Saturday, December 7, 2019

Leaders Of Latin Kings Set Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Racketeering, Narcotics, And Firearms Offenses

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), Dermot F. Shea, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), John B. Devito, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Geraldine Hart, the Commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department (“SCPD”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging 17 defendants with committing various racketeering, narcotics, and firearms offenses in Manhattan and the Bronx.  Ten of the defendants were arrested today and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in Manhattan federal court.  Three of the defendants are already in state custody and will be presented at a later date.  Four defendants remain at large.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:   “As alleged in the indictment, the defendants in this case include high-ranking members of a violent set of the Latin Kings gang.  They are alleged to have engaged in acts of violence, robberies, narcotics trafficking, and the use of firearms.  Thanks to the efforts of our partners at the FBI, NYPD, ATF, and SCPD, the defendants now face federal charges for these very serious crimes.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Rounding up these alleged gang members is more than just removing violent criminals from the streets they believe they control.  They’re pushing and selling drugs that are killing thousands of people each year in our country, adding to the epidemic tearing apart families and communities.  Our work today, and the work we will continue to do tomorrow on our FBI Metro Safe Streets Gang Task Force, is vital to combating the spread of these drugs, and crucial to saving people’s lives.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito said:  “The defendants are alleged to have conspired on, threatened and committed numerous acts of violence to influence and control their members and enforce the territorial boundaries of their illegal narcotics operations.  Thankfully through the diligent efforts of our law enforcement partners this operation has been disrupted and dismantled.  We will stand with all of our local, state and federal partners to see that these violent gangs are eradicated from our communities.  I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
SCPD Commissioner Geraldine Hart said:  “More than a dozen alleged violent gang members are now off the streets thanks to the collaborative efforts with our law enforcement partners.  As alleged, these criminals have zero consideration for the well-being of anyone, inside or outside their gang, distributing narcotics and possessing firearms in an attempt to instill fear in our communities.  We will continue to work together with our partner agencies to rid our communities of violent street gangs.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said: "Targeting and dismantling gangs and crews, and preventing the violence so often associated with their illegal activities, continues to be among the highest priorities for the NYPD. We continue to relentlessly with our law enforcement partners to identify, arrest, and build the strongest possible cases to hold to account anyone who involves themselves in such behavior."
As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and statements made in court[1]:
CARMELO VELEZ, a/k/a “Jugg,” CHRISTOPHER RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a “Taz,” LUIS SEPULVEDA, a/k/a “Red,” ANGEL LOPEZ, a/k/a “SB,” CHRISTOPHER LUM, a/k/a “Un,” EMMANUEL BONAFE, a/k/a “Eazy,” CHRISTOPHER NELSON, a/k/a “Hype,” JOSIAH VELAZQUEZ, a/k/a “Siah,” ALBERTO BORGES, a/k/a “AB,” JUAN HERNANDEZ, a/k/a “Goldo,” HEINNER SOLIS, a/k/a “Juelz,” EZEQUIEL OSPINA, a/k/a “Izzy,” RAIMUNDO NIEVES, a/k/a “Dobule-R,” DEESHUNTEE STEVENS, a/k/a “Kay,” HECTOR BONAPARTE, a/k/a “June,” and MICHAEL GONZALEZ, a/k/a “Wisdom,” are members and associates of a racketeering enterprise known as the “Black Mob,” which operates in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island.  The Black Mob is a set, or “tribe,” of the nationwide Latin Kings gang.  In order to enrich the enterprise, protect and expand its criminal operations, enforce discipline among its members, and retaliate against members of rival gangs, members and associates of the Black Mob committed, conspired, attempted, and threatened to commit acts of violence; distributed and possessed with intent to distribute narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, and crack; committed robberies; and obtained, possessed, and used firearms.
VELEZ, 30, RODRIGUEZ, 34, SEPULVEDA, 27, LOPEZ, 34, LUM, 28, BONAFE, 27, NELSON, 28. VELAZQUEZ, 22, BORGES, 29, JUAN HERNANDEZ, 31, JESUS HERNANDEZ, 26, SOLIS, 25, and OSPINA, 23, are each charged with one count of racketeering conspiracy, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison. 
Those 13 defendants, as well as NIEVES, 46, STEVENS, 46, BONAPARTE, 37, and GONZALEZ, 33, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute: (i) one kilogram and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of heroin, (ii) 400 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, (iii) 280 grams and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of crack cocaine, (iv) five kilograms and more of mixtures and substances containing a detectable amount of cocaine, (v) oxycodone, (vi) alprazolam, and (vii) marijuana, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. 
All of the defendants except GONZALEZ are also each charged with possessing, carrying, and using firearms in relation to, and in furtherance of, the narcotics conspiracy, which carries a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI, NYPD, ATF, and SCPD.  Mr. Berman also thanked the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for its assistance in the case.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.       
 [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described herein should be treated as an allegation.

Bronx Man Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 22 Years In Prison For Attempting To Provide Material Support To ISIS

Sajmir Alimehmeti Amassed Combat Knives and ISIS Propaganda in His Apartment, Facilitated Equipment Purchases by an Individual He Believed Was Traveling to Syria to Fight with ISIS, and Conspired with Chelsea Bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi to Distribute Terrori

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John C. Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today that SAJMIR ALIMEHMETI, a/k/a “Abdul Qawii,” was sentenced to 22 years in prison based on convictions for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (“ISIS”), and for attempting to fraudulently procure a U.S. passport to facilitate an act of international terrorism.  ALIMEHMETI pled guilty on February 21, 2018, before U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, who imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Bronx resident Sajmir Alimehmeti took the position of an adversary to the United States and its values.  Alimehmeti’s contempt for the U.S. led him to travel overseas to support ISIS’s terror campaign, eventually purchasing military-type weapons and assisting another to get travel documents, equipment, and encryption technology to fight with ISIS in Syria.  Even after his incarceration, Alimemehti continued his supportive conduct for ISIS by working with convicted Chelsea bomber Ahmad Khan Rahimi, to distribute ISIS propaganda in prison.  I sincerely commend our law enforcement partners for their commitment to detecting and apprehending those who support the disruption of American life through brazen acts of terrorism.” 
Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said:  “Alimehmeti was determined to support ISIS.  He attempted to travel overseas to support the terrorist group, he assisted another person he believed to be a fellow ISIS supporter to prepare to purportedly travel to join ISIS, he lied on his passport application so he could get a clean passport to ease his efforts to travel overseas to join ISIS, and while in pretrial detention, he conspired with another terrorist to spread ISIS propaganda.  With today’s sentence, he is being held accountable for his crimes.  The National Security Division will continue to work with our partners to identify, disrupt and hold accountable those who seek to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations.  I want to thank the agents, analysts, and prosecutors who are responsible for this case.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Sajmir Alimehmeti was so committed to supporting and furthering the ISIS agenda, that when his multiple attempts to travel overseas raised enough red flags to deny him entry, he turned to assisting someone he thought shared his same objective.  Unbeknownst to him, however, that someone was an undercover employee.  Today’s sentencing is a welcome end to this case, and another successful outcome for the many agents, detectives, and analysts on FBI’s JTTF in New York.  Their work and our extensive partnerships are essential to keeping New York City and the nation safe.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea said:  “Sajmir Alimehmeti betrayed the country he called home by trying to travel overseas to join ISIS, a brutal terrorist group at war with the United States.  When that failed, Alimehmeti deliberately assisted another individual he believed was traveling to join ISIS.  At the same time, the investigation revealed he was acquiring tactical knives, handcuffs and equipment indicative of efforts to prepare for an attack here in New York City.  This case is another example of the relentless efforts of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the NYPD’s Intelligence Bureau to prevent terrorism before it occurs.”
As reflected in the criminal Complaint, Superseding Indictment, court filings, and statements during court proceedings:
In October 2014, ALIMEHMETI attempted to enter the United Kingdom but was denied entry after U.K. authorities found camouflage clothing and nunchucks in his luggage.  Approximately two months later, in December 2014, ALIMEHMETI was again denied entry into the United Kingdom, this time after U.K. authorities found that his cellphone contained images of ISIS flags.  Further forensic examination of the contents of the cellphone and ALIMEHMETI’s laptop computer showed numerous indicia of ALIMEHMETI’s support for ISIS, including a photograph of ALIMEHMETI with an ISIS flag in the background, images of ISIS fighters in the Middle East, a photograph of ALIMEHMETI making a gesture of support for ISIS, various files relating to jihad and martyrdom, and an online messaging exchange in which ALIMEHMETI attempted to assist another ISIS supporter to travel to Syria to join ISIS by providing contact information for an ISIS affiliate who could facilitate the travel.
After returning to the United States, ALIMEHMETI continued to support ISIS.  Among other things, ALIMEHMETI displayed an ISIS flag in his apartment in the Bronx and, in the course of recorded meetings with undercover law enforcement employees, ALIMEHMETI played multiple pro-ISIS propaganda videos on his computer and his cellphone, including videos of ISIS fighters decapitating prisoners, and ALIMEHMETI also indicated that he was interested in radicalizing other individuals in the Bronx area.  ALIMEHMETI also made repeated purchases of combat knives and other military-type equipment, including masks, handcuffs, a pocket chainsaw, a wire pocket saw, and a rucksack designed for tactical combat.  ALIMEHMETI stockpiled such equipment at his apartment in the Bronx.
In October 2015, ALIMEHMETI applied for a U.S. passport, falsely claiming in the application that his previous passport had been lost.  ALIMEHMETI later told an undercover law enforcement employee that his prior passport had not been lost and, instead, that he was applying for a new passport because he believed the rejection stamps in his existing passport resulting from his attempted entries into the United Kingdom would make it difficult to travel to ISIS territory. 
In May 2016, ALIMEHMETI attempted to assist an individual who was purportedly traveling from New York to Syria to train and fight with ISIS but who was actually an undercover law enforcement employee (the “UC”).  On May 17, 2016, ALIMEHMETI met with the UC in Manhattan.  ALIMEHMETI helped the UC locate stores so the UC could purchase supplies to use while traveling to, and fighting with, ISIS, including a cellphone, boots, a compass, a bag, and a flashlight, among other items.  ALIMEHMETI then brought the UC to a hotel in Queens so the UC could purportedly meet with an individual who was preparing travel documents that the UC would use to travel to Syria to join ISIS.  ALIMEHMETI gave the UC a piece of paper with his name and contact information, and asked the UC to provide that information to the purported document facilitator.  ALIMEHETI explained that he wanted to travel to Syria and join ISIS, stating “I’m ready to . . . go with you man . . . you know I would.  I’m done with this place.”  After leaving the hotel in Queens, ALIMEHETI brought the UC to JFK Airport, via public transportation, so the UC could begin the purported journey to ISIS.
Following ALIMEHMETI’s arrest on the charges in this case in May 2016, the FBI executed a search of ALIMEHMETI’s Bronx apartment pursuant to a judicially authorized search warrant.  The FBI found in the apartment, among other things, an ISIS flag that was displayed on a wall in the apartment.
In 2017, while ALIMEHMETI was incarcerated and awaiting trial, law enforcement learned that ALIMEHMETI had worked with Ahmad Khan Rahimi inside the prison to aggregate and distribute terrorist propaganda that was part of the evidence in their respective cases and produced to them during discovery.  Rahimi was sentenced to life in prison, in February 2018, for planting a series of bombs in New York and New Jersey in September 2016.  Law enforcement also intercepted a letter that ALIMHEMETI sent to Rahimi, after their propaganda-distribution scheme inside the jail was thwarted, in which ALIMEHMETI referred to himself as the “ISIS balla,” indicated that he had destroyed evidence of their propaganda distribution efforts, and expressed hope that both convicted terrorists would ultimately achieve so-called martyrdom through another act of terrorism.
In addition to the prison term, ALIMEHMETI, 26, of the Bronx, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release. 
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the NYPD, and over 50 other federal, state and local agencies; the NYPD’s Intelligence Division; the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs; the Albania State Police; and the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command of London, United Kingdom.  Mr. Berman also thanked the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

Manhattan Doctor Convicted In Manhattan Federal Court Of Accepting Bribes And Kickbacks From A Pharmaceutical Company In Exchange For Prescribing Fentanyl Drug

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the conviction in Manhattan federal court of GORDON FREEDMAN for participating in a scheme to receive bribes and kickbacks in the form of fees for sham educational programs (“Speaker Programs”) from Insys Therapeutics, Inc. (“Insys”) in exchange for prescribing millions of dollars’ worth of Subsys, a potent fentanyl-based spray manufactured by Insys, among other offenses.  The jury convicted FREEDMAN today on three counts, following a three-week trial before the U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman stated:  “Today’s conviction, in addition to the prior guilty pleas in this case of four other prominent Manhattan doctors, underscores that this Office will hold any physician accountable when that physician’s medical judgment is compromised by the corrupting influence of money.  As a jury of his peers has now found, Dr. Gordon Freedman sold out his patients by prescribing a powerful and dangerous fentanyl opioid in exchange for bribes from the pharmaceutical company that manufactured that drug.”
As reflected in the Indictment, documents previously filed in the case, and evidence introduced at trial:
Insys manufactured Subsys, a powerful painkiller approximately 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.  The FDA approved Subsys only for the management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients.  Prescriptions of Subsys typically cost thousands of dollars each month, and Medicare and Medicaid, as well as commercial insurers, reimbursed prescriptions written by FREEDMAN.
In or about August 2012, Insys launched a “Speakers Bureau,” purportedly aimed at educating practitioners about Subsys.  In reality, however, Insys used its Speakers Bureau to induce doctors to prescribe large volumes of Subsys by paying them Speaker Program fees.  At each Speaker Program, speakers were supposed to conduct a slide presentation for other health care practitioners regarding Subsys.  However, many of the Speaker Programs led by the speakers paid by Insys were predominantly social affairs where no educational presentation about Subsys occurred.  Attendance sign-in sheets for the Speaker Programs were frequently forged by adding the names and signatures of health care practitioners who had not actually been present.
FREEDMAN was a doctor certified in pain management and anesthesiology who owned a private pain management office on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  FREEDMAN, who was also an Associate Clinical Professor at a large hospital in Manhattan (“Hospital-1”), received approximately $308,600 in Speaker Program fees from Insys in exchange for prescribing large volumes of Subsys. 
In March 2013, a Regional Sales Manager for Insys sent an email to FREEDMAN informing him that he would receive more Speaker Programs in the coming months because Insys wanted prescriptions of Subsys to increase, and urging FREEDMAN to put more patients on Subsys.  FREEDMAN responded, in part, “Got it,” and significantly increased his Subsys prescriptions in the following months, during which he received approximately $33,600 in Speaker Program fees. 
In 2014, FREEDMAN’s prescriptions of Subsys rose even further, and he was the fourth-highest prescriber of Subsys nationally in the final quarter of 2014, accounting for approximately $1,132,287 in overall net sales of Subsys in that quarter alone.  During 2014, FREEDMAN was the highest-paid Insys Speaker in the nation, receiving approximately $143,000. 
FREEDMAN, 59, who resides in Mount Kisco, New York, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison, one count of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  FREEDMAN is scheduled to appear for sentencing before Judge Wood on March 19, 2020.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of the FBI, and thanked HHS OIG and the New York City Police Department for their participation in the investigation. 

Attorney General James Wins State Vaccination Lawsuit

 New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after a lawsuit against the state’s vaccination laws was dismissed in the case of F.F. on behalf of her minor children, et al. v State of New York, et al.:
“Vaccines ensure the health and safety of our children, our families, and our communities. This law will help protect New Yorkers from experiencing any additional public health crises, which is why we vigorously defended it. We are pleased with the decision by the court.”
In June, the New York State legislature passed and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a bill that would end religious exemptions for immunizations, citing a growing measles outbreak in Rockland County and the growing threat of a public health emergency.


Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Second-Degree Murder 

 Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for the unprovoked, fatal beating of a man inside an apartment building in Melrose. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “In a senseless, horrific act, the defendant beat a Bronx father of six to death. Our community lost a hard-working man who was providing for his family while taking college classes.” 

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Junal Jordan, 43, was sentenced today by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Martin Marcus to 18 years to life in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree Murder on November 13, 2019, as his trial commenced.

 According to the investigation, on February 2, 2017, Jordan, who was on parole for Robbery, was visiting his sister in a building at 601 East 156 Street. Jordan was shadowboxing near the building’s elevator when he came upon Bakary Darboe, 46, who lived in the building and was on his way to a college class. The defendant grabbed the victim, and repeatedly punched him. Jordan put him in a chokehold and hit him in the head multiple times with a cell phone. The incident was captured on surveillance video.

 The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy report showed he died of blunt impact injuries to the head and compression of the neck.

 District Attorney Clark thanked Detective Jose Santiago, of Joint Terrorism Task Force, formerly of the 40th Precinct, and Detective Patrick Flatley of Bronx Homicide for their assistance in the investigation


Jury Found Defendant Guilty of Manslaughter and Other Charges

 Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a Bronx man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for Manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of a 69-year-old woman. The defendant was also sentenced to five years in prison for Assault and three and a half years to seven years in prison for Reckless Endangerment. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “The defendant carried out a series of appalling acts; first by viciously stabbing his former landlady in her home’s basement. He then returned to the scene of the crime and attempted to conceal his actions by trying to blow up the victim’s home. About a week after the murder, he assaulted a NYPD Police Officer who had stopped him on the street.” 

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Nakia Bent, 39, who at the time of the incident had been recently released from jail after serving time for assaulting his ex-wife, was sentenced to prison today by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Steven Barrett. Bent was sentenced to 25 years in prison for first-degree Manslaughter, three and a half years to seven years in prison for first-degree Reckless Endangerment, and five years for second-degree Assault, to be served consecutively. A jury found the defendant guilty of the charges on November 7, 2019. 

 According to the investigation, on or about and between October 8-9, 2016 the defendant went to 886 Crawford Avenue, where his ex-wife lived on the first floor. The defendant entered through the basement apartment where Lilawate Ramsaran, 69, lived alone. He stabbed Ramsaran 19 times, including 14 times in the back, causing her death. On October 9, 2016, he returned to the victim’s home, disconnected the stove’s gas line and lit candles inside the apartment. The defendant’s ex-wife called 911 after smelling gas and FDNY Firemen found Ramsaran. She was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the FDNY, the house was dangerously close to exploding when Firemen arrived, endangering the lives of the defendant’s ex-wife, her 14-yearold son and another individual.

 On October 17, 2016, the defendant assaulted a NYPD Police Officer of the 47th Precinct after the cop stopped him on the street. Bent bit the Officer on his arm, breaking the skin and causing him to seek medical attention at a hospital.

 Bent was arrested for Ramsaran’s death on April 11, 2017, after his DNA was identified from the crime scene.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Detective Robert Regnier of the 47th Precinct and retired Detective Matthew McCrosson of Bronx Homicide for their assistance in the investigation

Comptroller Stringer: Cost of Incarceration per Person in New York City Skyrockets to All-Time High

Annual cost of incarceration grows to $337,524 a person per year – or $925 each day
DOC budget declined by 4 percent but costs outside DOC’s budget continue to grow
Average daily jail population fell by 41 percent over past decade – but violent infractions increased by 79 percent
  The cost of incarceration per person in New York City ballooned to an all-time high in FY 2019, according to a new analysis of the Department of Correction released today by New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. The City now spends $337,524 to incarcerate one person for a full year, or $925 per day – an 85 percent increase since 2014. At the same time, while the Department of Correction’s budget declined for the first time in recent history, additional jail-related expenses continue to grow. And, continuing a disturbing trend identified in previous analyses by the Comptroller’s Office, violent incidents continue to rise disproportionately to the declining incarcerated population. As the City moves to construct four new jail facilities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens and implement sweeping changes to bail, discovery and speedy trial laws, these findings underscore the continued financial and personal costs of the current system.
“It’s time to fundamentally transform our criminal justice system – and key to that, is an efficient, thoughtful, and modern corrections system. Although our jail system has shrunk, this analysis shows that the system has not changed, as spending, violence, and the use of force continue to rise disproportionately. For long-term savings—and the long-term good of our City—we must start seeing better all-around outcomes as our jail population declines,” said New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer. “Our vastly reduced jail population should be yielding significant savings that we can reinvest in communities and strategies that keep our jail population as small as possible and turn the page from decades of mass incarceration. We have far more work to do.”
This analysis is the Comptroller’s 6th annual update of spending and performance trends of the New York City Department of Correction (DOC). The analysis uses budget data, claims against the City, reports of violence in City jails, and personnel data to analyze the DOC’s operations.
The Comptroller’s Office has also included the DOC on its Agency Watch List for fiscal years 2019 and 2020.
According to the analysis:
The full annual cost of incarceration grew to $337,524 per person in FY 2019
  • Including all costs related to the City’s jail facilities, the City spends $337,524 to incarcerate one person for a full year, the equivalent of $925 per person per day.
  • Since FY 2014, the full cost of incarceration has increased by 85 percent.
DOC’s budget declined in FY 2019
  • The DOC’s budget declined for the first time in recent history, falling $60 million to about $1.3 billion in FY 2019, a contraction of about 4 percent
  • The budget contraction followed the closure of the George Motchan Detention Center in June 2018 and the removal of all 16- and 17-year olds to the Horizon Juvenile Detention Center in October 2018, as required under the state Raise the Age law.
  • While the Horizon Center is operated by the Administration for Children’s Services, the DOC provided temporary staffing for the center in FY 2019. For purposes of comparability with previous analyses, DOC costs related to staffing the youth center have been excluded.
Additional costs outside the DOC’s budget continue to grow
  • In FY 2019, the City funded an additional $1.3 billion in jail-related expenses outside the DOC budget, including employee fringe benefits and pension contributions and correctional health care services.
  • Jail-related expenses outside the DOC budget are estimated to have grown by about 2 percent in FY 2019.
Steep decline in the number of incarcerated persons
  • The average daily jail population fell by 11 percent from 8,896 in FY 2018 to 7,938 in FY 2019. Over the last 10 years, the average population has contracted by 41 percent.
  • Further reductions in the jail population are expected when State-adopted reforms to bail, discovery, and speedy trial laws take effect on January 1, 2020.
The ratio of correction officers to incarcerated persons continued to rise
  • At the end of FY 2019, the DOC employed 9,931 correction officers, excluding 258 officers assigned to the Horizon Juvenile Detention Center.
  • The number of officers has exceeded the average daily population since FY 2016 and reached a ratio of 1.25 officers for every incarcerated person in FY 2019.
  • DOC overtime spending fell for the third consecutive year in FY 2019 to $177 million after reaching a high of $275 million in FY 2016.
Violent incidents keep rising disproportionately
  • In FY 2019, the rate of fight and assault infractions per incarcerated person rose by 12 percent, while the rate of assaults on staff rose by 37 percent and the rate of use of force rose by 42 percent.
  • As the average daily jail population fell by 41 percent over the past decade, the raw number of fight and assault infractions in jail went up by 79 percent and the raw number of incidents and allegations of correction officer use of force on incarcerated individuals more than tripled.
  • The number of tort claims filed for personal injury at a correctional facility has nearly quadrupled from 1,061 in FY 2008 to 3,894 in FY 2018.
  • While the incarcerated population has decreased, the share of the population with a disproportionate propensity to violence has increased. From FY 2014 to FY 2019, the share of the jail population designated as a “security risk” increased from 8.2 percent to 16.4 percent, as the share of the population with a mental health diagnosis grew from 38 percent to 45 percent.

Chanukah Party And Concert at The Young Israel Of Pelham Parkway

Team Ritchie - HUGE news:

Hey there: We have some BIG news to share: Ritchie’s campaign to represent New York’s 15th Congressional District has been endorsed by BOLD PAC, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ political action committee!

Founded in the late 1970s, its membership includes Hispanic representatives from all across the country who are committed to advocating for Hispanics and Latinos in the US and Puerto Rico. It means the world to Ritchie to have an organization so dedicated to moving our communities forward on our side.
At a time when Donald Trump’s administration has viciously targeted immigrants with nasty rhetoric and cruel policies, we need leaders like Ritchie in Washington to fight back. He’ll stand up to a corrupt president and hold this administration accountable for seditious immigration policies that make us less safe, less secure, and less free.

News from Congressman Eliot Engel

Engel Signs on as Original Cosponsor of the Protect SNAP Act

Legislation introduced to fight new Trump Admin. rule that cuts SNAP benefits for 700k people

 Congressman Eliot Engel has signed on as an original cosponsor of the Protect SNAP Act, legislation introduced today which would restore and protect the current regulations surrounding able-bodied SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients, as well as prevent the use of funds to carry out a new Trump Administration rule that would drastically cut SNAP eligibility.

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Earlier this week, the Trump Administration announced a new rule that would create work requirements for SNAP recipients. The move would result in nearly 700,000 people losing SNAP benefits.

As I said when this move was announced, slashing SNAP benefits for nearly 700,000 people during the holiday season is beyond heartless,” Engel stated. “Time and again the Trump Administration has demonstrated its willingness to hurt the most vulnerable among us. Whether its trying to take away health care or trying to take away food, they don’t care how many people are made to needlessly suffer. House Democrats are once again fighting back against this cruel Administration with the introduction of the Protect SNAP Act, which will undo this new rule and allow families who need it most to continue putting food on their tables. President Trump may be fine allowing people to starve, but I’m not. I’m proud to join this bill as original cosponsor.”

The Protect SNAP Act was authored by Reps. Barbara Lee and Rosa L. DeLauro.

Engel Statement on Passage of H.R.4 the Voting Rights Advancement Act

  Congressman Eliot L. Engel issued the following statement on today’s House passage of H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, legislation he was an original cosponsor of that would protect minority groups in states that have recently worked to suppress voting rights:

“The right to vote is sacred and must not be infringed upon. Sadly, our nation has a long and even bloody history of racial voter suppression, but lately that suppression has been super charged by the terrible Shelby County v. Holder decision. That case gutted key protections of the Voting Rights Act and since that decision in 2013, states have implemented measures to prevent certain groups from accessing the ballot through voter ID laws, closing polling locations, and even purging voter rolls.

“We can’t stand still and allow these conservative state legislatures to destroy our democracy. I am proud to help pass H.R. 4 today, as it represents a major step toward ensuring every citizen has the ability to vote. The bill develops a process for states that have made discriminatory changes in their election procedures, forcing them to receive preclearance with the Department of Justice before the changes take effect. It would undoubtedly curtail and prevent the spread of discriminatory voting practices used in many states, but we can do even more to ensure fair and free elections.

“I have introduced a Constitutional Amendment to overhaul our elections, H.J.Res. 9. My amendment takes a comprehensive approach to fixing our voting system, by abolishing the electoral college, making election day a national holiday, automatically registering voters at 18-years-old, and outlawing political gerrymandering. It’s time we leveled the playing field for all Americans when it comes to the right to vote.”

Friday, December 6, 2019

Borough President Diaz Urges Bronx Residents to Apply to Their Local Community Board

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is once again inviting Bronx residents to make a difference in their community by applying to join their local Community Board. The Office of The Bronx Borough President will be accepting applications for all 12 Bronx Community Boards from city residents who reside, work or have professional or other significant interests in the borough.
“Participation on local Community Boards can provide Bronx residents with a forum to share with their community their expertise and talents,” stated Borough President Diaz. “There are great things happening in The Bronx that involve the participation of community boards. It is important that community residents participate in the decisions that are building and revitalizing our borough, and our community boards are a great place to do so,” said Borough President Diaz.
In addition, Borough President Diaz is encouraging young people ages 16 and 17 to apply for community board membership, as his office is working to ensure that there is a least one youth member per community board.
“I believe that the earlier young people become engaged in community affairs and interact with government officials and agencies, the better they will understand government and become active leaders in their communities. It is important to hear the voices of our youth when planning for our neighborhoods,” said Borough President Diaz.
Applications are available online at the Borough President's website at Applications can also be received by calling the Community Board office at (718) 590-3913 or picking one up at your local community board office.
The deadline for submission of applications for the next round of appointments is February 7, 2020.


I know which community board I am applying for. I have more knowledge of what a community board does than almost all of the current members, and I know that a community board meeting is not a city council meeting.

Bronx Democratic Party - We're Just Days Away From Our Annual UGLY SWEATER HOLIDAY PARTY & TOY DRIVE

Happy Friday,

We're just a few days away from our annual Ugly Sweater Holiday Party and Toy Drive! Celebrate with us and consider donating toys.
See you Tuesday, December 10 at 6:30PM!
Bronx Dems Headquarters
1534 Boone Avenue
The Bronx, NY 10460

The Bronx Democratic Party

Wave Hill events December 19‒December 26

Thu, December 19

Wave Hill Members Sale in The Shop

Find naturally appealing gifts for everyone on your shopping list this holiday season, from the handsome new book about Wave Hill, Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill, to jewelry and accessories for the women--and men--in your life, children’s books and toys.

Fri, December 20

Wave Hill Members Sale in The Shop

Find naturally appealing gifts for everyone on your shopping list this holiday season, from the handsome new book about Wave Hill, Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill, to jewelry and accessories for the women--and men--in your life, children’s books and toys.

Sat, December 21

Family Art Project: Chasing-Light Poetry Catchers

Use flower petals and other natural materials to create celestial scenes that capture light on the longest night of the year. Celebrate the balance of night and day by coming together to tell stories and create poetry to welcome winter and invite dormancy, rest and snowy nights. Create a three-dimensional light catcher infused with your own found poetry. Free, and admission to the grounds is free until noon.

Wave Hill House, 10AM–1PM

Sat, December 21

Wave Hill Members Sale in The Shop

Find naturally appealing gifts for everyone on your shopping list this holiday season, from the handsome new book about Wave Hill, Nature into Art: The Gardens of Wave Hill, to jewelry and accessories for the women--and men--in your life, children’s books and toys.

Sun, December 22

Family Art Project: Chasing-Light Poetry Catchers

Use flower petals and other natural materials to create celestial scenes that capture light on the longest night of the year. Celebrate the balance of night and day by coming together to tell stories and create poetry to welcome winter and invite dormancy, rest and snowy nights. Create a three-dimensional light catcher infused with your own found poetry. Free with admission to the grounds.

Wave Hill House, 10AM–1PM

Sun, December 22

Garden and Conservatory Highlights Walk

Join a Wave Hill Garden Guide for a public tour of seasonal garden highlights. Free with admission to the grounds.

Meet at Perkins Visitor Center, 2PM

Mon, December 23

Wave Hill is closed.

Wed, December 25
Wave Hill is closed.
A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River  and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

HOURS  Open all year, Tuesday through Sunday and many major holidays: 9AM–4:30PM, November 1–March 14. Closes 5:30PM, starting March 15.

ADMISSION – $10 adults, $6 students and seniors 65+, $4 children 6–18. Free Saturday and Tuesday mornings until noon. Free to Wave Hill Members and children under 6.

PROGRAM FEES – Programs are free with admission to the grounds unless otherwise noted.

Visitors to Wave Hill can take advantage of Metro-North’s one-day getaway offer. Purchase a discount round-trip rail far and discount admission to the gardens. More at
DIRECTIONS – Getting here is easy! Located only 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan, Wave Hill’s free shuttle van transports you to and from our front gate and Metro-North’s Riverdale station, as well as the W. 242nd Street stop on the #1 subway line. Free offsite parking is available nearby with continuous, complimentary shuttle service to and from the offsite lot and our front gate. Complete directions and shuttle bus schedule at

Information at 718.549.3200. On the web at