Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. & Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda Hosts Free BBQ at St. Helena's Church

  State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, and 87th A.D. Female District Leader Julia Rodriguez as well as over 200 people were joined by State Senator Jeff Klein for a good old fashion barbecue in the parking lot of St. Helena's Church. There were Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, fresh roasted corn on the cob, water and juice, and a cotton candy machine to provide refreshments while everyone enjoyed the other activities. There was a huge Bouncy House, face painting, games of musical chairs, and some good old neighborhood getting to talk to each other. The speeches were very short while several nice items were raffled off during the day. 

Above and Below - Many people wanted their picture taken with Senator Diaz and Assemblyman Sepulveda.

Above - Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda introduces State Senator Jeff Klein.
Below - State Senator Jeff Klein lets everyone know that while State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. covers most of Assemblyman Sepulveda's district, that he Senator Klein also covers part of Assemblyman Sepulveda's district. That way Assemblyman Sepulveda can have two State Senators in Albany working for his disrict.

Above - State Senator Jeff Klein also said that Ruben Diaz Sr. is needed in the City Council. Senator Diaz Sr. has four opponents in the race and may need some divine help.
Below - Father David Powers of St. Helena's Church blesses Ruben Diaz Sr. in his quest to become the City Councilman for the 18th Council district.

Above - After talking to a few more voters.
Below - It was off to the RUBEN DIAZ Truck to spread the word.


Influential ISIS Recruiter Used Public Profile to Solicit Acts of Violence and Terrorism

  Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill today announced the indictment of TREVOR WILLIAM FORREST, a/k/a “SHAIKH ABDULLAH FAISAL,” a/k/a “SHAIKH FAISAL,” 53, for using his public profile and personal network to recruit and provide support to those seeking to commit acts of violence and terrorism against others. The defendant is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism and other charges.[1]
The indictment follows a yearlong investigation by the NYPD Intelligence Bureau and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s Counter Terrorism Program, which was created in June 2015 to identify and pursue investigative leads related to homegrown terror plots, extremist activities, and terror-financing.
“Shaikh Faisal has dedicated his life to terror recruitment,” said District Attorney Vance. “Through his lectures, website, and videos, he incites untold numbers of people around the world to take up the cause of jihad. As is alleged in this case, he provided material support to the Islamic State by facilitating the passage of a self-described ISIS sympathizer from New York to Syria. A charismatic leader, the defendant’s rhetoric has been cited by several convicted or suspected terrorists in New York, London, and beyond. As charged in today’s indictment, the defendant also served as the fulcrum of a recruitment effort that encouraged individuals to carry out acts of terrorism in the name of the Islamic State and connected them with other radical supporters who were willing—or already in the process—of doing the same in countries around the world.”
Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Shaikh Faisal has used his influence and direction to groom and inspire terrorists who have bombed trains, attempted to blow up airliners, and attack Americans here and abroad. His arrest for his efforts to recruit people for ISIS, a terrorist group that has plotted attacks against New York City, should bring an abrupt end to his global outreach in support of terror groups such as al-Qaida and ISIS.”
According to the indictment and documents filed in court, beginning in December 2016, FAISAL and an undercover NYPD officer based in New York began communicating remotely while the defendant was living in St. James, Jamaica. 
Since 2014, FAISAL, who was previously convicted in the U.K. of crimes related to inciting murder and using racially charged, hateful rhetoric in furtherance of terrorist ideologies, has publicly supported a terrorist organization known as the Islamic State, a/k/a “ISIS” or “ISIL”, and called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate through violent acts encouraged by the defendant’s online lectures and militant propaganda. 
During their conversations, which occurred over email, text messages, and video chats, FAISAL encouraged the undercover officer to view his lectures online and began sending this person propagandist reports from an official Islamic State news outlet. After their initial exchanges, the defendant offered to help the undercover officer leave the U.S. and travel to the Middle East to support foreign fighters abroad. FAISAL also offered to connect this individual with contacts, cautioning the undercover officer to be circumspect about explicit references to the plan, employ coded language, and use an encrypted chat tool while communicating with FAISAL and his associates. 
In a subsequent conversation, the undercover officer informed the defendant that they were certified to perform first aid and CPR, and reiterated the undercover officer’s desire to go overseas to provide aid to foreign fighters in the Middle East. FAISAL then suggested that the undercover officer enter into a marriage with someone in the Islamic State to enable travel abroad, and offered to broker the arrangement. Members of the NYPD Intelligence Bureau, along with the undercover officer, then traveled to the Middle East and, upon their arrival, the defendant provided the undercover officer with contact information for an individual based in Raqqa, Syria. In early 2017, that individual contacted the undercover officer and began collecting information about this person’s location and whereabouts in order to facilitate entry into the Islamic State. 
Prior Anti-Terror Prosecutions
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has successfully prosecuted terrorists under New York State’s anti-terror laws, which were enacted following the attacks on September 11, 2001. 
In March 2014, Jose Pimentel was sentenced to 16 years in state prison for constructing improvised explosive devices to detonate in Manhattan. Pimentel, who viewed FAISAL’s videos, participated in the defendant’s online chat forum, and cited the defendant as one of his primary inspirations, was convicted of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism. 
In another case, in March 2013, Ahmed Ferhani was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after the defendant pleaded guilty to terror-related charges, including Attempted Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, and Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, among other charges, for plotting to bomb synagogues in Manhattan. 
District Attorney Vance thanked the following individuals and agencies for their assistance with the investigation: the NYPD, and in particular, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller, Chief of Intelligence Thomas Galati, Assistant Commissioner of Intelligence Analysis Rebecca Weiner, Deputy Chief Paul Ciorra, Deputy Inspector Paul Mauro, Captain Joseph Seminara, Sergeant Kevin Thacke, Detective Sherif Moussa, Detective Mohammad, and Investigative Analyst Jacque Singer-Emery; the U.S. Department of Justice Office of International Affairs, Criminal Division, and in particular, Trial Attorney Brian Nicholson; the United States Marshall Service in particular, Henry Gerbeth; and the Jamaica Constabulatory Force.
[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.
Defendant Information:
St. James, Jamaica

  • Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class B violent felony, 1 count
  • Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree, a class C violent felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the First Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class C violent felony, 1 count
  • Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree as a Crime of Terrorism, a class D violent felony, 1 count
  • Attempted Soliciting or Providing Support for an Act of Terrorism in the Frist Degree, a class D violent felony, 1 count

Nine Alleged Loot Gang Members Variously Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Murder; 14 People Shot in Seven Incidents

Defendants Shot at Rivals in Fast Food Restaurant, at July 4 Party and in Drive-by Shootings; Innocent College Student Shot Dead; Bystander, in Separate Incident, Shot After Being Grabbed and Used as “Human Shield”

  Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill, today announced that nine alleged members of the Brownsville- based Loot Gang have been variously charged in a 69-count indictment with conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges in connection with seven separate shootings that left one innocent man dead and 13 people injured. Four of those shot were women, all innocent bystanders.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This indictment underscores our commitment to prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law the violent gang members responsible for most of the senseless shootings in certain pockets of Brooklyn. Our targeted approach to enhancing public safety focuses on the shooters and gang leaders who drive the violence. We simply will not tolerate such lawlessness and bloodshed in our communities, which put hardworking residents at risk.”
Commissioner O’Neill said, “This indictment illustrates how law enforcement is taking a strong stance against violent gang members who commit these heinous acts of senseless violence against innocent victims. We stand with our local law enforcement partners ready to identify, investigate and arrest those who are at the root of crime and collateral damage in our neighborhoods.”
The Acting District Attorney said that some of the defendants were arraigned yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Harrington and held without bail. The rest are expected to be arraigned this week. The defendants are variously charged with first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree gang assault, first-degree criminal use of a firearm, first- and second-degree attempted assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree assault, and first-degree reckless endangerment. The defendants face up to 25 years in prison on the top conspiracy count. (See defendant addendum.)
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the indictment, the defendants, who range in age from 15 to 25, are alleged to be members of the Loot Gang, which operates out of the New York City Housing Authority Ocean Hill Houses in the 73rd Precinct in Brownsville.
The defendants are variously charged in connection with 10 incidents, including seven shootings and one assault, between November 2015 and August 2016. Fourteen people were shot, including one fatally. One person was beaten. The defendants mostly targeted rival gangs, including, on multiple occasions, shooting at members of True Bosses Only (TBO) in Bushwick, which is TBO territory. In addition to Bushwick, the shootings occurred in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Greene, Canarsie, and Jamaica, Queens. In one instance an innocent 22-year-old man who was a student at John Jay College was shot and killed. It is alleged that all of the shootings were committed when Loot members were “spinning the block,” i.e., driving through rival territory looking for rival gang members and using one or more of four “community guns,” i.e., including a .357 Magnum, which the defendants referred to as “Becky,” and shared among themselves.
During the course of the conspiracy, the defendants allegedly agreed to commit crimes, including murder, assault and weapons possession, in order to maintain their dominance over their claimed geographic area, their social media dominance and superior positioning among budding rap artists.
Furthermore, Loot members allegedly used Facebook private messaging, as well as the calling feature available through Facebook messaging, along with text messages, phone calls, and FaceTime to communicate about getting guns and ammunition and committing acts of violence against rival gangs. Loot used public Facebook postings and music videos posted to YouTube and SoundCloud to antagonize rival gang members, boast about previous acts of violence against rival gangs and show Loot loyalty through hand signs, clothing and lyrics.
It is alleged that at least one shooting, on November 27, 2015, was in retaliation for the shooting death of Armani Hankins, a.k.a., Rocky, in Fort Greene, a month earlier. The victim was allegedly a friend of some of the Loot Gang members, and they released a rap music video entitled “Rockyworld” on YouTube which is a song about retaliation against a gang known as 900 for his death.
Among the acts of violence charged in the conspiracy are the following:
• On February 20, 2016, at approximately 12:25 a.m., it is alleged, that as part of the conspiracy which originated in Brooklyn, a person later identified as Dylan Cruz, dressed in all black with a red bandanna covering his face, ran into Rico Chimi restaurant located at 80-01 Atlantic Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, and shot at Tysheen Gott, an alleged rival gang member. Gott then grabbed a 33-year-old female patron and held her in front of him in an attempt to shield himself. He sustained five shots to both legs and his groin. The woman sustained three gunshot wounds to the left leg. Both survived. It is alleged that Quincy Vital drove Cruz to the restaurant and drove him away after the shooting.
• On July 4, 2016, there were allegedly four separate shootings involving Loot gang members, including early in the day, defendants Burston, Gilbert and Vital went “spinning” in TBO territory in a grey Mazda. They saw some TBO members. Vital grabbed a .357 magnum and handed it to Gilbert, who fired at the TBO rival. Hours later, at around 9 p.m., the TBO member who had been fired at shot and injured Corey Webb, an alleged Loot member. An hour later, Loot retaliated, returning to TBO territory and shooting a man in the abdomen. Finally, continuing to retaliate, at approximately 11:30 p.m., at 419 Chauncey Street, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Boss Gang territory, an ally of TBO, defendant Maurice Ellis allegedly fired on a crowd at an outdoor party, from a grey Mazda, striking seven people, including three women.
• On August 12, 2016, at about 12:40 a.m., at Wilson Avenue and Covert Street, in Bushwick, in TBO territory, it is alleged that Quincy Vital walked up to Terrell Henry, 22, a student at John Jay College, who had no gang affiliation, and shot him twice outside a bodega after Henry left a nearby party to buy an iced tea. He died of his injuries.

The investigation was conducted by New York City Police Department Detective Michael Algieri, of the Gun Violence Suppression Division’s Violence Reduction Task Force, with the assistance of Detectives Frank Murdocco, Nicholas Sofokles and Stephen Berardi, and Police Officer Jean Graf, also of the Violence Reduction Task Force, under the supervision of Sergeant Andrew Dunton and Lieutenant Richard Zacarese, and the overall supervision of Inspector Richard Green, Executive Officer, and Assistant Chief James Essig, Commanding Officer of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.
An indictment is merely an accusation and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.
1. Dylan Cruz, a.k.a., Banga, 25, of Queens.
2. Quincy Vital, a.k.a., SK, 19, of Queens.
3. David Burston, a.k.a., Spazz, 21, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
4. Earl Gilbert, a.k.a., Bloccz, 22, of Queens.
5. apprehended juvenile, 15, of East New York, Brooklyn.
6. Legrant Foster, a.k.a., Brisko, 22, of East New York, Brooklyn.
7. Maurice Ellis, a.k.a., Maur, 20, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
8. Josiah Morris, a.k.a., Siah, 19, of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
9. Terrard Wimms, a.k.a., Ty, 19, of East New York, Brooklyn.

The Commodores Perform At Loretto Park as Part of Senator Klein's Summer Symphony Series

  No Lionel Ritchie was not on hand for this performance of the Commodores since he had left the group to go solo many years ago. However the event area was filled to capacity with about 500 people who came to enjoy a night of listening to good music from the Commodores.

Above - Sharp Dude.
Below - Even Sharper Dude on the Guitar. 

Above - Not only did Senator Klein get to be on stage with Assembly members Mark Gjonaj and Michael Benedetto, to introduce the Commodores but.
Below - The three elected officials took a great picture with the Commodores.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Provisional Arrest In London Of Pakistani National Muhammad Asif Hafeez For Drug-Trafficking On A Massive Scale

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Raymond Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), today announced that MUHAMMAD ASIF HAFEEZ, a/k/a “Sultan,” was provisionally arrested in London pursuant to charges filed in the Southern District of New York, which were unsealed today, based on HAFEEZ’s participation in drug-trafficking activities involving large, and in some instances multi-ton, quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and methamphetamine precursor chemicals.  The United States plans to seek HAFEEZ’s extradition from the United Kingdom.

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As alleged, Muhammad Asif Hafeez, a long-time, priority target of the DEA known as the ‘Sultan,’ trafficked in drugs on a massive and global scale, working with transnational criminal organizations to manufacture and distribute enormous quantities of heroin and methamphetamine around the world and into the United States.  From Kenya and Mozambique to London and New York, Hafeez’s alleged drug operation saw no borders or boundaries – until now.  Thanks to the unwavering commitment of the DEA and the prosecutors in this Office, the ‘Sultan’ has been caught and will have to face American narcotics charges.”
Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan said:  “The arrest of Muhammad Asif Hafeez is another win in the fight against global criminals and one of DEA’s priority targets.  He has been allegedly linked to a transnational criminal organization responsible for manufacturing and distributing ton quantities of narcotics.  Removing criminals like Hafeez benefits not just the citizens of London, but communities worldwide.”
According to the allegations contained in S5 and S7 Superseding Indictments filed in Manhattan federal court charging HAFEEZ and certain of his co-conspirators:
From 2013 through the date of his provisional arrest, HAFEEZ conspired to import methamphetamine into the United States.  In connection with this conspiracy, HAFEEZ and certain of his co-conspirators sought to establish a methamphetamine-production facility in Mozambique.  But HAFEEZ and his co-conspirators were forced to abandon their plan after law enforcement authorities seized approximately 18 tons of ephedrine from a factory in Solapur, India, including several tons of ephedrine that HAFEEZ and his co-conspirators planned to use as a precursor chemical to manufacture methamphetamine in Mozambique.
HAFEEZ is also charged with participating in a conspiracy with co-defendants Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami to import heroin into the United States.  Baktash Akasha Abdalla was the leader of an organized crime family in Kenya (the “Akasha Organization”), which was responsible for the production and distribution of ton quantities of narcotics within Kenya and throughout Africa and maintained a network used to distribute narcotics for importation into the United States.  In October 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered a one-kilogram heroin sample, on behalf of HAFEEZ and the Akasha Organization, to confidential sources acting at the direction of the DEA in Nairobi.  In early November 2014, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla delivered 98 additional kilograms of heroin to the sources. 
In November 2014, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Hussein, and Goswami were provisionally arrested in Kenya.  They arrived in the District for prosecution based on the pending drug-trafficking charges in January 2017.
HAFEEZ, 58, a Pakistani national residing in, among other places, London, is charged with conspiring to import heroin into the United States; conspiring to import methamphetamine into the United States; and aiding and abetting the distribution of heroin, knowing and intending that it would be imported into the United States.  Each charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.  The potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge.
Mr. Kim praised the outstanding efforts of the Special Operations Division of the DEA, Bilateral Investigations Unit.  Mr. Kim also thanked the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, the London Metropolitan Police Service – Extradition Team, the DEA London Country Office, the DEA Dubai Country Office, the DEA Nairobi Country Office, the DEA Pretoria Country Office, the DEA New Delhi Country Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and London Attaché
The charges contained in the Superseding Indictments charging HAFEEZ, Baktash Akasha Abdalla, Ibrahim Akasha Abdalla, Gulam Hussein, and Vijaygiri Anandgiri Goswami are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Civil Suit And Criminal Charges Against Pharmacy Owner For Allegedly Defrauding Medicaid Of Millions

Hin T. Wong Allegedly Paid Patients Kickbacks And Billed Medicaid For HIV Medications Never Dispensed
Defendant Allegedly Used Money Stolen From Medicaid To Fund Personal Expenses, Including Travel And Furniture 
  Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman  announced a lawsuit and criminal charges against pharmacist Hin T. Wong, 49, of Manhattan, and NY Pharmacy, Inc. (“NY Pharmacy”) for allegedly defrauding the New York State Medicaid program out of millions of dollars. Wong, a licensed pharmacist and owner of NY Pharmacy, located at 131 Walker Street in Manhattan, allegedly paid undercover agents posing as Medicaid recipients kickbacks for HIV prescriptions and for referring other Medicaid recipients to bring their prescriptions to NY Pharmacy. Wong and NY Pharmacy also allegedly billed and were eventually paid over $60,0000 by Medicaid for refills on prescriptions submitted by undercover agents that NY Pharmacy either did not dispense or were predicated on the payment of a kickback.   Various state laws and Medicaid regulations prohibit the payment of kickbacks for the referral of patients or individual prescriptions. In addition, the  Attorney General also announced the filing of a civil asset forfeiture action seeking over $11 million in damages from Wong, NY Pharmacy and two other pharmacies owned by Wong that are now closed.
“Stealing from Medicaid in order to purchase fancy accessories and travel tickets is absolutely shameful,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will not allow Medicaid to serve as a personal piggy bank for criminals. Fraudsters who seek to rip-off this vital program that helps millions of New Yorkers will be held accountable.”
The on-going investigation into NY Pharmacy being conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”) revealed that on multiple occasions between July 2014 and August 2017, Wong allegedly paid kickbacks to undercover MFCU agents posing as patients to fill prescriptions, most of which involved medication to treat HIV, at NY Pharmacy or at two other pharmacies she owned, which are now closed.  The defendants thereafter allegedly submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicaid through NY Pharmacy for refills that were not dispensed by the pharmacy, a scheme known as “auto-refilling.”    
Simultaneous to today’s arrest, the Attorney General filed a civil asset forfeiture action against Wong, NY Pharmacy, and Wong’s two closed pharmacies in New York State Supreme Court, New York County seeking over $11 million in damages.  In papers filed in court today, the Attorney General alleges that Wong personally made millions from the scheme and used the proceeds, among other things, to make lavish credit card purchases of high-end retail items (including Prada and Vuitton), and to pay for travel expenses and expensive furniture. An investigational audit uncovered evidence indicating that Wong’s pharmacies did not purchase enough medication to support their substantial billings to Medicaid. Between January 1, 2014 and August 1, 2017, Wong’s pharmacies billed Medicaid and other insurers over $15 million for medications, but allegedly purchased only a fraction of the amount of drugs necessary to fill those prescriptions. As part of the civil action, the Attorney General also obtained a court order freezing the bank accounts held by the defendants to preserve money wrongfully obtained from Medicaid.  
Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office with the assistance of investigators from the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General executed a search warrant this morning at NY Pharmacy. Hin T. Wong and NY Pharmacy were arrested and charged by felony complaint filed in New York City Criminal Court, New York County with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony, and Medical Assistance Provider: Prohibited Practices (Kickbacks), a class E felony. Wong is expected to be arraigned later this afternoon. If convicted on the top count, Wong faces up to seven years in state prison. Wong may face additional criminal charges as the criminal investigation continues. 
The Attorney General thanks the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General under the leadership of Inspector General Dennis Rosen for its continued partnership and its assistance in this investigation.  The Attorney General also thanks Medicaid managed care insurers Amida Care and Metro Plus for referring the matter and for their cooperation throughout the investigation.
The charges against the defendants are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
MFCU’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Nefertiti Clarke with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Dominick DiGennaro and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. The audit investigation was conducted by Principal Auditor Investigator Cristina Marin and Auditor Investigator Megan Scott with the assistance of New York City Regional Deputy Chief Auditor Jonathan Romano and New York City Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith.


Some Defendants Had Left Rikers, But Are Still Accountable for Violence There; Gang Members Attacked Other Inmates and Two Correction Officers in Four Incidents, One Inmate/Victim Needed 100 Stitches for Numerous Wounds 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that 29 gang members have been indicted in attacks on fellow inmates and two New York City Department of Correction Officers in Rikers Island. 

   District Attorney Clark said, “Some of these defendants may have thought they were free and clear for crimes on Rikers Island because they had left there, but if you beat, slash or stab anyone while in jail we will arrest you, prosecute you and urge consecutive sentences if you’re convicted.

  “No one will escape justice for violence committed against inmates or staff. These defendants are charged with four separate incidents including disfiguring an inmate with multiple cuts, beating a Correction Officer who was protecting a slashed inmate, and attacking a rookie Correction Officer with a chair, fists and feet.

  “These indictments show that you will pay for such brutality.”

  Acting Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann said, “These arrests send a clear message: If you violently assault our hardworking staff or people in our custody, you will suffer certain consequences. Regardless of whether you have already been released, you will be prosecuted for any violent acts committed while in custody. We thank the Bronx D.A, the NYPD, the court, and our Correction Intelligence Bureau and Investigation Division for their work on these cases.”

  In a coordinated effort dubbed “Operation Zero Tolerance,” the defendants — members of the Bloods, Trinitarians, MS-13 and Folk Nation gangs — were brought before the court by the Bronx District Attorney’s Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau, the DOC Correction Intelligence Bureau and the NYPD Field Intelligence Investigation Unit. Nine of the defendants are currently incarcerated in state prison where they are serving sentences for various crimes, 13 defendants are currently in DOC custody, five defendants were arrested on felony warrants, one defendant is in federal custody and one defendant remains at large.

  District Attorney Clark said the defendants are variously charged in four indictments

  One of the indictments charges six men with first and second-degree Gang Assault, two counts of first-degree Assault, three counts of second-degree Assault, third-degree Assault, fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and second-degree Harassment. According to the investigation, on Oct. 20, 2016, the defendants attacked an inmate, causing multiple, deep lacerations to his face, arms and hands, requiring over 100 sutures

  Another indictment charges eight defendants with two counts of second-degree Assault and two counts of Obstructing Governmental Administration. According to the investigation, the defendants slashed an inmate in a housing area on Jan. 24, 2017.

  In the third indictment, six defendants are charged with three counts of second-degree Assault, third-degree Menacing, second-degree Obstructing Governmental Administration and fourth-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon. According to the investigation, on Feb. 20, 2017 the defendants covered a camera with peanut butter, put sheets over their heads and beat a rookie Correction Officer, striking him with a chair.

  In the fourth indictment, nine defendants are charged with four counts of second-degree Assault, two counts of third-degree Assault, two counts of second-degree Harassment, two counts of third-degree Menacing and second-degree Obstructing Governmental Administration. According to the investigation, on Nov. 17, 2016, the defendants slashed an inmate and proceeded to beat a Correction Officer when the officer got between the attackers and the victimized inmate.

  District Attorney Clark thanked the NYPD Field Intelligence Investigation Unit, DOC’s Correction Intelligence Bureau and Investigation Division, and Correction Investigators Anthony Scoma, Philip Lee, Anthony Marano, Epifanio Vasquez, Daniel Monaco, Timothy Fries, Omar Green, Cecil Phillips, Jeffrey Rios, Jason Gethers, Patricia Dockery, Victor Berrios, Wilson De los Santos, Scott Frank; Captain Johanna Banks, Deputy Warden Aisha Shannon, and Acting Deputy Commissioner Antonio Cruz; NYPD Detective Donniell Bright, Lieutenant Melody Robinson and Captain Wilson Ortiz of the Fusion Center (joint NYPD-DOC unit on Rikers Island) for their assistance in the investigations and the arrests. District Attorney Clark also thanked DA Squad Commanding Officer Lieutenant Javier Valentin, as well as Administrative Judge Robert Torres and Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary for facilitating the arraignments.

  An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Senator Klein, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo celebrate signage of bill aimed at reducing childhood obesity and diabetes

New law authorizes schools to screen students for obesity, instruct them and their parents on the importance of healthy eating habits

Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo celebrated Governor Cuomo signing their legislation into law to help stop childhood obesity and better educate students on healthy lifestyle choices.

The legislation, signed on August 21, allows for schools to include a diabetes risk analysis during health exams and allows for the creation of school district nutrition advisory committees.

“The long term risks associated with childhood obesity are undeniable. Our schools should be the first line of defense in ensuring that children understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. With the signage of this bill, we are taking preemptive action and giving schools the resources they need to educate students and their families so that we can curb this epidemic. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important bill,” said Senator Klein.

“Obesity and diabetes are at epidemic levels and our public health systems must pay full and immediate attention to the harm being caused.  We have over 10,000 children under 18 years of age with Type 2 Diabetes in the New York State Medicaid program.  Health experts now tell us that 50% of all Hispanics born after 2010 will develop this disease.  In New York State, we have 35% of our population classified as pre-diabetic due to obesity.  Every step we take to combat this problem is significant in saving lives and reducing health care costs that otherwise can bankrupt our health care system,” said Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force.

The new law will help educate students on the risks of childhood obesity by integrating health education in other classes, such as the importance of a healthy diet within the context of biology and chemistry.

School district nutrition advisory committees will be able to make recommendations on nutritional practices and on educational information for parents and guardians. In addition to obesity, information on other diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and respiratory diseases are included.


  On Saturday, August 26, 2017 (TOMORROW), Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host his annual “Back to School” Literacy & Health Fair at the Pablo Casals Middle School 181 on the Co-op City Education Campus, 800 Baychester Avenue, Bronx. The event will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The event is co-sponsored by Montefiore, 92.3 AMP Radio, Healthfirst, with additional school supplies and backpacks donated by MetroPCS and FreshDirect.
The event will be emceed by 92.3 AMP Radio personality and host Shoboy, and will feature music, games and giveaways. Additional entertainment will be provided by performers from the Ed Sullivan Fellows Program at New York University, Mind Builders and Rob and EC Salsero.
Saturday, August 26, 2017 (TOMORROW)
11:00 a.m.3:00 p.m.
Pablo Casals Middle School 181
800 Baychester Avenue
Co-op City Education Campus
The Bronx

International Family Day is this Saturday

AUGUST 26TH,2017



Signs legislation to increases protections for tenants, improve the health of all New Yorkers, cracks down on those who violate construction codes, and help keep seniors in their homes

  Mayor Bill de Blasio today held public hearings for, and signed, two pieces of legislation into law. Intro. 1676 raises the maximum qualifying income for real estate tax exemptions for low-income senior citizen and disabled homeowners; Intro. 1676 raises the maximum qualifying income for real estate tax exemptions for low-income senior citizen and disabled homeowners; Intro. 1677 continues a surcharge on wireless communications service in order to fund for emergency 911 services. The Mayor also held public hearings for 25 other bills, including a package of bills aimed at decreasing smoking, Intro.1131-B, 1471-A, 1532-A, 1544-B, 1547-A, 1585-A484-A, a package of bills cracking down on tenant harassment, Intro. 347-B 1530-A,1548-A, 1549-A, 1556-AIntro. 1133 and a package of bills championed by the Stand for Tenant Safety coalition, Intro. 918-A, 924-A, 926-A, 930-A, 931-B, 936-A, 938-A, 939-A, 940-A, 944-A, 1523-A.

Seniors and disabled individuals often struggle with a higher cost of living. Intro. 1676 will help alleviate that burden by allowing these New Yorkers to benefit from a greatly increased income eligibility threshold for property tax exemptions,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I congratulate Council Member Deutsch on his hard work that made this bill a reality and thank the Mayor for signing this very important bill. Public safety communications networks help keep our city safe by improving the speed and ease of communications between the NYPD, FDNY, and other city agencies. I want to thank Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for her dedication to making this legislation a reality and the Mayor for signing this bill into law.”

"Today's bill signing is an important step towards easing some of the financial burdens that plague many senior and disabled homeowners. Until now, the Senior Citizen/Disabled Homeowner Exemption only entitled individuals who earned less than $37,400 for a tax benefit. We raised that income limit by $20,000, and now tens of thousands of New Yorkers with an income of $58,400 or less will be able to qualify for a property tax break of up to 50% of their total bill. They will no longer need to make a choice between paying their tax bill and putting food on their table. This is a huge victory for New Yorkers, and I want to thank my colleagues State Senator Diane Savino and Assemblymember Brian Kavanaugh for their leadership on this effort on the state level. I also want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his collaboration and commitment to ensuring the passage of Intro 1676," said Council Member Chaim Deutsch.

Council Member King Sponsors Bill Providing Long Overdue Transparency & Oversight to DOC Inmate Transfer Protocol

  NYC Council Member Andy King introduced legislation (Int. 10849) today that would bring much needed oversight and transparency to current New York City Department of Correction (DOC) procedures concerning inmate transfers to facilities outside of the five boroughs.

Currently, DOC can transfer individuals to another State correction facility without providing timely notice to the actual individual or the individual’s attorney. This leaves little room for intervention if the transfer is unwanted. Existing procedure does not even afford incarcerated people the opportunity to notify relatives in an expedient fashion of a potential transfer.

Unwanted transfers can carry a whole set of consequences that restrict an incarcerated person’s involvement in their case, and access to their relatives and support network.

Specifically, this legislation would require DOC to:
• Institute an internal review procedure for each transfer request
• Notify an incarcerated person of the decision to seek their transfer
• Permit incarcerated people to notify up to three personal contacts by telephone immediately after receiving a notice of potential transfer
• Provide for notice to an incarcerated person’s attorney
• Maintain an electronic record of all transfer requests
“New Yorkers imprisoned in our city’s correction system deserve to be respected as people not chattel,” said Council Member Andy King. “With my legislation, we are ensuring that the process of transferring an inmate will be transparent and the incarcerated will be fully aware of their transfer applications. Nothing should be done in secrecy.”

“It’s as simple as this - our clients shouldn’t be moved overnight without ample notice provided to their attorney and family allowing a chance to intervene if necessary,” said Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society. “This has happened too often to many of our clients, impacting their cases and access to family. We applaud Council Member King for introducing this legislation and his leadership on crucial criminal justice issues.”  

Editor's Note:
  If this is not voted on by the city council by December 31st, this and all other proposed legislation not voted on by the council must be reintroduced when the new city council meets after January 1st 2018.


World-renowned baker and Bronx institution will also expand commercial facility in Port Morris to include retail component

  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Zaro’s Family Bakery and the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation announced today that the company would open a new retail location in Parkchester on Metropolitan Oval this coming fall.

Zaro’s closed their original Parkchester location on Hugh Grant Circle, which had originally opened in June 1959, at the end of 2015. In addition to returning to Parkchester, the company announced that it would open a retail location at their current Port Morris commercial baking facility in Spring 2018.

“Zaro’s has been a great neighbor to The Bronx ever since they first founded their business in our borough in 1927. Their return to Parkchester, as well as their expansion in Port Morris, shows that their commitment to The Bronx has not wavered one bit during the 90 years they have called our borough home,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I congratulate Zaro’s on their expansion, and wish them another successful 90 years right here in The Bronx.”

“The day our Parkchester store closed in December of 2016 was a sad day for the Zaro family. We felt we were an integral part of the community. There were customers there that day who told me they were there the day it opened in June of 1959 - almost 60 years ago. Needless to say we are overjoyed to be returning and look forward to opening this fall,” said Stuart Zaro, co-president of Zaro’s Family Bakery.

“I am thrilled to welcome Zaro’s back to Parkchester. They are bringing back not only fresh pastries and bagels to our community, but also additional job opportunities for our residents,” said Marlene Cintron, President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC). “We have reinvigorated The Bronx with multiple developments and investments; investments that include residential and commercial projects throughout The Bronx. The return of Zaro’s to Parkchester and the memories that the aroma of fresh baked goods creates are incalculable to our residents, young and old.

Zaro’s first opened in The Bronx on Edward L. Grant Highway in 1927, and has maintained a constant retail and commercial presence in the borough for 90 years. The company’s Port Morris facility opened in 1982, following previous commercial facilities in Hunts Point and on Kingsbridge Road. The company currently employs more than 125 individuals in The Bronx, and the two retail expansions are expected to generate an additional 40 jobs.

What Community Board is This, Was one member present or Absent, Why is he Listed Voting For Only One Item, and When Was the Meeting Adjourned?

I an not going after any member of this community board, but it is good that this is only a Draft copy one member sent me so the mistakes that I found in bold type can be fixed. 


Traffic and Transportation Meeting

July 10, 2017

Kingsbridge Heights Community Center

Kingsbridge Terrace

Committee Members Present:
Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter, Herb Young

Committee Members Absent:
Eric Bell, David Gellman, Herb Young

General Attendance:
1. DDC appeared in front of the committee to give a presentation on the West 229th Street step street reconstruction and to ask that the scope of work be amended to remove the temporary staircase from the project.
Ali Malik – DDC, Maria Centeno – DDC, Charlie Martinez – Resident engineer for project
DDC explained the project. Project is to completely reconstruct the West 229th Street step street. 18 month construction period. DDC has chosen contractor. Notice to commence project has gone out.
Contractor stated he can do project in 12 months as opposed to 18 months if temporary staircase is removed from the scope of work. Detour is one block to 230th Street. DDC will maintain for 18 months and then community must go to agencies for maintenance. DDC believes step street will be good for 10 years. The project will start in a couple of months. There will be a community contact liaison (CCL). CCL will gather information and continue to update board members. Ali Malik said 231st Street and Sedgwick is next street to be done. D. Padernacht made a motion to remove the temporary staircase from the scope of work as requested by DDC. Chair O’Brien secondedmotion.

In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter
Opposed: None
Abstain: Eric Dinowitz

2. Budget consultation discussion. L.Spalter stated that the reconstruction of the step street at Summit Place and Bailey Avenuebe added to budget requests.
D. Padernacht made a motion that the reconstruction of the step street at Summit Place and Bailey Avenue be added to the T & T Committee budget requests. L. Spalter Seconded.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter
Opposed: None
Abstain: None

3. Unenclosed sidewalk application by Blackstone Bar & Grill. Steve Catechis appeared for the applicant. The sidewalk café will have 21 seats in 9 tables. Hopefully by end of summer the café will be open. Will be serving food. Applying to SLA to serve liquor outside. Tables will go inside each night. Entire sidewalk utilized is 14 feet width by 8 1⁄2 feet from corner. From wall of Blackstone. Will be temporary fencing which is removable and taken in each night.
D. Padernacht made a motion that the application be approved. M. Donato seconded the motion.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter
Opposed: None
Abstain: None

4. SAPO Application –St. Jemiel Back to School Rally with full street closure on September 2, 2017 to be held on Webb Avenue between West 197th Street and Reservoir Avenue. Eda Clarke Ramsey spoke on behalf of the applicant. This event has been held previously in Fort Independence Park in 2013. Event will run from 10am-4pm. 9am set up. Breakdown at 4pm. Out by 5pm. Funded by ACS and DOB. Full day care camp. Beginning of school year should be a good start. Want to have a block party with school supplies. Rides and attractions for kids. Inviting families to attend to do health care screening. Invited Board of Ed as well to give information to the community.
Approval conditioned on permits from other agencies. Chair O’Brien made a motion that the application be approved. D. Padernacht seconded the motion.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter
Opposed: None
Abstain: None

5. Broadway Corridor.
D. Padernacht noted that during the testimony from the community on the DOT proposal for changes to the Broadway Corridor, a member of the community stated how crosswalks needed to be re-striped. D. Padernacht presented several pictures in a PowerPoint Presentation which indicated several intersections from the city line to Manhattan College Parkway which showed crosswalks had faint markings or no markings at all. D. Padernacht made a motion for a resolution to send DOT a letter requesting it re-stripe each intersection from the city line to Manhattan College Parkway.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter, Herb Young
Opposed: None
Abstain: None

R. Ginty said many streets were being re-milled in North Riverdale. DOT will be striping anyway. R. Ginty asked if the committee could send in letter to DOT in time for re-milling.

New business:
Elevator at 242nd Street. Can we get elevator at 242nd Street. R. Ginty stated that there is a drop down menu for budget codes that we can use in our budget consultations. D. Padernacht made a motion that the Traffic and transportation Committee include a request for an elevator at the West 242nd Street Subway Station in the committee budget requests. S. Alexander seconded the motion.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander, Eric Dinowitz, Margaret Donato, Diomarys Escano, Myra Joyce, Joseph O’Brien, Dan Padernacht, Georgia Santiago, Laura Spalter
Opposed: None
Abstain: None
Padernacht made motion. Sylvia Alexander seconded.
Georgia Santiago stated that someone was hit on West 230th Street today. We don’t always recognize all of the needs of the community. G. Santiago asked if we could have one police officer at that
intersection since it was so dangerous.
Assemblyman Dinowitz spoke about intersection. Said a capital project would be the best thing for the area.
B. Press spoke about 640 West 238th Street construction and said the building was almost complete. However, street is completely ripped up. B. Press would like developer to fix street completely. R. Ginty said it will probably be the last thing developer does before opening building.

David Bush asked for a 4 way stop sign on West 235th Street Oxford Avenue. Assemblyman Dinowitz said his office put in request. J. Stephenson said Council Member Cohen put in a request.
Assemblyman Dinowitz said the Bronx Park Commissioner and 50th Precinct Deputy Inspector and other officials were in his office to come up with solutions for the double parking of buses at Van
Cortlandt Park on Broadway during track meets. They want buses to park on Major Deegan service road by East 233rd street and McLean Avenue at the city line. Buses will go there and we will need
enforcement by PD and Parks Department. Buses must know about this and agencies must enforce. Assemblyman Dinowitz stated that having a dedicated place to go will be very helpful.

Meeting adjourned.