximum fine of the greatest of $250,000, twice the gross gain from the offense, or twice the gross loss from the offense. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

SERVIDER’s sentencing is scheduled for July 27, 2017, at 4:00 p.m.

Mr. Kim praised the work of the FBI, and thanked the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission for its assistance.

Statement from NYC Comptroller Scott M. Stringer on the Plan to Close Rikers Island

  “For decades, society built bigger jails instead of better schools, as America tried to be ‘tough on crime’ instead of smart on crime. The result of our backward approach relegated communities of color – often poor – to an unrelenting cycle of crime and poverty. It’s affected a generation of Americans and New Yorkers.

“Rikers is a symbol of an antiquated approach. Today’s announcement is an important one, because we must be a society that gives people second chances. To do that, Rikers must shut down. The Mayor has done the right thing – and we celebrate it.
“Advocates like JustLeadershipUSA, Glenn Martin, and others have been at the forefront of this fight, and this is a big step forward. This isn’t just about lowering recidivism or driving down crime. This is about who we are – and who we strive to be – as a city. Today is an important day.
“My office will continue to encourage real community engagement in the planning process and will continue to monitor the conditions on Rikers Island to ensure the safety and effective rehabilitation of all who pass through our criminal justice system.”
In November 2015, Comptroller Stringer became the first citywide elected official to call for the closure of Rikers Island, calling it an “urban shame” in a speech at The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School. Since taking office, Comptroller Stringer has analyzed claims against the Department of Correction, tracked violence in City jails, and audited educational services on Rikers Island.


   “New York City has always been better than Rikers Island. I am proud to chart a course for our city that lives up to this reality.

“Our success in reducing crime and reforming our criminal justice system has paved a path off Rikers Island and toward community-based facilities capable of meeting our criminal justice goals.

“There is no doubt that the road to Rikers Island’s closure will be long and arduous. It will require that local officials and stakeholders stand up and support facilities that meet our moral obligation to thousands of New Yorkers whose lives we will never turn our backs on. It will require that our state government, and each component of our criminal justice system, contribute to the reform efforts critical to reducing our jail population and improving re-entry services and educational programming. The length of this process will also require continued investment in the facilities and conditions on Rikers Island that remain key to rehabilitation efforts for thousands of New Yorkers in the years ahead.

“This moment would not be possible without the work of Speaker Mark-Viverito, who has helped fuel the progress toward a more just criminal justice system.”


This like other proposals out this year by the current mayorwill take ten years or more to happen. That is six or ten years after Mayor de Blasio, and ten years after Speaker Mark-Viverito leave office.

News from the 38th Senate District

News From Senator David Carlucci
I hope you will find this newsletter to be an informative and interesting update on our work in the Senate and throughout Rockland and Westchester. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 845-623-3627.

Job Fair with Rockland Community College
Ever year my office co-sponsors the Job Fair at Rockland Community College.  Come by to meet employers, gather information and apply for jobs.  Part-time, full-time, entry-level and professional positions are available.  Bring plenty of resumes and dress to impress!
Thursday, April 6, 2017
11AM – 3PM

Rockland Community College Eugene Levy Field House, 145 College Road, Suffern
Job Fair
Protecting the Community through Stronger Code Enforcement
The Senate & Assembly recently passed my bill to crack down on building and code inspectors who don't do their job. We have unfortunately seen issues with buildings that haven't been properly inspected or even inspected at all! When these developments are allowed to move forward after substandard oversight, it creates huge problems. There are safety risks for the users of the structure and dangerous conditions for our first responders. Giving the State the ability to punish these bad actors empowers the monitors on the ground to root out corruption and stop it when they see it. What happened in Ramapo was a destructive scheme that will impact our community for years to come and we must not let that happen again.

Scholarship Opportunity
As a member of the Italian-American Legislators Conference, I am happy to provide an opportunity for 4 students to win $3,000 scholarships; two for academic achievement and two for athletics. 
To qualify for the scholarships, applicants must have an average above 85, good conduct and demonstrate the dedication to pursue and complete a higher education degree, are involved in an organized sport (if applying for the athletic scholarship), active in community services and can demonstrate a financial need. 
Applications can be obtained by calling my office at 845-623-3627 and must be returned to Room 315 LOB, Albany, NY, 12247 no later than 5 PM on April 21.

Saving School Districts Millions

As budget negotiations are still ongoing, we passed a bill in the Senate today that will make a simple fix and save some of our area school districts millions of dollars. School districts are charged exorbitant fees by local governments to collect school taxes instead of allowing them to go directly into the classroom where they belong. My legislation would allow school districts to collect their own taxes and avoid millions in unnecessary expenses. I look forward to working with the Assembly and Governor to get millions of dollars throughout NY back into the classroom.

Meet and Take Photos with the Easter Bunny
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 5:00 PM
Pearl River Library Community Room 80 Franklin Avenue, Pearl River

Upcoming Events
To RSVP for any of these events, please call my office at 845-623-3627 
Free Naloxone Trainings; Learn to Save a Life
Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:00 PM
Suffern Free Library 210 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern
Highway Cleanup with Keep Rockland Beautiful
April 29th, which is also National Volunteer Day and right on the heels of Earth Day
Please contact the office via phone 845-708-9164 or email to set up a supply pickup from our shed which is located in the entrance to the New City Bowling Alley parking lot:
90 N. Main Street, New City, NY 10956
Senator David Carlucci's Fun Run, Walk and Roll to benefit the Larisa Karassik Foundation
Entry Fee/Suggested Donation: $25
May 24 6:30 PM, Rockland State Park

Comptroller Stringer Releases Analysis of Trump Tax Plan

As President Trump pivots to tax reform, new analysis shows the plan could hike taxes on 40 percent of single parents in New York City while slashing tax bills for more than 90 percent of NYC millionaires
While NYC millionaires would get an average tax cut of at least $113,000, nearly half of single parents who make $25,000 to $50,000 would see a tax increase
Those with incomes above $500,000 represent less than 2% of tax filers in NYC, but would enjoy two-thirds of the tax cuts
  New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer released a new analysis that shows the Trump Administration’s tax plan, as proposed during his campaign, would provide significant tax cuts to nearly all millionaires in New York City — like President Trump himself — while actually raising taxes on many single parents, moderate- and middle-income New Yorkers, and working families. According to the first-of-its-kind analysis of the proposal’s impact on City residents, more than 95% of New York City taxpayers with incomes between $500,000 and $1 million, as well as over 90% of those with income above $1 million, would pay the same or less in taxes than they do today. Yet, nearly 40% of single parents in New York City would face higher tax liability. The tax plan proposed during the President’s campaign is also projected to cost a whopping $2 trillion or more in lost Federal revenue over the next decade.
Head of Household filers, typically single parents with children, would be at greatest risk under the Trump Plan. Almost 40% of New Yorkers in this filing category — more than 300,000 New Yorkers — would face higher taxes under the proposed Plan. More than one-third of all taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $250,000 would pay more in taxes.
Conversely, those who make over $500,000 stand to gain 64% of the overall benefit of the tax cut — despite representing less than 2% of all New Yorkers.
Based on the limited information available from President Trump’s now-public 2005 Federal tax return, his proposal to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax – or AMT – would have benefitted him by $31 million dollars that year. In contrast, under his tax plan, a single mother raising two kids on less than $50,000 a year would face a tax increase of $464. For the 23,000 millionaires that would benefit enormously under this proposal, there are 311,000 single parents raising children who would be worse off.
In order to make President Trump’s campaign tax proposal permanent, Congress and the White House would have to pay for the plan with cuts to federal spending – including aid to state and local governments. That could shred the City’s social safety net, further hurting low-income New Yorkers and decreasing quality of life in our City, even for those with marginally lower tax bills.
“What Trump promised during the campaign looks like a tax plan created for the Mar-a-Lago elites. It’s written by millionaires, for millionaires. President Trump wants to give his friends — and himself — a big tax cut, and force working New Yorkers to pay for it. It’s a plan that exacerbates wealth gaps at the expense of low-income, single parents. If President Trump moves forward with the tax plan he proposed during the campaign, I believe it will take New York backwards,” New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer said. “Embracing ‘trickle-down’ has never helped working families move up the economic ladder — it’s a sleight-of-hand that helps America’s wealthiest.”
The Comptroller’s Office analyzed tax records for 365,000 New York City households and simulated how they would be affected by President Trump’s tax plan as proposed during his campaign. Key findings include:
  • More than 95% of taxpayers with income between $500,000 and $1 million and almost 92% of those with income above $1 million would pay the same or less in taxes than they do today.
  • On average, millionaires’ tax bills would decrease by $113,000. Coupled with Trump’s proposed corporate tax reform, which would lower tax rates on business income, the average millionaire could see their taxes decrease by more than $200,000. By contrast, those who make less than $50,000 and receive a tax cut would see median savings of just $293.
  • Despite representing less than 2% of taxpayers, those with incomes over $500,000 would receive almost two-thirds of the total tax cut.
Median Tax Savings and Change in After-Tax Income
Adjusted Gross IncomeMedian Tax SavingsMedian Change in After-Tax Income
$0 to $25,000$1140.9%
$25,001 to $50,000$5662.0%
$50,001 to $100,000$1,2332.1%
$100,001 to $250,000$1,2511.0%
$250,001 to $500,000$3,7231.3%
$500,001 to $1 million$20,0464.3%
More than $1 million$76,4996.9%
  • Over one-third of those with incomes between $50,000 and $250,000 would pay more in taxes if this plan were enacted.
  • Nearly 40% of single parents would face an increased tax bill – including 47% of single parents who make $25,000 to $50,000 and 75% of those who make $50,000 to $100,000.
  • For taxpayers with incomes below $500,000, tax savings diminish – or taxes actually go up compared to current law – the more dependents one claims.
  • Overall 13% of all single filers would face an increased tax bill, and nearly half of those with incomes between $100,000 and $500,000 will pay more taxes.
Percent of Filers with Higher Tax Liability Under Trump Plan, by Filing Status
Adjusted Gross IncomeSingleHead of HouseholdMarriedAll Filers
$0 to $25,0001.6%12.0%0.0%3.6%
$25,001 to $50,00012.147.48.321.4
$50,001 to $100,00024.174.618.533.3
$100,001 to $250,00045.293.226.939.5
$250,001 to $500,00049.688.615.728.7
$500,001 to $1 million7.414.92.44.2
More than $1 million10.
The analysis of the potential tax plan comes as Federal funding for New York City is at risk from the new administration and Republicans in Congress. The President’s recently released “skinny budget” for Federal Fiscal Year 2018 proposes outright elimination of several federal aid programs that would result in at least $400 million in cuts to City programs, and unspecified potential cuts to billions of dollars in other federal aid.  Programs proposed for elimination include:
  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): The City has budgeted $225 million in CDBG funds in City FY 2018, which are used to fund housing code enforcement activities, including housing inspections, emergency heat and hot water repairs, lead-based paint mitigation and removal, senior centers and meals, family homeless shelter operations, vacant lot cleaning, city planning, and adult literacy programs, among others.
  • The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps some 770,000 New Yorkers keep their homes warm in winter ($23 million).
  • $108 million in Title II grants to DOE that help increase the number of highly-effective teachers and principals in schools.
  • Community Services Block Grants, which fund rental assistance, summer youth employment (SYEP), and adult literacy programs ($48 million).
In addition, the President’s budget would cut Homeland Security Grants that support NYPD counterterrorism, as well as funding to public housing and Section 8 rental vouchers by at least 13 percent, and would cut critically-needed public housing capital funding by fully two-thirds.
The President’s budget is silent on several critical aid programs, for example:
  • TANF: $1.8 billion in City FY 2018;
  • The Child Care and Development Block Grant, $523 million
  • The Social Services Block Grant, $206 million
  • Head Start, $131 million
  • The School lunch program, $302 million
To read Comptroller Stringer’s analysis of President Trump’s tax plan, click here.
To read Comptroller Stringer’s analysis of potential budget vulnerabilities under the Trump administration, click here.

Bronx Young Dems 2nd Annual Spring Gala

  Join the Bronx Young Democrats for an evening of dining, networking, and celebrating the contributions and achievements of remarkable past and present Bronx Young Dems! 

Engel Introduces the Empire State Equity Act to Increase Federal Medicaid Funding to New York State

    Congressman Eliot L. Engel, a top member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today introduced the Empire State Equity Act with Congressman Paul Tonko and Congressman Thomas Suozzi. This proposal would protect all New Yorkers from dangerous Medicaid cuts, such as those included in Trumpcare.

“Last week, we were faced with an irresponsible proposal from Congressional Republicans that would have left a huge hole in New York’s budget, under the guise of providing financial ‘relief’ to New Yorkers,” Congressman Engel said. “In reality, this proposal would have robbed billionof dollars from our constituents and restricted our state’s ability to run its Medicaid program. To deal with such draconian cuts, our state would have been forced to raise taxes, cut Medicaid benefits, limit Medicaid eligibility,  and lower provider rates – all of which would have harmed every New Yorker, including those it purported to protect.”

To safeguard New Yorkers against this kind of financial blow, Engel has introduced the Empire State Equity Act, which would increase federal Medicaid funding for New York State by billions of dollars.

“Thankfully, Trumpcare failed last week,” Engel said. “But my colleagues and I want to be at the ready in case the House GOP pushes another misguided Medicaid policy in the future. Medicaid is a lifeline for New Yorkers – especially for seniors, children and the disabled. This bill will make sure they are not harmed by guaranteeing, should our state again face a cut to its Medicaid budget, that our citizens are made whole.”
“While some members of Congress are content to play political games at the expense of their constituents, I'm proud to join members of the New York Congressional Delegation in support of this legislation, which provides much-needed property tax relief while protecting New York's healthcare system," Governor Cuomo said. "This measure doesn’t rob Peter to pay Paul, it provides real savings for New Yorkers. This state pays much more to the federal government than it gets in return, and I urge Congress to do the right thing by passing this bill and helping to level the playing field between New York and the rest of the nation once and for all."


  “Shameful. The GOP’s anti-woman agenda couldn’t be clearer and Vice President Pence has crowned himself its leader. Fresh off of yesterday’s meeting on women’s issues, Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote to allow the Senate to gut funding for women’s healthcare and Planned Parenthood. New York City stands with women and will safeguard the breast exams, cancer screenings, birth control and family planning they need, while proactively pushing back against the Republican anti-woman agenda.”

Assemblymember Michael Blake - Shark Tank Open Casting Call


On April 19th, Values Partnerships will be working with ABC’s Shark Tank and holding casting calls for diverse entrepreneurs in New York City. The casting calls will take place in Harlem and Brownsville; companies will be selected to pitch their businesses on a first come, first serve basis. I encourage everyone who owns a small business to attend and to share this event.

You can register using the links below:

Michael A. Blake
Assembly Member 79th District, South Bronx

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chase Bank located at 75 East 161st Street robbed This Afternoon.

  The above Chase Bank branch located at 75 East 161st Street was robbed just before 2 PM today. Police from the 44th Precinct aided by other police in the area caught up with the suspect who apparently passed a note to a teller, was given an unidentified amount of cash, and fled on foot. The unidentified robber was caught less than three blocks away from the bank on Jerome Avenue. 

Above - A letter is placed on the door of the bank saying it is closed, but not excatly why.
Below - Police capture the suspected bank robber less than three blocks away on Jerome Avenue across from Yankee Stadium.