Saturday, December 14, 2019



NEW YORK, NY 10007
(212) 788-7053

Saturday, December 14th, 2019


Contact: Tomas Garita | (646) 847 - 6714 | 


New York, The Bronx- Today, Join Council Member Ydanis Rodr√≠guez And Community leaders as they hold a press conference rally to call on all undocumented New Yorker's to get ready to apply for their drives licenses starting on December 16th. Starting on Monday, the Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer ask applicants to verify proof of legal status. In a time when immigrants and the undocumented community have been under attack by the Trump administration, the Green Light Bill has been a beacon of hope. 

Who: Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Community leaders, community members

Where: 176 and Jerome Avenue, 

When: Today, December 14th; 2:30PM 

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, 250 Broadway, Suite 1763, New York, NY 10007

Sent by 

Unfortunately this reporter was covering a different event, but we would like to know why Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is not having this event somewhere in his Manhattan City Council district?

Why would Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez have this event in the 15th Congressional District in the Bronx?

We wonder if it is because he is a candidate for the soon to be vacant 15th congressional district?

We also wonder why he has used his City Council office to promote an event outside of his district, the borough of Manhattan, and in the Bronx Congressional District he is a candidate?

We wonder if anybody at the Department of Investigation will ask the same questions, since it seems that City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has used his City Council office for his race in the 15th Congressional District?

We now wonder if the DOI will investigate if Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez has use his Manhattan City Council office in any other way for his candidacy in the Bronx 15th Congressional race? 


Friday, December 13, 2019

Founder Of The Blood Hound Brims Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Racketeering And Related Offenses

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that LATIQUE JOHNSON, a/k/a “La Brim,” a/k/a “Straight 2 Business,” a/k/a “Breezy,” a/k/a “Boss Dog,” 39, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced today to 30 years in prison in connection with his leadership of the Blood Hound Brims, a violent street and prison gang that operated in New York City and elsewhere, and his participation in narcotics trafficking and acts of violence, including two shootings in 2012.  JOHNSON was convicted on March 27, 2019, following a five-week jury trial before Judge Gardephe, who also imposed today’s sentence. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Latique Johnson founded a notoriously violent and lawless gang from within the New York State prison system that grew to terrorize communities across New York City and New York State.  As the founder and leader of the Blood Hound Brims, Johnson recruited members based on their violent reputations and willingness to follow his orders.  Together with other members of the Blood Hound Brims, Johnson is responsible for several heinous acts of violence.  Today’s lengthy sentence sends an important message to gang members who commit violent crimes that they will be apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” 
According to court documents, the evidence at trial, and statements made in court proceedings:
The Blood Hound Brims (“BHB”) were a criminal enterprise that operated principally in the greater New York area, from at least 2005 up to and including 2016.  The BHB was a faction of the Bloods street gang, which operates nationwide, and is under the New York Blood Brim Army (“NYBBA”).  The BHB operated within and around various locations in New York, including New York City, Westchester County, Elmira, and in Pennsylvania, as well as within and outside federal and state penal systems. 
The BHB used a hierarchical structure that was organized, in part, by New York City borough, and that was maintained, in part, through the payment of dues.  The founder and leader of the gang was LATIQUE JOHNSON, and other members and associates of the BHB referred to JOHNSON as the “Godfather.”  The gang was divided into several “pedigrees,” each of which had its own leadership structure that was approved by JOHNSON.  Leadership positions within the pedigrees included, among others, treasurers who collected dues from members of a particular pedigree, and individuals who performed security and disciplinary functions for the pedigree. 
Members of the BHB had regular meetings, sometimes called “pow wows” or “9-11s,” at which members were required to pay dues.  Some of the meetings were among members of a particular pedigree, and other meetings were for all members of the enterprise.  Word of the meetings was disseminated via text message, word-of-mouth, and flyers.  The BHB’s business, including rivalries with other gangs, shootings, the arrest of gang members, guns, and drugs, was regularly discussed at these meetings.  “Kitty dues” – money that paid for commissary funds, lawyers, guns, and drugs, and that served as tribute to JOHNSON – were collected at these meetings.  The BHB maintained its own rules and constitution that new members were required to learn.  Members of the BHB also used code words and secret phrases to communicate with each other both while in prison and on the street in order to avoid detection by law enforcement.   
One of the BHB’s principal objectives was to sell cocaine base – commonly known as “crack cocaine” – powder cocaine, and heroin, which members and associates of the BHB sold throughout the greater New York area and in Pennsylvania. 
Members and associates of the BHB engaged in multiple acts of violence against rival gangs.  These acts of violence included assaults and attempted murders, and were committed to protect the BHB’s drug territory, to retaliate against members of rival gangs who had encroached on the territory controlled by the BHB, and to otherwise promote the standing and reputation of the gang vis-√†-vis rival gangs.  These acts of violence also included assaults and attempted murders against members and associates of the BHB itself, as part of internal power struggles within the gang.
For example, on or about January 28, 2012, in the Bronx, New York, JOHNSON, aided and abetted by his co-defendant Donnell Murray, used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire into a fried chicken restaurant where rival gang members were gathered, injuring two individuals who survived the shooting.  The violence continued in fall of 2012 when JOHNSON ordered the shooting of two other members of a rival gang, who survived.                                                 
Donnell Murray, 39, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a jury trial of racketeering conspiracy, assault in aid of racketeering, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.  Murray was sentenced in November 2019 to 20 years in prison.
Brandon Green, 36, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a jury trial of racketeering conspiracy, narcotics conspiracy, and firearms offenses.  Green is facing a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and will be sentenced in 2020. 
David Cherry, 39, of the Bronx, New York, was convicted following a guilty plea to a firearms offense.  Cherry faces a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison and will be sentenced in 2020.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

12 Members Of Crack Cocaine Distribution Ring Operating In Vicinity Of 125th Street And Lexington Avenue Charged With Narcotics And Firearms Offenses

  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Dermot Shea, the Commissioner of the Police Department for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging 12 individuals with operating a crack cocaine distribution ring in the vicinity of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.  Six of the 12 defendants charged in the Indictment were arrested yesterday, and are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Sarah L. Cave in federal court later today.  One of the defendants is already in state custody and will be presented at a later date.  Five defendants remain at large.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr.       

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, the defendants were members of a Harlem crack distribution crew that peddled its wares in and around the AK Houses, the Metro-North station at 125th Street, and P.S. 30.  Several members are also alleged to have used guns in the plying of their illegal trade.  Our thanks to the NYPD for their continued efforts to rid our neighborhoods of illegal drugs and guns.”
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “This case highlights our success in stopping those offenders who sow violence in our city’s neighborhoods. Working together, our mission to eradicate narcotics and illegal guns is clear and I want to commend our NYPD investigators and partners for targeting violent crime and dismantling it with precise effectiveness.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment[1]:
The defendants are members and associates of a drug trafficking organization (the “AK Houses Crew” or “Crew”) that sold crack cocaine in and around the AK Houses apartment complex, located at East 128th Street in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.   During the period 2017 to the present, the AK Houses Crew sold hundreds of grams of crack to customers on the streets of Harlem, and crew members carried and displayed firearms in furtherance of the drug trade.  These crew members routinely sold crack in the vicinity of, among other locations, the area of the AK Houses, the Metro-North commuter rail station at East 125th Street, and Public School 30 at East 128th Street.
The leaders of the AK Houses Crew included defendants VAN WHITMORE, a/k/a “V-High,” RONALD NIXON, a/k/a “Jeter,” and BARRY WILLIAMS, a/k/a “Bistro.”  WHITMORE, NIXON, and WILLIAMS were responsible for, among other things, obtaining supplies of powder cocaine, converting the cocaine into crack, and pushing that crack to customers on the street through the Crew’s network of street-level dealers.  These leaders also maintained order and discipline within the Crew, including by using threats of violence.  Other members of the AK Houses Crew, including defendants RODNEY ROBINSON, a/k/a “Stretch,” KAPRIE LAMBERT, a/k/a “Pri,” SHAROD BELL, a/k/a “Rodo,” and IAN HAYLOCK, a/k/a “E,” served the Crew by, among other things, managing and enforcing order within the Crew’s network of street-level crack dealers, and collecting proceeds from their crack sales to finance the Crew’s operations.
The Crew’s street-level crack dealers included defendants MALIK HAWKINS, a/k/a “Leeky,” ABDOUL HANNE, a/k/a “Buylot,” MALIK BREEDLOVE, a/k/a “LB,” TYRELL MURPHY, a/k/a “Fat Cat,” and ANTHONY MCDADE, a/k/a “Pap,” each of whom obtained crack from other members of the Crew and sold the crack to customers on the street.  In addition, certain members of the AK Houses Crew, including WHITMORE, ROBINSON, HAYLOCK, BELL, and HAWKINS, used and facilitated the use of firearms in furtherance of the Crew’s crack dealing, including for the purposes of enforcing the collection of payment for drugs and to protect members of the Crew.  In the course of the narcotics conspiracy, HAYLOCK and BELL also sold firearms to undercover law enforcement officers in Harlem.
During the execution of a search warrant at NIXON’s house yesterday, law enforcement recovered a firearm, more than 80 grams of heroin belonging to NIXON, and paraphernalia for packaging narcotics for distribution.  During the execution of a search warrant at an apartment where BREEDLOVE was arrested yesterday, law enforcement recovered approximately 50 grams of crack cocaine.
The Indictment charges 12 defendants and contains two counts.  A chart containing the names, ages, residences, and charges for the defendants is set forth below.  The maximum term of imprisonment for both counts is life imprisonment.  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.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

a/k/a “V High” 
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy; Firearms Offense

a/k/a “Jeter”

New Rochelle, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “Bistro”

Bronx, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “Stretch”     

Harlem, New York
Narcotics Conspiracy; Firearms Offense

a/k/a “Pri”
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “E”
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy; Firearms Offense

a/k/a “Rodo”
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy; Firearms Offense

a/k/a “Leeky”
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy; Firearms Offense

a/k/a “Buylot”
Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “LB”

Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “Fat Cat”

Harlem, New York

Narcotics Conspiracy

a/k/a “Pap”

Bronx, New York

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the descriptions of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

AG James Wins Second Green Light Lawsuit, Helping Immigrants Legally Obtain Drivers Licenses

  New York Attorney General Letitia James released the following statement after U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of New York Gary L. Sharpe granted a motion by the Office of the New York Attorney General to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola to block the Green Light law from taking effect:
“The Green Light law is legal and enforceable, and two separate federal courts have now already dismissed the meritless claims of two county clerks. Beginning Monday, the law will help make our roads safer, our economy stronger, and will allow immigrants to come out of the shadows to sign up as legal drivers in our state. We expect all public officials to comply with the law, and, as the state’s attorney and chief law enforcement officer, I will continue to vigorously defend it.”
This is the second lawsuit in the last month to be dismissed against the Green Light law. In November, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Wolford similarly dismissed a suit brought forth by Erie County Clerk Michael (Mickey) Kearns to block implementation of the law.

Assembly Member Marcos A. Crespo Leads the Way to Secure an Unprecedented $1.8 Billion State Investment in the South Bronx

Unprecedented $1.8 Billion
State Investment in the South Bronx

Because of government leaders and the infrastructure work of Robert Moses, The Bronx has for decades been dealt an unfair hand. The South Bronx particularly became home to highways like the Sheridan Expressway, blocking residents from access to parks and the Bronx River waterfront.

The Bronx was not only robbed of its natural amenities but, residents were also exposed to gas emissions from trucks traveling through local streets, which in turn increased asthma rates among other health issues.

We Made History...

"When I first got elected, I immediately requested to be assigned to both the Transportation & Environmental Conservation Committees for one reason: the re-design of the Sheridan Expressway."

"With a historic investment of $1.8 billion dollars to redesign the Bruckner and Sheridan Expressway, the State of New York addresses an injustice that for decades impacted the health and quality of life of generations of Bronx residents."

"Not only will residents have access to our restored waterfront, new and increased parkland, access to a complete Bronx River Greenway; the elimination of truck traffic and emissions in local streets, improved business access and job growth, a developed community marketplace in underutilized public space, but this project also ensures that future generations breath cleaner air, diminishing the prevail ace of asthma and other respiring ailments in our borough."

"This is truly the most impactful and transformational project we’ve seen in decades in The Bronx, and it has been possible because of the leadership and constant support of our Governor Andrew Cuomo."

"I am proud of this moment because we are now are able to say that we were able to accomplish a decades old mission. The New Sheridan Blvd. will now reconnect an entire community that for years has been kept from its very own resources. I look forward to the completion of this work and looking forward to fully enjoying the many benefits alongside all my Bronx neighbors."

Carlucci & Rivera Release Senate Report on Troubling Suicide Crisis in NYS

 Senator David Carlucci and Senator Gustavo Rivera released a joint report today highlighting a troubling suicide crisis in NYS, which is affecting people from all ethnicities, genders, and age groups across our state.

The report cites that suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in New York and one person dies by suicide every five hours in the State. This year alone, three people committed suicide by jumping to their deaths from the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York City. Twelve NYPD officers committed suicide in 2019, including two retired officers, causing the Department to declare a mental health emergency. Reports are now public concerning the crisis of Black youths committing suicide at an alarming rate, and Latinas, LGBT people, white middle-aged men, Asian immigrants, and the elderly are experiencing devastating record high numbers of people committing suicide.

Carlucci, Chair of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, and Rivera, Chair of the Committee on Health issued the report's findings and recommendations after a public hearing on suicide and suicide prevention, which included testimony from more than 20 health and mental health professionals with organizations on the front lines of this crisis. A common theme observed in this testimony was ending the stigma of suicide. Advocates believe breaking down the barrier of stigma associated with suicide and suicide ideation is vital to address this crisis.

Key findings in the report included that the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) must improve its ability to identify individuals at risk of suicide, more prevention must be focused in schools, hotlines where people can seek help must be improved, and stigma surrounding suicide must be addressed. To this end, the report suggested tracking more data about suicide, "to identify clusters, optimize services, design policies, and create messaging aimed at eliminating suicide attempts and death."

"As a society, we are truly in crisis. More and more people are choosing suicide as a way to cope with depression, stress and grief," said State Senator David Carlucci. "Senator Rivera and I issued this report with the intent of bringing comprehensive reforms to the table. Suicide can't be hidden behind a curtain, but must be discussed and addressed before we lose more lives."

"Senator Carlucci and I have a profound responsibility to support and expand suicide prevention efforts across our state. Our report is a comprehensive overview of the heartfelt testimony and unyielding dedication that experts and advocates shared with us at our Public Hearing," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "These recommendations and insights will help us grow and develop initiatives that save lives and heal communities. I look forward to putting our agenda into action in collaboration with our fellow legislators."

Further, recommendations from Carlucci's and Rivera's report, included: passing legislation to require Mental Health First Aid education in schools K-12 and colleges, establish a Black Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force, improve intake and discharge procedures when a person has a self-inflicted injury, continuing education for teachers, college administrators and staff in Youth Mental First Aid training, and specialized training for doctors and other medical professionals.

Video from Suicide Prevention Hearing on June 4, 2019:

New Report on Suicide Prevention can be found here:


Historic Right to Council program expanding next week to five additional neighborhoods: Morris Heights in the Bronx, East New York in Brooklyn, East Harlem and Inwood in Manhattan, and Far Rockaway in Queens

  The de Blasio Administration today announced the expansion of its right-to-counsel initiative to five new neighborhoods: Morris Heights in the Bronx, East New York in Brooklyn, East Harlem and Inwood in Manhattan, and Far Rockaway in Queens. The City’s right-to-counsel initiative is the first in the nation plan to provide guaranteed free legal representation to tenants facing eviction in housing court.

“No person should lose their home because they cannot afford a lawyer, and New York City is the first city in the country to make this a reality. Over 350,000 New Yorkers have received free legal assistance so far, setting us on the course to be the fairest, big city in America,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Through this initiative and the Administration’s unprecedented investments in increased legal services for tenants citywide—a staggering 21-fold increase from $6 million to $128 million—more than 350,000 New Yorkers have received free legal representation, advice, or assistance in eviction and other housing-related matters since 2014, with 30 percent fewer evictions in 2018 than 2013 as a result.

Since the City began implementing its ‘Universal Access’ initiative in 2017, 1 in 3 New Yorkers facing eviction now have right to free legal representation in court. Prior to this administration, approximately 1 in 100 tenants facing eviction had access to such services.

Last fiscal year alone, legal organizations funded by the City through HRA’s Office of Civil Justice (OCJ) provided legal assistance to more than 105,000 New Yorkers across 41,000 households––the first time OCJ’s tenant legal services programs have provided assistance to over 100,000 New Yorkers in a single fiscal year. This reflects a 24% increase in households served compared to the prior year and a 74% increase compared to FY2017, before the formal launch of right-to-counsel.

Right-to-counsel in New York City is being implemented via a phased-in “ZIP-by-ZIP” approach that has enabled OCJ to partner with the Housing Court administration and legal services providers to facilitate meaningful and effective method of providing access to counsel based on need. As a result, communities in need have seen a significant increase in the availability of legal services. Next week, the following ZIP Codes will begin receiving right-to-counsel services:

  • 10453, Morris Heights, Bronx
  • 11207, East New York, Brooklyn
  • 10029, East Harlem, Manhattan
  • 10034, Inwood, Manhattan
  • 11691, Far Rockaway, Queens

Implementation through 2022 will follow the same “ZIP-by-ZIP” approach.

The expansion will be accompanied by a citywide campaign to launch in 2020 getting the word out about available resources and encouraging families experiencing housing instability to reach out. If you or someone you know is worried about losing your home, our City is here to help. Don’t hesitate—talk to a lawyer today.

Cities across the country have looked to Universal Access as a success. Unlike in New York City where investments in legal services are helping reduce evictions, evictions are up nationwide. As a result, cities across the country are looking at this Administration’s programs and successes as models, implementing their own versions of this program to provide similar protections to their residents:

  • Cities with established right-to-counsel laws, programs, and/or initiatives:

  • Localities where right-to-counsel is being considered and/or pursued:

“Helping New Yorkers stay in their homes is a cornerstone of our work to prevent homelessness,” said Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Dr. Raul Perea-Henze. “The legal services provided by the Office of Civil Justice in our Human Resources Administration empower New Yorkers with tools to bridge the justice gap, and build the foundation for more stable and healthier communities. With the expansion to new zip codes, these services will continue to make a strong impact where the need is greatest.”

"Tenant harassment and unlawful evictions are the front lines of the City's affordability crisis. When New Yorkers know their rights and have access to free legal counsel, they can stay in their homes," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been." We look forward to more families getting the help they need, and will continue to preserve and build affordable housing to keep people in their homes and in the neighborhoods they love.”

While evictions are up all across the country, they are down in New York City because of the game-changing impact of providing lawyers for tenants in eviction cases, with the result that more than 100,000 New Yorkers have been able to avoid eviction and homelessness,” said Department of Social Services Commissioner Steven Banks. “When the de Blasio Administration took office, only 1 in 100 tenants facing eviction in housing court had a lawyer or access to legal services, with New Yorkers in need navigating a complex process that all too often stacked the deck against them. In less than three years, our City’s right-to-counsel initiative has helped dramatically level the playing field, with 1 in 3 tenants now receiving City-funded legal services in eviction cases. Access-to-counsel is not only keeping New Yorkers in their homes, but preserving stability and affordable housing across the five boroughs.”

“Our right-to-counsel results show that New York City is leading the nationwide fight to put the power back in tenants’ hands,” said Human Resources Administrator Grace Bonilla. “The incredible success this initiative has had in reducing residential evictions across New York City is inspiring the country to follow suit, with similar programs being implemented from San Francisco to Newark. We are on track to take this progress even further and look forward to delivering this resource to more New Yorkers across more neighborhoods, ensuring that all New Yorkers facing housing instability are provided with the legal resources they need to stay in their homes and communities.”

“With our latest expansion of the City's groundbreaking Universal Access initiative, HRA’s Office of Civil Justice and its partners will continue to close the "justice gap" for tenants facing eviction, and will continue making New York City the national leader in increasing, innovating and improving access to civil justice for people in need," said Civil Justice Coordinator Jordan Dressler.

"The expansion of Right-to-Counsel further demonstrates this Administration's dedication to leveling the playing field and making NYC the fairest big city," said Mayor's Public Engagement Unit Director Omar Khan. "As with any smart progressive policy, we must ensure that tenants facing eviction or other housing-related issues are aware of the free City services available to them, and I am pleased that PEU's proactive outreach on this issue will continue to expand as the Universal Access program is rolled out citywide."

“Right to counsel is one of the biggest accomplishments of the Council’s last session and I thank my colleagues Mark Levine and Vanessa Gibson and my predecessor Speaker Mark-Viverito for their leadership and determination in making it happen. This Council welcomes this expansion and will continue to do everything in our power to protect tenants,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.