Saturday, January 15, 2022



The New York City area may experience severe weather, including potential intermittent wind gusts of up to 50 MPH, starting this morning, January 14th, and continuing into Monday, January 17th. Accordingly, DOB is reminding all builders, contractors, crane operators, and property owners to secure their construction sites, buildings, and equipment.

The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the city. If sites are not secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action -- issuing violations and Stop Work Orders, where necessary.

Winds may reach higher speeds and last longer than forecast in certain areas of the city. Property owners must consider the safety of their buildings and construction sites, including cranes, suspended and supported scaffolding, hoists, and any other building appurtenances that may come loose from exposure to high winds. Structures that have been subject to deferred maintenance or are in delicate condition could be at greater risk. The Department suggests consulting a professional to advise how to secure construction sites and buildings.

To safeguard construction sites, builders, contractors, and developers should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:

·         Tie down and secure material and loose debris at construction sites.

·         Cover electrical equipment from exposure to the weather.

·         Store loose tools, oil cans, and extra fuses in a toolbox.

·         Secure netting, scaffolding, and sidewalk sheds.

·         Suspend crane operations and secure crane equipment when wind speeds reach 30 mph or greater.

·         Suspend hoist operations and secure exterior hoists when wind speeds reach 35 mph or greater unless manufacturer specifications state otherwise.

·         Brace and secure construction fences.

·         Call 911 if there is an emergency on a construction site.

Buildings Bulletin 2015-029 outlines the requirements for vertical netting, debris netting and material-fall protection devices at buildings and construction sites.

To secure a building, property owners should take all precautionary measures including but not limited to the following:


·         Bring inside loose, lightweight objects such as lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, garden tools, and toys.

·         Anchor objects that would be unsafe outside, such as gas grills or propane tanks.

·         Close up and secure patio umbrellas.

·         Secure retractable awnings.

·         Remove aerial antennas and satellite television dishes.

·         Take down tents or follow manufacturer’s instructions to secure them.

·         Check to ensure all gutters, roof drains, and down spouts are cleared of debris to allow for proper drainage.

New Yorkers are encouraged to call 311 to report non-compliant conditions or 911 to report emergencies at construction sites or buildings. New Yorkers who suspect a building or property has been structurally compromised should call 911.

Under §28-301.1 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, property owners are legally obligated to maintain their properties in a safe condition.

Department weather advisories are strictly a courtesy to remind property owners to prepare their properties for severe weather and cannot be read to suggest that the Department, rather than the property owner, is responsible for maintaining his or her property.

NYGOP Selects Nassau County to Host its 2022 Statewide Nominating Convention February 28th - March 1st


NYGOP Chairman Langworthy: We are Putting Together the Strongest Statewide Ticket Since 1994 That Will Restore Opportunity, Safety & Common Sense to New York


“This convention will put a huge spotlight on how we plan to replicate Nassau’s victories statewide.”

 New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy today announced he has selected the Nassau Republican Party as its host for the 2022 statewide nominating convention that will be held February 28th-March 1st. 

Republican county chairs, committee members and grassroots activists from across the state will gather at the Garden City Hotel for the purposes of nominating candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and U.S. Senate. In addition to conducting official party business, the two-day affair will also feature social gatherings,  presentations led by the Nassau GOP host committee and remarks from local elected officials. 

Nassau County is home to a historic Republican resurgence where the Nassau GOP, led by Chairman Joe Cairo, orchestrated sweeping victories in last November’s local elections. Republicans took control of all countywide offices, ousting a sitting Democrat county executive, electing the first Republican district attorney in nearly four decades and electing a new Republican comptroller. Republicans also increased their majority in the county legislature and won key town and council seats. Winning this key suburban county is essential for any statewide candidate. 

“There is incredible energy and enthusiasm for this year’s convention, where we will officially kick off the 2022 election cycle and our mission to save New York State,” said New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy. “Everything we have been working toward has been to build the strongest ticket since 1994 that will restore opportunity, safety and common sense to our state. Voters are ready for change and we are going to offer them the solutions that will appeal to New Yorkers from every walk of life and political affiliation.” 

Chairman Langworthy continued, “There is no better place to host our convention than Nassau County. They sent shockwaves around the state last November with their tremendous Republican victories and their historic success is proof that our Republican message is resonating with a broad swath of voters. I’m thrilled that Chairman Cairo has agreed to host us. He is the ultimate strategist who is a key part of our team helping to lead our candidates to victory. This convention will put a huge spotlight on how we plan to replicate Nassau’s victories statewide.”

“I want to thank Chairman Langworthy for selecting Long Island as the site for the state Republican Nominating Convention,” said Joseph G. Cairo, Jr., Chairman of the Nassau County Republican Committee.  “We enjoyed some great victories in 2021, sweeping the countywide elective offices, increasing our majority in the Nassau Legislature, taking back townwide offices and council seats in North Hempstead, dominating in the towns of Oyster Bay and Hempstead, as well as winning convincingly in the city of Glen Cove.  I think that Long Island is a great place to host the state convention.”



 Tax receipts for the first nine months of State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2021-22 continue to exceed projections, totaling $84.4 billion. This amount is significantly higher than the most recent forecast by the Division of the Budget contained in the Mid-Year Update to the Financial Plan. While tax collections have exceeded forecast throughout the current fiscal year, December results are also affected by a newly established tax structure, the Pass Through Entity Tax (PTET). The PTET allows certain taxpayers to make state business tax payments that are deductible from federal taxes, rather than making state income tax payments that are not deductible from federal taxes. 

Tax receipts exceeded the latest Financial Plan forecast by $12.9 billion over the first nine months of  SFY  2021-22, according to the monthly state Cash Report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. This includes the $10.2 billion collected from the PTET. However, taxpayers that remit PTET payments are expected to reduce their Personal Income Tax (PIT) payments by similar amounts. Since December results may not yet reflect these offsetting reductions to PIT receipts, they should be considered with a significant measure of caution during this transition period.

“Tax collections performed well in December, and the state’s economy and finances continue their recovery,” DiNapoli said. “But there is continuing uncertainty about the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 surge, economic risks, and the need for continuing financial support for those still struggling to find their footing. Also, December tax receipts were heavily influenced by the new tax structure created to mitigate the damaging impact of the 2017 federal cap on State and Local Taxes, which clouds our revenue picture during this transition period. As we begin the new budget season, I urge the Executive and the Legislature to proceed with caution.”

PIT receipts totaled $49 billion and continued to exceed Financial Plan expectations ($1.9 billion over most recent projections and $7.1 billion over initial projections) and to show year-over-year growth ($12.2 billion year to date). Withholding collections totaled $34.7 billion, 18.8% higher than last year, benefitting from an extra withholding day, as well as the continued benefit of increased tax rates.

Year-to-date, consumption and use tax collections totaled $14.8 billion, 23.1% or $2.8 billion higher than the same period last year, and $386.2 million higher than anticipated in the latest projections but $1.1 billion higher than initially anticipated. 

Business taxes totaled $18.3 billion, including $10.2 billion from the PTET. Excluding this new revenue source, business taxes were just under $2 billion higher than last year for the same period and $217.7 million higher than latest projections and nearly $1.5 billion higher than initially projected.

All Funds spending through December 31 totaled just under $141.5 billion, which was $14.3 billion, or 11.2%, higher than last year for the same period, primarily due to higher Medicaid and education costs. All Funds spending through the first three quarters was nearly $4.5 billion lower than the latest projections, and $5.9 billion lower than enacted projections, primarily due to lower than anticipated spending from the General Fund and federal funds. State Operating Funds spending totaled $73.9 billion, $10 billion, or 15.7% higher than last year and $1.7 billion lower than the latest projections. 

The state’s General Fund ended the third quarter with a balance of $30.7 billion, $15.2 billion higher than the latest projections and $14.1 billion higher than last year at the same time primarily due to the PTET, as well as higher than anticipated tax collections and lower than anticipated spending.


December Cash Report

Related Report

Enacted Budget Financial Plan Report, State Fiscal Year 2021-22

Democratic District Leader Manny De Los Santos Earns Critical Support As Democratic Nominee For State Assembly in Washington Heights / Inwood District


Manny De Los Santos Favorite at County Committee for AD72

Democratic District Leader Manny De Los Santos has become the next Democratic Nominee for State Assemblyman in District 72, relacing former Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, who has since been elected to the New York City Council, District 10. Now that the Democratic County Committee in Manhattan has designated him, De Los Santos will appear on the ballot of the upcoming Special Election on February 15th, 2022.

About Manny De Los Santos' candidacy, New York City Council Member Carmen De La Rosa said, “having served this community as Assembly Member for the last 5 years, I know Manny De Los Santos will be a thoughtful leader who will consider the impact of the legislative process on our neighborhoods. He will be a staunch advocate for each and every one of our residents – especially the most vulnerable, so I am honored to have him as a partner in government.”

“Manny De Los Santos is a son of Washington Heights/Inwood, and he has dedicated his entire adult life to serving this community. I know he will work diligently in Albany to ensure we continue to protect tenants and prevent displacement, bring more resources for our schools, support small businesses and help us recover from the pandemic,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said, “The unprecedented times we are living, call for innovative leadership with deep knowledge of local communities, a proven record of community service, consistency, vision, compassion and integrity. And those are some of the qualities that Manny De Los Santos brings to the table. He will be a great asset in Albany for all residents of Upper Manhattan.”

Assembly Member Al Taylor said, “Manny De Los Santos' knowledge of Upper Manhattan, NYC and Albany, are essential for a successful and effective Assembly Member to succeed in Albany and deliver to constituents. I cannot think of a better prepared candidate to represent Assembly District 72 at the State Capitol than Manny, who is a bridge and coalition-builder, and will work with his colleagues in the Legislature to address the most pressing issues facing Upper Manhattan and all of New York. I look forward to working with Manny in the State Assembly”.

Manny De Los Santos, MSW is a former Community School Director with over 10 years of social work experience. He has served as President Northern Manhattan Democrats For Change, the grassroots club of Northern Manhattan. He was elected District Leader in 2009 representing the 72nd Assembly District. Manny was later elected to serve as State Committeeman in 2016. He was recently selected by City and State for their "40 Under 40 Rising Stars."

U.S. Citizen Charged with Conspiring to Provide Electronic Equipment and Technology to the Government of Iran


Defendant Allegedly Conspired to Illegally Export U.S. Goods and Technology Without Required Export Licenses

 A criminal complaint has been unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charging Kambiz Attar Kashani, a dual citizen of the United States and Iran, with conspiring to illegally export U.S. goods, technology, and services to end users in Iran, including the Government of Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA).  Kashani was arrested yesterday in Chicago, Illinois, and had an initial appearance today before United States Magistrate Judge Sheila M. Finnegan at the federal courthouse in Chicago.  The defendant was remanded pending a detention hearing.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division, and Joseph R. Bonavolanta, Special Agent-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Office (FBI), announced the arrest.

“As alleged, Kashani orchestrated an elaborate scheme to evade U.S. export laws and use the U.S. financial system in procuring U.S. electronic equipment and technology for the Central Bank of Iran, which has been designated by the United States government as acting for or on behalf of terrorist organizations.  The defendant allegedly used two United Arab Emirates companies as fronts to procure items from multiple U.S. technology companies, including a company in Brooklyn,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “Kashani’s arrest underscores the unrelenting resolve of this Office and the Department of Justice to prosecute those who seek to profit by compromising our national security.”

“We arrested Kambiz Attar Kashani for conspiring to deceive U.S. companies, including one headquartered in Massachusetts, by illegally exporting their highly sophisticated electronic equipment and technology to the Government of Iran. We believe Mr. Kashani profited financially by strengthening the economy of one of the world’s most infamous state sponsors of terrorism, while circumventing critical U.S. laws designed to protect our national security interests,” stated FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Bonavolonta.  “This case is another example of the FBI’s commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to protect American businesses and stop the illegal export of sensitive information and technology to nations that are hostile to the United States.”

As set forth in the complaint, Kashani conspired to illegally export goods and technology to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), which the United States government recognizes is an agency of the Government of Iran.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has classified CBI as a Specially Designated National (SDN) signifying that CBI is acting for or on behalf of a terrorist organization.  According to the U.S. government, CBI has materially assisted, sponsored and provided financial, material or technological support, goods or services to Lebanese Hizballah, a terrorist organization, and to the Qods Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).  The IRGC is a branch of the Iranian armed forces and represents the primary means of the Government of Iran to direct and implement its global terrorism campaign.   

Kashani allegedly perpetrated the illegal transshipping scheme through two separate United Arab Emirates (UAE) front companies for which he acts as principal.  From around February 2019 through June 2021, Kashani and his co-conspirators used the two UAE companies to procure electronic goods and technology from multiple U.S. technology companies, including a company located in Brooklyn, New York, for end users in Iran, including CBI, without obtaining required OFAC export licenses.  Kashani and his co-conspirators intentionally concealed from the U.S. companies that they intended to send the items to Iran, falsely claiming that the UAE front companies would be the ultimate end users.   

The charge in the complaint is an allegation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


Age:  44
United Arab Emirates

Three Long Island Women Indicted for Assaulting a Delta Airlines Security Officer at JFK Airport


Victim was Struck with His Own Radio, Punched in the Face and Kicked by Defendants

 An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Jordan Nixon, Janessa Torres and Johara Zavala with assaulting an airline security officer in a jetway at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK Airport”) on September 22, 2021.  The defendants were arrested this morning and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Melinda Katz, Queens County District Attorney, announced the arrests and indictment.

“As alleged, the defendants viciously assaulted an airline security officer by beating him to the floor with his radio and then kicking and punching him in the face and body while he was down,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “The extreme and aggressive behavior in connection with our air travel is out of control.  This Office has zero tolerance for violent conduct that threatens the safety of airline passengers and employees and will prosecute defendants who allegedly engage in such conduct to the fullest extent of the law.”  Mr. Peace also expressed his appreciation to the Port Authority Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.

“The FBI is the lead federal agency in charge of arresting those who assault, intimidate, or threaten flight crew, or endanger the safety of other passengers,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Driscoll.  “Anyone who thinks they can get away with this type of unruly behavior should be reminded that their actions are criminal and can result in time behind bars as a result of federal criminal charges.  We are aggressively addressing this emerging threat and take all cases seriously.”

“The defendants allegedly attacked two airline employees, who were simply doing their jobs,” stated Queens District Attorney Katz.  “The friendly skies must not turn into chaos and turmoil because some passengers refuse to abide by the rules. Our airport personnel must be safe in order to keep the flying public safe.”

As alleged in court filings, the defendants refused to leave a jetway at JFK Airport after they were informed that they would be denied boarding for a Delta Airlines scheduled flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The defendants were belligerent, with one appearing to be visibly disoriented and possibly intoxicated, and another who was refusing to properly wear her mask.  The flight’s Gate Agent (“Employee 1”) notified the flight crew of the defendants’ belligerent conduct, and the captain of the flight and a member of the flight crew determined that the defendants should not be allowed to board the flight.  The defendants refused the request of an airline security officer (“Employee 2”) to leave the jetway and approached him while yelling and cursing.  One defendant struck Employee 2 repeatedly with his own radio, and he fell to the floor.  When Employee 1 tried to assist Employee 2, one defendant punched Employee 1 in the face.  All three defendants then punched and kicked Employee 2 in the face and body while Employee 2 was on the floor.  Employees 1 and 2 were later treated at a hospital for their injuries.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison.

The Defendants:

Age: 21
Bay Shore, New York

Age: 21
Central Islip, New York

Age: 44
Central Islip, NY

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - JANUARY 15, 2022

 Clinical specimen testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Wadsworth Laboratory

47,870 Positives Yesterday, Down from Surge-High 90,132 on January 7

Percent Positivity 14.62% Yesterday, Down from Surge-High 23.17% on January 2

12,169 New Yorkers Hospitalized Yesterday, Down 38 Hospitalizations From Day Before    

187 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

"We are turning the corner on the winter surge, but we're not through this yet," Governor Hochul said. "Please keep getting vaccinated, getting the booster dose, getting our children vaccinated, and wearing non-cloth masks. Let's not undo all the hard work we've put in to bring the numbers down."

Today's data is summarized briefly below: 

  • Test Results Reported - 327,427
  • Total Positive - 47,870
  • Percent Positive - 14.62%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 17.59%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 12,169 (-38)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 1,843
  • Patients in ICU - 1653 (+34)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 896 (+32)
  • Total Discharges - 252,862 (+1,736)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 187
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 50,522

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only. 

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 62,891

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings. 

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 34,913,218
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 101,571
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 615,418
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 90.2% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 81.2% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 95.0%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 83.7%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 79.2%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 70.8% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 86.0% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 72.9%

Attorney General James Leads Multistate Coalition in Continuing Fight to End Facebook’s Illegal Monopoly


 New York Attorney General Letitia James today led a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general from around the nation in continuing to fight to end Facebook’s illegal efforts to stifle competition and protect its monopoly power. Today, the coalition filed an appeal brief arguing that the district court’s ruling dismissing the states’ case was in error. Attorney General James and the coalition argue that the court was wrong to dismiss their case as time-barred, and made additional legal and factual errors. Over the last decade, Facebook, now known as Meta, illegally acquired competitors in a predatory manner and cut or conditioned services to smaller threats — depriving users of the benefits of competition and reducing privacy protections and services along the way — all in an effort to boost its bottom line through increased advertising revenue.

“Mark Zuckerberg claims to be building the metaverse, but the actions of Facebook continue to cause significant harm to millions of consumers and many small businesses here in the real world,” said Attorney General James. “Time and again, the social media giant has used its market dominance to force small companies out of business and reduce competition for millions of users. We’re filing this appeal with the support of almost every state in the nation because we will always fight efforts to stifle competition, reduce innovation, and cut privacy protections, even when we face a goliath like Facebook.”

In December 2020, Attorney General James and the coalition filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Facebook’s anticompetitive conduct. The company filed a motion to dismiss, which was granted by the court last summer. Today’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit asks the court to allow the coalition of attorneys general to move forward with their suit.

Separately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also filed an amended complaint against Facebook in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In a ruling earlier this week, the court denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the FTC’s complaint, allowing the FTC to proceed.

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 1/10/22-1/14/22


Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

This Sunday, January 9th, the Bronx was devastated by a tragic fire on 333 East 181st which left 17 people dead, including 8 children. My heart aches for the victims, their loved ones, and for our entire community. Since the fire, my office and I have been organizing and sharing resources on ways to help the families impacted by the fire. For the most up-to-date information on how to help, refer to my Twitter thread

There has been an enormous number of contributions in the form of clothing and goods, so if you would like to help at this time, the following two organizations are collecting monetary donations on behalf of the survivors:

  • BStrong, in partnership with Global Empowerment Mission, is distributing kits with basic necessities and cash to survivors → donate here
  • The Gambian Youth Organization is accepting contributions via GoFundMe to provide cash directly to survivors → donate here

I’d like to give a special thank you to our Pelham, Riverdale, and Woodlawn communities for immediately mobilizing to collect and distribute donations for those impacted– a true testament to their commitment to always help those in their darkest hour. 

I’m incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support that our community has received at this time. It is absolutely remarkable to see the entirety of District 34 come together to help our neighbors rebuild. Thank you all for your generosity and aid.

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi



 “The murder of Kristal Bayron-Nieves was an evil act, but one that called our city to conscience. The outpouring of love and support from all corners of our city has been genuinely heartwarming, and we thank JetBlue for providing free flights for family to hold her funeral in Puerto Rico. We are committed to giving her family the resources they need as they and our entire city grieves the loss of such a promising young woman.”

Bronx Man Charged With Possession Of Over 20 Kilos Of Fentanyl


 Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Tim Foley, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and Keechant Sewell, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that SUCRE ALMANZAR-ALBA was charged in a criminal complaint today with possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute it.  ALMANZAR-ALBA was arrested yesterday and presented today before the Hon. Barbara Moses, United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendant trafficked huge quantities of fentanyl, the major driver of the opioid epidemic plaguing this country.  Thanks to our law enforcement partners, nearly 20 kilograms of this deadly drug – which amounts to millions of lethal doses – have been taken off the street.”

DEA Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Tim Foley said: “This seizure and arrest have already saved lives in New York. Allegedly, hidden in Almanzar-Alba’s apartment was the equivalent of nearly 10 million doses of the most dangerous illegal drug to ever hit the streets – FENTANYL.  I applaud the New York Strike Force, U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, and our law enforcement partners for their collaborative and swift efforts in this investigation.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said: “Illicit fentanyl distribution destroys lives and devastates communities. Today’s federal complaint reflects the unrelenting focus by the NYPD and its law enforcement partners, working together, to rid our city of these and other deadly drugs and to build strong cases against those who would deal in them. I want to thank all the investigators and prosecutors who worked on this important investigation.”

As alleged in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court[1]:

On or about January 13, 2022, ALMANZAR-ALBA met with a confidential source to give that confidential source approximately one kilogram of fentanyl.  Law enforcement later searched ALMANZAR-ALBA’s house and recovered approximately 19 additional kilograms of fentanyl.

ALMANZAR-ALBA, 43, of the Bronx, New York, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  The maximum 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 the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (“OCDETF”) New York Strike Force.  The OCDETF New York Strike Force is a crime-fighting unit comprising federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies supported by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  The Strike Force is affiliated with the DEA’s New York Division and includes agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department, New York State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, New York National Guard, Clarkstown Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, Port Washington Police Department, and New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. 

The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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



Defendant Pleaded Guilty to Second-Degree Manslaughter

 Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a former NYPD Police Officer has been sentenced to one to three years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree Manslaughter in the fatal shooting of his next-door neighbor in 2019. 

 District Attorney Clark said, “The 21-year-old victim was friends with the defendant, and both were playing soccer video games when the defendant’s off-duty firearm went off, striking the victim. The defendant, who had been a NYPD Police Officer for approximately one year, initially told investigators the victim was playing with the firearm and accidentally shot himself. However, an autopsy showed the gunshot was not self-inflicted. Additionally, the defendant did not perform life-saving measures. His actions were reckless and inconsiderate.”

 District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Martinson Afari Yeboah, 30, who was assigned to Housing Police Service Area 7 in the Bronx, was sentenced today to one to three years in prison by Bronx Supreme Court Justice Ralph Fabrizio. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree Manslaughter on October 20, 2021.

 According to the investigation, at about 5:25 a.m. on April 21, 2019, Yeboah, who was offduty, was in the apartment of the victim, Frederick Afoakwah on West Mosholu Parkway South, playing video games. The defendant’s off-duty firearm, a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol, discharged, striking the victim once in the neck. The victim’s father and cousin came out of their bedroom after hearing the shot and saw the victim dying in the living room. The defendant told them there was an accident and did not call 911 until the victim’s father urged him to.

 Instead of performing life-saving measures, Yeboah, who lived next door, went to his apartment, left his firearm there and changed his shoes. He then went downstairs to the lobby to wait for first responders. The victim was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

 The defendant’s employment with the NYPD was terminated after the incident.

 District Attorney Clark also thanked NYPD Lieutenant Emanuel Vizzotti, NYPD Lieutenant John Dasaro, NYPD Detective James McDermott and retired NYPD Detective Clayton Barnett, all of the Force Investigation Division, for their assistance.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Governor Hochul Updates New Yorkers on State's Progress Combating COVID-19 - JANUARY 14, 2022

 Clinical specimen testing for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Wadsworth Laboratory

49,027 Positives Yesterday, Down from Surge-High 90,132 on January 7

Percent Positivity 16.3% Yesterday, Down from Surge-High 23.17% on January 2

12,207 New Yorkers Hospitalized Yesterday, Down 245 Hospitalizations From Day Before    

177 COVID-19 Deaths Statewide Yesterday

 Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers on the state's progress combating COVID-19.

"We are appearing to turn the corner on the winter surge," Governor Hochul said. "This is no time to spike the football, we still need to remain vigilant. So let's continue to use the tools we know will help stop the spread and keep ourselves safe: get the vaccine, get the booster, wear a mask, and stay home if you're feeling sick. Let's continue to do the right thing and we will get through this together."

Today's data is summarized briefly below: 

  • Test Results Reported - 300,868
  • Total Positive - 49,027
  • Percent Positive - 16.30%
  • 7-Day Average Percent Positive - 18.65%
  • Patient Hospitalization - 12,207 (-245)
  • Patients Newly Admitted - 1,737
  • Patients in ICU - 1619 (+4)
  • Patients in ICU with Intubation - 864 (+19)
  • Total Discharges - 251,126 (+1,878)
  • New deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 177
  • Total deaths reported by healthcare facilities through HERDS - 50,334

The Health Electronic Response Data System is a NYS DOH data source that collects confirmed daily death data as reported by hospitals, nursing homes and adult care facilities only. 

  • Total deaths reported to and compiled by the CDC - 62,891

This daily COVID-19 provisional death certificate data reported by NYS DOH and NYC to the CDC includes those who died in any location, including hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, at home, in hospice and other settings. 

  • Total vaccine doses administered - 34,811,647
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 24 hours - 99,212
  • Total vaccine doses administered over past 7 days - 621,924
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose - 90.1% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series - 81.2% 
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 95.0%
  • Percent of New Yorkers ages 18 and older with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 83.6%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose - 79.2%
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series - 70.7% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose (CDC) - 85.8% 
  • Percent of all New Yorkers with completed vaccine series (CDC) - 72.8%

‘Pharma Bro No More’: Attorney General James Scores Court Victory Against Convicted Criminal Martin Shkreli, Banning Him From Pharmaceutical Industry for Life, Ordering Him to Pay Nearly $65 Million


Shkreli and Vyera Pharmaceuticals Stifled Competition After Raising Price on Lifesaving Drug More Than 4,000 Percent

Pharmaceutical Companies on Notice That OAG Will
Vigilantly Pursue Actions to Protect Against Anticompetitive Conduct

 New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced that a federal court ruled in favor of New York, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and six other states, finding that convicted criminal Martin Shkreli engaged in illegal and monopolistic behavior when he served as the CEO of Vyera Pharmaceuticals (previously known as Turing Pharmaceuticals). The court found that Shkreli violated both federal and state laws by engaging in anticompetitive conduct to protect monopoly profits on the life-saving drug Daraprim (pyrimethamine) — banning him for life from the pharmaceutical industry and ordering him to pay nearly $65 million. In January 2020, Attorney General James and the FTC filed a lawsuit against Vyera, Shkreli, and his business partner — Kevin Mulleady — for anticompetitive behavior that stifled competition and allowed the defendants to exorbitantly raise the price of Daraprim more than 4,000 percent overnight, to $750 per pill. Daraprim is used to treat the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis, and, until relatively recently, was the only approved source of this life-saving medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

“‘Envy, greed, lust, and hate,’ don’t just ‘separate,’ but they obviously motivated Mr. Shkreli and his partner to illegally jack up the price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives hung in the balance,” said Attorney General James. “But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is a pharma bro no more. A federal court has not only found that his conduct was illegal, but also banned this convicted criminal from the pharmaceutical industry for life and required him to pay nearly $65 million. This is on top of the $40 million we’ve already secured from Vyera. The rich and powerful don’t get to play by their own set of rules, so I it seems that cash doesn’t rule everything around Mr. Shkreli. New Yorkers can trust that my office will do everything possible to hold the powerful accountable, in addition to fighting to protect their health and their wallets.”

Daraprim was, until recently, the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease which may pose serious and often life-threating consequences for those with compromised immune systems, including babies born to women infected with the disease and individuals with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Daraprim has been the gold standard for treatment of acute toxoplasmosis for decades — recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the HIV Medicine Association, and the Infectious Diseases Society of America as the initial therapy of choice for acute toxoplasmosis. Nevertheless, and despite being unpatented, a generic version of Daraprim was not sold in the United States until March 2020 — after New York and its co-plaintiffs filed their lawsuit against Shkreli and his co-conspirators.

Daraprim was cheap and accessible for decades. Then, in August 2015, Vyera purchased the drug, and increased the price dramatically overnight to a level that one former executive testified was “excessive”, “crazy” and “irresponsible.” Next, Vyera — under Shkreli’s control —altered its distribution and engaged in other conduct to delay and impede generic competition. The high price and distribution changes limited access to the drug, forcing many patients and physicians to make difficult and risky decisions for the treatment of life-threatening diseases.

The illegal scheme perpetrated by Vyera, Shkreli, and Mulleady involved restrictive distribution and supply agreements, as well as data secrecy, with the intent and effect of delaying entry by lower cost generic competitors.

In April 2020, the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia joined Attorney General James’ and the FTC’s lawsuit.

A seven-day trial took place in a Manhattan federal courthouse last month, where live testimony concerning the purpose and effects of Vyera and Shkreli’s anticompetitive scheme was provided by current and former Vyera employees, generic drug manufacturers, and experts. The court, today, issued a decision and order largely agreeing with the states and FTC, and provided relief sought — finding Shkreli liable on each of the claims presented in this action. Shkreli has been banned for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry in any capacity, and is ordered to pay the plaintiff states $64.6 million in disgorgement.

In the months leading up to the trial, the court also issued several important rulings in favor of the plaintiffs, including a ruling addressing the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) ability to obtain equitable monetary relief when individuals or companies repeatedly or persistently commit illegal acts in the state. That ruling confirmed the OAG’s authority to seek disgorgement of ill-gotten gains — regardless of where obtained, when the conduct has a nexus to New York — in antitrust and other kinds of cases. 

Last month, Vyera and Mulleady entered into an agreement that, among other things, required the company to pay up to $40 million to offset ill-gotten gains and banned Mulleady from the pharmaceutical industry for seven years

Today’s court decision that Vyera and Shkreli’s conduct was anticompetitive and illegal, and its order banning Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry and requiring a monetary payment reinforces and corroborates the agreement entered into in December with Vyera and Mulleady. In particular, the court’s conclusion that Vyera’s conduct to delay and thwart generic competition was illegal puts pharmaceutical companies on notice that such anticompetitive efforts violate the law. Similarly, the court’s decision to hold Shkreli liable in this anticompetitive scheme puts corporate executives on notice that the OAG is prepared to vigorously seek personal accountability for anticompetitive conduct that harms or impedes people’s access to affordable medicines. 

Governor Hochul Directs State Agencies to Prepare Emergency Response Assets as Combination of Extreme Cold Weather and a Potential Snowstorm are Expected to Impact the State this Weekend


Low Temperatures Will Range From 10 Degrees in NYC, to 0 in the Capital Region and -20 in the North Country; Winds Expected to Gust Up to 25 MPH Across State

Wind Chill Warnings in Effect Through Saturday With Wind Chills as Low as -20 Degrees in Western New York and -40 Degrees in North Country and Along Lake Ontario

Low-Pressure System Moving Across the Country Could Deliver Heavy Snow and Wintry Mix Across State Sunday Night Into Monday Morning

 Governor Kathy Hochul today directed state agencies to prepare emergency response assets as extreme cold temperatures and increasing winds push across the state today, dropping temperatures and wind chill values to dangerous levels tonight through Saturday. Wind chill warnings are in effect from 7 p.m. Friday through 4 p.m. Saturday with wind chill values expected to drop as low as -20 degrees across Western New York and -40 degrees in the North Country and along Lake Ontario. Low temperatures will range from 10 to -20 degrees across the state. Emergency response officials are also monitoring a possible snowstorm that is forecast to begin Sunday evening and last into Monday, bringing heavy snow to several regions across the state and potential coastal flooding to parts of Long Island.

"New Yorkers should prepare now for a serious blast of arctic air tonight and Saturday," Governor Hochul said. "Temperatures and wind chill values like these can be both dangerous and damaging, so limit your exposure and layer-up if you must venture outside, especially our Bills fans in Orchard Park Saturday night. Our state's Emergency Operations Center is also monitoring the forecast for a possible snowstorm that could hit Sunday night and last into Monday, and we stand ready to assist local governments should they need help."

Wind Chill warnings and advisories are currently in effect across the State through Saturday morning.  A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for multiple counties in the Western NY, Finger Lakes, Central NY, Southern Tier, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson regions. 

Forecasts call for a winter storm to impact the state on Sunday evening into Monday, but there remains uncertainty for precipitation types and amounts.  New Yorkers are encouraged to monitor the forecast as details become clearer over the weekend. For a complete listing of weather advisories in your area, visit your area's National Weather Service website.

Safety Tips


  • To avoid frostbite, stay inside during severe cold.
  • If you must go out, try to cover every part of your body: ears, nose, toes and fingers, etc. Mittens are better than gloves. Keep your skin dry and stay out of the wind when possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids since hydration increases the blood's volume, which helps prevent frostbite. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes - caffeine constricts blood vessels and prevents warming of extremities, alcohol reduces shivering, which helps keep you warm, and cigarette use shuts off blood flow to your hands.
  • If you suspect frostbite, until you can get indoors, don't rub or massage cold body parts. Drink warm liquids.  Put on extra layers of clothes and blankets.  Remove rings, watches, and anything tight.
  • Once indoors, don't walk on a frostbitten foot - you could cause more damage. Get in a warm (NOT hot) bath and wrap face and ears in a moist, warm (NOT hot) towel.
  • Don't get near a hot stove or heater or use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or a hair dryer. You may burn yourself before feeling returns.
  • Frostbitten skin will become red and swollen and feel like it's on fire. You may develop blisters. Don't break the blisters. It could cause scarring.
  • If your skin turns blue or gray, is very swollen, blistered or feels hard and numb even under the surface, go to a hospital immediately.


  • Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, especially in children and the elderly.
  • Watch for the following symptoms: inability to concentrate, poor coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, exhaustion, and/or uncontrollable shivering, following by a sudden lack of shivering.
  • If a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, get emergency medical assistance immediately.
  • Remove wet clothing, wrap the victim in warm blankets, and give warm, non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated liquids until help arrives.

Protecting Water Pipes

Prevent the mess and aggravation of frozen water pipes, protect your home, apartment, or business by following these steps:

  • When it's cold, let cold and hot water trickle at night from a faucet on an outside wall. Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to get to un-insulated pipes under a sink or appliance near an outer wall. Make sure heat is left on and set no lower than 55 degrees.
  • If you plan to be away, have someone check your house daily to make sure the heat is still on to prevent freezing, or drain and shut off the water system (except indoor sprinkler systems).
  • If pipes freeze, make sure you and your family know how to shut off the water, in case pipes burst. Stopping the water flow minimizes damage to your home.
  • Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch.
  • Always be careful of the potential for electric shock in and around standing water.
  • Call a plumber and contact your insurance agent.

Be "Fire Safe"

Heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationally and in New York State. Take a few simple steps to significantly reduce the possibility of experiencing a heating related fire. No matter how careful you are with home heating, you and your family should be prepared in case fire strikes:

  • Buy and carefully maintain a quality smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
  • Inspect your home to eliminate or control fire hazards.
  • Install at least 5-pound A-B-C type fire extinguishers in the home and teach family members how to use them.
  • Establish a well-planned escape route with the entire family.
  • Hold practice fire drills until all family members are thoroughly familiar with plan.
  • If you have an older home, have the wiring checked by a qualified electrician to make sure it meets current building codes.
  • Have your chimney and fireplace cleaned and inspected yearly for creosote build-up, cracks, crumbling bricks or mortar and any obstructions.
  • Keep storage areas clean and tidy.
  • Keep curtains, towels and potholders away from hot surfaces.
  • Store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. NEVER keep gasoline in the house.
  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs.

Maintain and Inspect Home Heating Appliances

Proper maintenance and an annual inspection of heat pumps, furnaces, space heaters, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connections by qualified specialists can prevent fires and save lives. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation, venting, fueling, maintenance and repair. Review the owner's manual to make sure you remember the operating and safety features.

Space Heaters - Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs, and other combustibles. Avoid the use of extension cords with electric heaters. Always turn off space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed.

Fuel Burning Appliances - Inspect the shut off mechanism and wick for proper operation. Fill the tank with fresh fuel. Let the heater cool down before refueling. Adding fuel to a hot heater can start a dangerous fire.

Wood Burning Appliances and Fireplaces - Do not burn trash in the wood stove or fireplace. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods. Be sure the fire you build fits your fireplace or stove, don't overload it. Be sure wood stoves are installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the fireplace, stove and chimney. Keep the area around them clean. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from leaving the fireplace and starting a fire. Never leave a fire unattended.

Chimneys - Creosote accumulation is the leading cause of chimney fires. A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable. An annual chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep can prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ashes - Keep wood stoves and fireplaces free of excess ash buildup. Excessive ash buildup prevents good circulation of air needed for combustion. When removing ashes, use a metal container with a tight-fitting cover. Always place ashes in an outside location away from structures. Ashes that seem cool may contain a smoldering charcoal that can start a fire.

Carbon Monoxide

  • Carbon monoxide is produced anywhere that fuel is burned and is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and invisible killer, and the ONLY safe way to detect it is with a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Carbon monoxide alarms range in price from $20 to $50 depending on additional features.
  • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, headaches and dizziness.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, ventilate the area and get to a hospital.

Other Heating Safety Tips

  • Make sure chimneys and vents are checked for blockages, corrosion, and loose connections.
  • Open flues completely when fireplaces are in use.
  • Use proper fuel in space heaters.
  • Never burn charcoal or a barbecue grill inside a home or enclosed space.
  • Never use portable fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, or vehicle
  • Never leave a car running in an attached garage, even with the garage door open.
  • Never operate unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room where people are sleeping.
  • Never use the kitchen stove for heating a house.
  • Never run a gas-powered generator in a garage, basement, or near any overhang on the home. Keep it at a distance.

Winter Driving

Transportation crashes are the leading cause of death and injury during winter storms.

Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra cautious while behind the wheel and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.

It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.

Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:

  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.
  • Wet leaves on roadways can cause slippery conditions, making it important to drive at slower speeds when approaching patches of them.
  • Make sure your car is stocked with blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick-energy foods and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
  • Keep your gas tank full to prevent gasoline freeze-up.
  • If you have a cell phone or two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.
  • Make sure someone knows your travel plans.
  • While driving, keep vehicles clear of ice and snow.
  • Plan stops and keep distance between cars. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.