Saturday, May 28, 2022

U.S. Attorney’s Office Provides Update on Federal Prosecutions and Ongoing Strategies To Combat Violent Crime in Chicago


 With the summer months approaching, John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, today provided an update on federal prosecutions and strategies to combat violent crime in Chicago and the surrounding area.

“Anyone thinking of engaging in gun violence or trafficking dangerous narcotics in Chicago this summer needs to know that a federal prosecution could await them,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “A primary goal of our office is to reduce violent crime, and we will continue to use every available federal law enforcement tool to keep people safe this summer and beyond.”

The centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts continues to be Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders works together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  PSN is an evidence-based program that focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs to pursue lasting reductions in crime.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago also participates in a Department of Justice cross-jurisdictional strike force, led locally by U.S. Attorney Lausch, to disrupt illegal firearms trafficking and reduce gun violence.   As part of the Chicago firearms trafficking strike force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office collaborates with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners in the Northern District of Illinois and across the country to help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms and to identify patterns, leads, and potential suspects in violent gun crimes.  The Chicago strike force’s efforts have been substantially enhanced by the Chicago Police Department’s (CPD’s) Gun Investigations Team.

“Firearms traffickers and straw purchasers enable violence,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “The cross-jurisdictional strike force has increased collaboration with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners and enhanced our longstanding efforts to hold accountable individuals or groups who illegally traffic firearms into Chicago.”

In addition to a sustained focus on prosecutions of federal firearm offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office endeavors to disrupt violent crime by seeking pre-trial detention for defendants who pose a danger to the community and pursuing appropriate prison sentences to deter dangerous individuals from continuing to cause violence in their communities. 

Following up on activities most recently reported in November of last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office remains active in fighting violent crime through enforcement actions, prosecutions, and community partnerships, as illustrated by the examples below from the past six months.

Enforcement Actions and Prosecution Activity

The U.S. Attorney’s Office works closely with U.S. law enforcement agencies, including ATF, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI), and U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), to investigate and prosecute a variety of violent crimes.  State and local partners in this effort include CPD, Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Rockford Police Department (RPD), and other police departments throughout northern Illinois.

The primary focus of these collaborative law enforcement efforts is to investigate and prosecute gangs and other groups of individuals who work in concert to commit violent crimes, including murders, attempted murders, robberies, carjackings, drug trafficking, and firearms trafficking.  In addition, these enforcement efforts also identify for potential federal prosecution individual offenders who drive violence.

Firearm and violent crime investigations in Chicago have also been bolstered by an important tool from ATF – the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN).  NIBIN is the only national network that allows for the capture and comparison of ballistic evidence to aid in solving and preventing violent crimes involving firearms.  NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to quickly disrupt shooting cycles.  Federal, state, and local law enforcement in Chicago have used NIBIN extensively to help solve violent crimes and prosecute trigger-pullers and other gun offenders. 

Racketeering and Gang-Related Prosecutions

“Combating the unacceptable level of gang violence in Chicago has been and will continue to be a top priority in our office,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.

  • A member of a violent Chicago street gang was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity that included the murder of a rival gang member. LUIS CONTRERAS, of Chicago, admitted that the murder was committed to further the purposes of the Latin Saints, a criminal organization whose members engaged in drug dealing and violence on Chicago’s South Side.  ATF, HSI, and CPD led the investigation.

Firearm Trafficking and Firearm Theft Prosecutions

“We are using every available federal law enforcement tool to continue to bring impactful cases that hold firearms traffickers accountable and reduce violent crime in Chicago,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.

  • DEVON DOW, of Chicago, was charged with trafficking individually manufactured “ghost guns” in Chicago.  Dow allegedly sold seven “ghost guns” to an undercover law enforcement officer on the city’s South Side.  The firearms were considered “ghost guns” because they contained no identifiable serial number and had been manufactured from parts collected from various sources.  HSI and CPD led the probe.
  • Five men were indicted for allegedly trafficking guns from St. Louis to Chicago.  The charges accuse ROBERT NARUP, of Washington, Mo., of buying firearms at gun shows throughout the United States and illegally selling them to JEROME BOYKIN, of St. Louis, Mo.  Boykin then allegedly brought the guns to Chicago and sold them to ROGELIO MANCERA, of Schaumburg, Ill., in exchange for marijuana.  The charges accuse Mancera, RODOLFO ORTEGA of Chicago, and HECTOR CHACON of Chicago, with selling the guns on the streets of Chicago.  ATF and CPD’s Gun Investigations Team led the probe, with assistance from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.
  • A federal jury convicted JOSEPH GHANDOUR, of Glenview, Ill., of illegally selling a “ghost gun” to a convicted felon in a suburban Chicago grocery store parking lot.  Unbeknownst to Ghandour, the felon to whom he sold the rifle was cooperating with law enforcement.  FBI investigated.
  • A man was indicted on firearm charges for allegedly straw purchasing 27 handguns from suburban Chicago stores.  MATTHEW JAMAAL JOHNSON, of Dolton, Ill., allegedly falsely certified on federal forms that he was the actual buyer, when, in reality, Johnson purchased the guns on behalf of another individual.  ATF and CPD led the probe.

Carjacking and Other Violent Crime Prosecutions

  • A federal jury convicted a central Illinois man in the murder of McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner and the attempted murder of three other federal law enforcement officers.  Keltner, who was serving as a Special Deputy U.S. Marshal, was fatally wounded on March 7, 2019, when law enforcement attempted to execute a warrant for FLOYD E. BROWN’s arrest at a Rockford hotel.  Brown fired multiple shots at a Deputy U.S. Marshal and two Special Deputy U.S. Marshals who were attempting to take Brown into custody.  Brown then jumped out of a hotel window and fired a shot that fatally struck Special Deputy Keltner.  FBI led the murder investigation, with assistance from ATF, U.S. Marshals Service, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, Rockford Police Department, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office, Bloomington Police Department, Loves Park Police Department, Lincoln Police Department, Logan County Sheriff’s Office, and ISP. 
  • ANGELO STANTON, of Chicago, was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for violently robbing more than a dozen Chicago stores.  Stanton carried out takeover-style heists in which he pointed a handgun at employees and demanded cash from the register or safe.  He fired shots in five heists, wounding two store employees.  The probe was led by FBI and CPD, with assistance from ISP and the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
  • A federal judge sentenced two men to federal prison for stealing expensive watches and jewelry at gunpoint from a jewelry store in Hinsdale, Ill.  TOBIAS DIGGS, of Chicago, and JOSHUA MCCLELLAN, of Oak Lawn, Ill., took more than $400,000 in merchandise, including watches by Frederique Constant, Patek Phillipe, and Tudor.  FBI investigated, with assistance from the Hinsdale Police Department, Oak Lawn Police Department, FBI’s Cellular Analysis Survey Team (CAST), and the Felony Investigation Assistance Team (FIAT), a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force in the western suburbs of Chicago.
  • AARON CLARK, of Chicago, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in robberies that targeted cell phone stores in the suburbs of Chicago.  Clark brandished a gun during the heists and threatened to shoot store employees.  ATF and CPD led the probe, with assistance from the Calumet City Police Department, Peotone Police Department, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.
  • OCIE BANKS, JR., of Berwyn, Ill., was charged with robbing cell phone stores in the Chicago suburbs.  Banks allegedly brandished a firearm in three robberies and one attempted robbery.  FBI investigated.
  • JAMAR JARVIS, of Chicago, was sentenced to ten years in prison for carjacking a vehicle at gunpoint in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood.  FBI and CPD investigated, with assistance from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Illegal Possession of Firearms Prosecutions

“Any felon thinking about picking up a gun in Chicago this summer should expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and face the possibility of going to federal prison for a long time,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.

  • Three convicted felons involved in an exchange of gunfire in a store parking lot in a Chicago suburb were indicted on federal firearm violations.  The trio had previously been convicted of felony offenses and were prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms.  ATF led the investigation, with assistance from the Calumet City Police Department, U.S. Marshals Service, South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force, South Suburban Emergency Response Team, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and Illinois State Police.
  • Convicted felon CIPRIANO RIVERA, of Villa Park, Ill., was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun near an alley in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.  ATF and CPD conducted the investigation.
  • WILLIE WARE, of Riverdale, Ill., and KEVON REED, of Chicago, were arrested after being charged with illegally possessing firearms on a CTA train car.  FBI and CPD investigated, with assistance from ATF.
  • LAVOYCE BAYS, of Markham, Ill., was sentenced to more than eight years in prison for illegally possessing a firearm and ammunition, and shooting a man at a gas station after a dispute.  ATF and the Markham Police Department investigated.
  • TERRANCE WEATHERSBY, of Chicago, was sentenced to more than seven years in prison for illegally possessing a loaded handgun equipped with a high-capacity magazine on a street in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.  ATF and CPD investigated.
  • A felon was sentenced to seven years in prison for illegally possessing a loaded semiautomatic handgun at a block party on the South Side of Chicago.  ANTHONY CARR, of Chicago, tossed the gun into a large outdoor tent before Chicago Police officers apprehended him.  CPD and ATF investigated.
  • BERNARD HARVEY, JR., of Indianapolis, Ind., pleaded guilty to a firearm charge, admitting to illegally possessing a semi-automatic rifle at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Chicago.  FBI and CPD investigated, with assistance from the VA Police Department.
  • KEYZOE WILLIAMS, of Chicago, was arrested for allegedly illegally possessing a loaded machine gun in Chicago.  Williams possessed a handgun equipped with a conversion device, also known as an “auto sear” or “Glock switch,” which turned the firearm into a machine gun capable of automatically firing more than one shot with a single trigger pull.  ATF investigated, with assistance from ISP, CPD, Willowbrook Police Department, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, and DuPage Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigations Team.

Significant Drug Trafficking Prosecutions

The U.S. Attorney’s Office targets traffickers who bring illegal drugs into Illinois from other states or countries, with a focus on organizations or individuals who use guns, violence, and threats of violence to protect and promote their illegal businesses.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office works directly with state’s attorney’s offices in Cook County and throughout the district to ensure that individuals trafficking drugs are charged with appropriate offenses in either federal or state court.

Public safety is also being threatened by unprecedented levels of opioid misuse and overdose.  Opioids are a class of highly addictive drugs that includes heroin, fentanyl, and prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone.  U.S. Attorney Lausch in November 2019 created an Opioid Task Force for the purpose of combatting the growing number of unlawful distributions of controlled substances fueling the nation’s opioid crisis.  This effort includes prosecuting the leaders of traditional drug trafficking organizations, as well as rogue health care providers, pharmacists, and others who contribute to the misuse of opioids.  “We are actively attacking the opioid crisis from all investigative and prosecutorial angles,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.

  • ADÁN CASARRUBIAS SALGADO, of Guerrero, Mexico, was extradited from Mexico on a federal indictment charging him with distributing heroin in the Chicago area in 2014 and laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in proceeds.  DEA investigated.
  • Ten alleged members or associates of a Chicago street gang were charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine on the West Side of Chicago.  The investigation, led by HSI and CPD, used undercover and covert surveillance operations and resulted in the seizure of multiple kilograms of suspected heroin, some of which was laced with fentanyl, and cocaine, as well as four rifles, four handguns, a MAC-10 submachine gun, a shotgun, and more than 450 rounds of ammunition.  This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation.
  • A central Illinois man was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for attempting to traffic cocaine in Chicago.  TEKOA Q. TINCH, of Bloomington, Ill., attempted to buy a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover law enforcement officer in the city’s Little Village neighborhood.  DEA, ATF, and CPD led the investigation.
  • A federal grand jury charged GILBERTO ALMANZA, of North Chicago, Ill., with distributing approximately 46 kilograms of cocaine to an individual who, unbeknownst to Almanza, was cooperating with law enforcement.  Police later conducted a court-authorized search of Almanza’s residence and discovered approximately two kilograms of cocaine and a loaded handgun, the charges allege.  DEA conducted the probe.
  • A federal jury convicted a suburban Chicago man of laundering illegal narcotics proceeds on behalf of drug traffickers in Mexico.  HUAZHI HAN, of North Riverside, Ill., schemed with an individual in Mexico to facilitate the receipt of more than $1 million in narcotics proceeds in the United States.  DEA investigated, with assistance from IRS-CI, CPD, HSI, and the U.S. Department of Treasury, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
  • A man was arrested after law enforcement seized fentanyl and a “pill press” from his suburban Chicago residence.  TROY CLARK, of Calumet City, Ill., also allegedly possessed other equipment that can be used to manufacture counterfeit pills, including a funnel, metal press, and dye pieces.  DEA, USPIS, and CPD led the probe, with assistance from the Calumet City Police Department.
  • An inmate in a state prison in Arizona was charged with brokering the sale of fentanyl and methamphetamine in Illinois.  MANUEL GARCIA allegedly coordinated with a buyer outside of the prison to purchase methamphetamine and fentanyl for delivery to the Chicago area.  DEA investigated.

Community Partnerships

The PSN program continues to invest resources in violence-prevention initiatives.

The PSN Chicago Task Force, which includes members from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, CPD, ATF, IDOC, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and academic researchers, is designed to address gun violence in certain neighborhoods in Chicago with the highest violent crime rates through aggressive prosecution of violent offenders, using all available federal statutes.  The task force, which in 2018 expanded to include the city of Rockford, establishes a working relationship between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, CPD, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, RPD, and Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. 

The PSN Task Force dedicates federal grant funds to support crime prevention programs that are aligned with law enforcement’s strategy to address gun violence.  Currently, PSN grant funds support Camp Hope, a crime prevention program in Rockford for at-risk juveniles who have experienced or witnessed domestic violence; Choose to Change, a program created by Children’s Home & Aid and Youth Advocate Programs in Chicago to engage youth who are heavily impacted by violence and trauma by connecting them with intensive advocate and wraparound support services and trauma-informed therapy; and Readi Chicago’s Reentry Program, a pilot program in Chicago jointly developed by Heartland Alliance and IDOC to provide both pre-release and post-release services for those returning home from prison to reduce gun violence and recidivism among returning citizens.

Members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office have also participated in offender notification meetings and youth outreach forums.  Even during the current COVID-19 pandemic, these meetings and forums are still being held, including in a virtual environment, to maintain the outreach to former offenders.  Offender notification meetings provide an opportunity for individuals who have been convicted of a state or federal offense to make an informed choice not to engage in further criminal activity.  Researchers at Arizona State University found that the forums in Chicago have a positive influence on the offenders’ perception of police and help create an understanding that criminal activity results in a higher risk to return to prison.  Researchers at Yale University found that ex-offenders who attend an offender notification meeting in Chicago are 30% less likely to commit a new offense than those who did not attend a meeting.  The quarterly youth forums assist teenagers to identify a path beyond criminal activity.  The youth forums are conducted in partnership with CPD, the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and local social service agencies.

New York Man Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison for Offenses Committed During Jan. 6 Capitol Breach


Defendant Chased and Assaulted Law Enforcement Officers in the Capitol, Resisted Orders to Leave 

 A New York man was sentenced to 41 months in prison for assaulting law enforcement officers and other felony offenses related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

Greg Rubenacker, 26, of Farmingdale, New York, was sentenced in the District of Columbia.

According to court documents, Rubenacker engaged in a series of confrontations with law enforcement officers inside the Capitol Building on Jan. 6. At approximately 2:13 p.m., he entered the Capitol Building through the Senate Wing Door, recording a video in which he stated, “This is history! We took the Capitol.” He was in a crowd that was yelling “where are they counting the votes” and eventually chased a U.S. Capitol Police officer securing the area. Rubenacker left the building at 2:21 p.m., but returned 21 minutes later through the Rotunda Door. While in the Rotunda, he smoked marijuana, recording another video that he later posted to a social media website with the caption, “Smoke out the Capitol, baby.”

Rubenacker and others resisted officers attempting to remove individuals from the Rotunda. At approximately 3:08 p.m., he swung a plastic bottle at an officer’s head. He then sprayed water from his bottle across law enforcement officers engaging with other individuals. Law enforcement officers pepper-sprayed the crowd, including Rubenacker, who exited the Capitol at 3:20 p.m.

Rubenacker was arrested on Feb. 9, 2021, in Farmingdale, New York. He pleaded guilty on Feb. 11, 2022, to all 10 counts of an indictment returned in the District of Columbia, including charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers, civil disorder, obstructing an official proceeding, and committing an act of physical violence on the Capitol grounds. Following his prison term, Rubenacker will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,000 in restitution.

The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

In the 16 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 800 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit

Senator Biaggi's Week in Review: 5/23/22-5/27/22

Senator Alessandra Biaggi

Dear Community,

I am excited to share that the Adult Survivors Act (S66A/A648A) was signed into law by Governor Hochul this week. This bill, sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, would create a one-year lookback window for any survivor whose statute of limitations has expired to sue their abusers in civil court. The Adult Survivors Act is a historic bill that puts power back in the hands of adult survivors by giving them the opportunity to hold both their abusers and the institutions that protected them accountable in the courtroom. 

I could not be more grateful for the activists, survivors, bill champions Senator Hoylman and Assemblymember Rosenthal, as well as Safe Horizon for spearheading this movement and to Governor Hochul for prioritizing survivor-centered legislation. The Adult Survivors Act will bring us one step closer to achieving survivor justice in New York.

I would also like to share that my office will be hosting a town hall on bail reform on June 15th. The purpose of this town hall is to bring together the Bronx Community Board leadership, Precinct Council Presidents, community leaders, and experts in an effort to have an open discussion about bail reform, how it has impacted our community, and to address any questions pertaining to the reforms. More details coming soon.

We will also be hosting a workshop on home owning and home buying in June to help guide community members with home owning and home buying and provide resources. Stay tuned for more details on the workshop. 

With Gratitude,

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi


Warm Weather Programming Includes Free Arts, Culture, and Educational Programs, Alongside Expanded Food Vendors and New Visitor Amenities


Comes Amidst Mayor Adams’ Ongoing Work to Bring Back City’s Economy From COVID-19 Pandemic

 New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the Trust for Governors Island today announced a robust calendar of exciting and wide-ranging programs on the Island for this summer, including the return of late nights on Fridays and Saturdays — another critical step in New York City’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s programming highlights the breadth of activities, events, and cultural experiences that can be enjoyed during the warmer months on Governors Island.


“We cannot sit back and wait for our city to recover on its own — we need to showcase all New York City has to offer, and Governors Island should be on the must-see list for every New Yorker and visitor this year,” said Mayor Adams. “There really is something for everyone on the Island, and I can’t wait to go experience it myself.”


“Governors Island attracts locals and tourists alike to its unique, 172-acre lands and award-winning park year-round — but especially during longer days and warmer weather,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “This year’s spring and summer programing offers wonderful experiences in the middle of New York Harbor and further signals that New York City is fully open for business, culture, and play.”


“As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, Governors Island is bustling with activity and is the perfect destination to spend a spring day,” said Clare Newman, president and CEO, Trust for Governors Island. “From transformative arts and cultural experiences to singular environmental and educational programs, to delicious food vendors to brand-new amenities like pétanque, the Island has something for everyone to enjoy. We can’t wait to see you on the ferry this summer.”


Today’s announcement comes at a significant moment in Governors Island’s transformation and Mayor Adams’ ongoing work to bring back New York City’s economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. Highlighted summer programs, activities, and visitor amenities announced today include:




Through public art commissions, the annual ‘Organizations in Residence’ program, and public events and programs, ‘Governors Island Arts’ creates transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers — inviting artists and researchers to engage with the Island’s layered histories, environments, and architecture. ‘Governors Island Arts’ was a key commitment in Mayor Adams’ ‘Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery’ — this announcement marks the second set of new initiatives.


Sam Van Aken’s monumental ‘The Open Orchard,’ which opened to the public on April 29, 2022, welcomes visitors to an orchard com­prised of 102 fruit trees that acts as a liv­ing archive for antique and heir­loom vari­eties that were grown in and around New York City in the past 400 years but have most­ly dis­ap­peared due to cli­mate change and the indus­tri­al­iza­tion of agriculture. Long-term public art installations — including Rachel Whiteread’s ‘Cabin,’ Mark Handforth’s ‘Yankee Hanger,’ Duke Riley’s ‘Not for Nutten,’ and Mark Dion’s ‘The Field Station of the Melancholy Marine Biologist’ — remain on view daily. Shantell Martin’s ‘Church’ and ‘The May Room,’ commissioned for the 2019 season, have been extended through summer 2022, with the latter open to the public weekends from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Governors Island Arts will continue to announce new commissioned public art installations and projects to debut on the Island throughout the coming months.


Two dozen arts, culture, and education organizations utilize space inside the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row to present a robust calendar of free public programs, host artist residencies, and engage visitors in special activities for all ages throughout the summer months. Programs from this year’s ‘Organizations in Residence’ will include NADA House from New Art Dealers Alliance, interactive public installations and artist residencies with ArtCrawl Harlem, bird walks from the New York City Audubon Society, art programs and events from American Indian Community House, indoor and outdoor exhibitions from West Harlem Art Fund, public laboratories exploring regeneration and agroforestry from Swale, a site-specific installation from artists of the Philippine diaspora from the NARS Foundation, educational and environmental programs from the Climate Museum, an exhibition addressing the systemic oppression that BIPOC families and communities are fighting to end from the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, and more. Find a full list of participating organizations and artists on the Governors Island website.


Free events and programs will continue to be announced throughout the season — including Japan Performing Arts’ Early Summer Japanese Festival May 28-29, the return of outdoor films on the Parade Ground in partnership with Film at Lincoln Center and Rooftop Films with a screening of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ on June 3 and ‘The Wiz’ on August 5, a citywide dance party in August in partnership with Festival of New York, and more to be announced.


In addition to programs and commissions presented through Governors Island Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Arts Center at Governors Island will reopen to the public May 28 through October 31, 2022. Exhibitions presented this year include the return of the free ‘Take Care’ monthly public program series; ‘Sun Seekers,’ a new site-specific exhibition with performances by Amy Khoshbin and Jennifer Khoshbin; the first New York City presentation of Back and Song, a four-channel video installation by Elissa Blount-Moorhead and Bradford Young; and ‘Pillars,’ a participatory sculpture installation by Simon Benjamin. Free, timed entry reservations are available online.


This summer, Bloomberg Connects — a free app focused on arts and culture — will also include a guide for the public art on view and other key aspects of the Governors Island experience. The guide will provide information for visitors onsite and will be accessible from anywhere in the world.




Governors Island National Monument, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams, is open weekends from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM for self-guided tours and information. New this year is Carreau Club, which will bring the French sport pétanque to Governors Island. Their outdoor location on King Avenue will open in early June and include several courts alongside an outdoor beer garden featuring craft beer, wine, cocktails, and sandwiches from Court Street Grocers.


The Urban Farm — home to GrowNYC’s teaching garden, Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center and Soil Start Farm, and the Bee Conservancy’s bee sanctuary — is open weekends from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM with free programs and tours. Circular Economy Manufacturing’s MicroFactory — which turns post-consumer plastics into upcycled objects using only solar power — will also offer demonstrations to visitors on weekends.




Governors Island remains one of New York City’s most unique locations for events of all kinds — including, for the first time ever, Pride Island, New York City Pride’s weekend-long music festival in honor of Pride Weekend, featuring performances from Kim Petras, Papi Juice, Lil’ Kim, and more. See below for an additional selection of upcoming events, with more to be announced throughout the season.


  • Outdoor Films presented by Governors Island Arts in partnership with Film at Lincoln Center – June 3, August 5
  • Jazz by the Water – June 4, July 23, August 14
  • New York Harbor Oyster Classic 5K – June 5
  • Jazz Age Lawn Party – June 11-12
  • Porch Stomp folk music festival – June 18
  • FAD Market monthly pop-ups – June 18-19, July 16-17, August 20-21, September 17-18, October 15-16
  • NYCRUNS Father’s Day 5K & 10K – June 19
  • Pride Island – June 25-26
  • Rite of Summer Music Festival – July 16, August 20, September 10
  • Festival of New York Citywide Dance Party – August 5




Governors Island is a culinary destination with a diverse blend of cuisines available daily. New additions for this summer include Gitano Island — a tropical restaurant and beach club opening in June — along with East Asian-inspired meals and snacks from Tokyo Drumstick; rotating weekly food trucks from the New York Food Truck Association; a mix of beer, wine, and cocktails paired with Court Street Grocers sandwiches at Carreau Club; and more to be announced.


Returning Governors Island vendors include Joe Coffee Company, Little Eva’s, Taco Vista, Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights, Island Oyster, Threes Brewing and the Meat Hook, Pizza Yard, Sea Biscuit, Malai, and more. In addition, the Foodie Spot — a partnership with the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability — is now open in Liggett Terrace, spotlighting small businesses owned by graduates of NYCHA’s Food Business Pathways program. Find a full list of vendors and their operating hours on the Governors Island website.




Visitors can enjoy Governors Island’s 120+ acres of open space daily. The Island’s award-winning park offers rolling lawns and plenty of room for New Yorkers to spread out for picnicking and recreation, including over seven miles of car-free bike paths. Hammock Grove’s 40+ public hammocks nestled into the foliage provide a relaxing retreat, and the Hills feature unparalleled views of the harbor and landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty as well as the surrounding Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines.


Popular year-round activities  like bike rentals with Blazing Saddles, including Free Bike Mornings every weekday between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM and CitiBike, guided Governors Island walking tours, self-guided digital walking tours with Urban Archive and Gesso, and more — will continue to be offered to Island visitors. Free kayaking with the Downtown Boathouse returns to Pier 101 on June 4, 2022, and will run every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM through September. More information and updates on recreation activities can be found on the Governors Island website.




Governors Island is open Sunday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, the Island will remain open until 10:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays — inviting New Yorkers to enjoy evenings under the stars, the Island’s growing food and beverage offerings, and special events and programming — all with some of the best views New York City has to offer.


Trust for Governors Island-operated ferries run daily between the Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan and Soissons Landing on the Island. Trust-operated ferries also serve two Brooklyn locations during the summer months — Pier Six in Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin in Red Hook. These routes run directly to Yankee Pier on Governors Island from each location every Saturday, Sunday, and holiday Monday through September 25, 2022. For schedules and ticketing information, visit the Governors Island website.


Visitors are encouraged to reserve ferry tickets in advance of their trip on the Governors Island website. In accordance with federal guidelines, face coverings are required while boarding, riding, and disembarking the ferry. Round-trip ferry tickets cost $4 for adults. Governors Island ferries are always free for children 12 and under, seniors 65 and up, residents of NYCHA, IDNYC holders, current and former military servicemembers, and Governors Island members. Ferries before noon on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all. There is no surcharge for bicycles or strollers on Trust-operated ferries at any time.


The Trust also offers free ferry fares for nonprofit community-based organizations, youth camps, and senior centers throughout New York City. To inquire about group visits, organizations may email


NYC Ferry service to Governors Island on the South Brooklyn route operates weekdays and non-summer weekends. On summer weekends during the highest ridership season, NYC Ferry will continue to operate its dedicated seasonal shuttle from Pier 11/Wall Street in Lower Manhattan. NYC Ferry riders may take any route to Pier 11 and transfer to the shuttle for free, or NYC Ferry riders may transfer for free at either Atlantic Ave/Pier 6 or Red Hook/Atlantic Basin to Trust-operated Brooklyn ferries. For ticketing information and full schedules for NYC Ferry, visit the NYC Ferry website.


Governors Island has undergone a tremendous transformation over the last decade, including the creation of a resilient 43-acre park, a growing arts and cultural program, year-round public access, and remarkable growth in audience. The Island is home to a diverse number of year-round tenants, including the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Billion Oyster Project, Shandaken Projects, Beam Center, the Institute for Public Architecture, and QC NY Spa, as well as the soon-to-open Buttermilk Labs — a new multi-tenant hub for coastal climate solutions scheduled to open in 2024.


In April 2022, the Trust and the city announced the next steps in the competition to establish a global Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island. As the final phase of a global competition, four teams led by top universities will respond to a targeted request for proposals (RFP). Announced as part of Mayor Eric Adams’ Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,’ the RFP will select an anchor academic and research partner to build a new state-of-the-art institution dedicated to researching and demonstrating urban climate solutions and advancing education and training opportunities for New Yorkers in climate and environmental fields. At full build, the Center for Climate Solutions will create 7,000 permanent jobs on Governors Island alone and nearly $1 billion in fiscal impact for the city of New York.


“Governors Island is a treasure that all New Yorkers should experience, and it’s a big part of what makes summer in New York City so special,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “NYC Ferry is an easy and affordable way to get there for families and proves once again the power of waterways to connect and improve our city. I look forward to setting sail to enjoy this perfect weekend escape.”


“The arts are the best way to bring people together to celebrate, communicate, and enjoy what makes our city so vibrant and welcoming,” said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “The amazing slate of programming coming to Governors Island this year is an invitation to all residents to join in the creative energy that makes our city great. From artist residencies and public art installations to performances, festivals, and so much more cultural activity animating every corner of the Island, this is a perfect distillation of how culture is going to drive our city’s recovery. Hop on a ferry and join us!”


Governor Hochul Announces New Yorkers Can Now Choose an "X" Gender Marker on NYS Driver License and ID Cards


Historic Step in Implementing the Gender Recognition Act Takes Effect in Time for Pride Month 

Supports State's Effort to Remove Barriers for Transgender and Non-Binary New Yorkers 

 Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that New Yorkers will have the option to choose "X" as a gender marker on their driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID card at all Department of Motor Vehicle offices statewide. This change is being implemented in accordance with the State's Gender Recognition Act, which goes into effect on June 24. This landmark legislation provides expanded protections for transgender and non-binary New Yorkers through this change at the DMV and by making it easier for people to change their names, change their sex designation and change their birth certificates to reflect their identity.  

"As we prepare to celebrate Pride Month in a few days, I am excited to announce this historic change that represents another victory in our fight to help ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQ+ community," Governor Hochul said. "Every person, regardless of their gender identity or expression, deserves to have an identity document that reflects who they are. My administration remains committed to ensuring that New York is a place of value, love and belonging for members of the LGBTQ+ community." 

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said, "Perhaps more than any other state agency, New Yorkers directly engage with their government through the DMV, so offering identity documents that are representative of all New Yorkers is a significant milestone. We are thrilled to implement this new option that we know will have a positive impact on the lives of so many of our customers."   

Division of Human Rights Commissioner Maria Imperial said, "We applaud our state's important action to ensure that these essential ID documents accurately reflect and affirm who we are. We will continue working to advance dignity and eliminate discrimination against transgender and non-binary people in New York State."  

Deputy Chief Diversity Officer Priya Nair said, "As a transgender and non-binary New Yorker, this action means that I can now get a driver license that better reflects my identity. It's not only the correct gender marker, but it's also an action which demonstrates that New York State affirms and sees me for who I am. Thank you to Governor Hochul, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and all of the non-binary and transgender advocates who pushed for this important and inclusive change. As other states attack and roll back protections for transgender people, I am proud to live in a state that will continue to fight for our communities." 

New Yorkers who have an existing driver license, learner permit, or non-driver ID will have the option to change the gender marker on their photo ID from "M" or "F" to "X", and those who are applying for a NYS photo ID for the first time will have the option to choose "X". This can be done by completing the Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card (MV-44).     

Customers who do not want to visit a DMV office to change their existing ID document will have the option to change their gender designation through an online transaction beginning in July 2022.