Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Two Men Charged With Bronx Murder


  Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Dermot Shea, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging RALPH BERRY and FRANK LOPEZ with the murder of Caprice Jones in the vicinity of 751 East 161 Street, Bronx, New York.  BERRY was arrested on Friday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and was presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry S. Perkin.  LOPEZ was arrested on Friday in Plano, Texas, and was taken into federal custody on Monday.  He will be presented tomorrow before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine A. Nowak.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan.  
U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Many years have passed since Caprice Jones was murdered, but the detectives of the NYPD continued investigating, working to see that justice would be done.  Now, thanks to their extraordinary efforts, in partnership with the Special Agents of our Office, Ralph Berry and Frank Lopez face federal murder charges.”
As alleged in the Indictment[[1]] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
On June 21, 2000, BERRY handed LOPEZ a gun and LOPEZ fired shots in the vicinity of 751 East 161st Street in the Bronx, New York.  The shooting was in furtherance of a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.  Jones was hit during the shooting, and ultimately died from his wounds in 2010 at the age of 42.
BERRY, 52, and LOPEZ, 43, are each charged with murder through use of a firearm, which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, and murder in connection with a drug trafficking crime, which carries a maximum penalty of death or life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.  
The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for information purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
 Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the NYPD and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.  He also thanked the United States Marshals Service and the Plano Police Department for their assistance with the arrests.
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 and the description of the Indictment set forth herein constitute only allegations and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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