Thursday, September 21, 2017

Trinitarios Gang Member Sentenced To 30 Years In Prison For Murder Of 16-Year-Old Boy

  Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JUAN MARTINEZ, a/k/a “KJ,” was sentenced today by United States District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer to a term of 30 years in prison for his participation in a racketeering conspiracy and in the murder of 16-year-old Ka’Shawn Phillips on September 5, 2005.  MARTINEZ was a member of the Yonkers faction of the violent Trinitarios gang (the “Trinitarios Gang”).

Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “On a Labor Day weekend 12 years ago, Juan Martinez recruited a hit squad of his fellow Trinitarios Gang members to murder 16-year-old Ka’Shawn Phillips, who had earlier been involved in a fistfight with Martinez.  The Trinitarios Gang members recruited by Martinez brutally shot, beat, and stabbed Phillips to death in the middle of the street.  While nothing can bring Phillips back, we hope his family finds a measure of solace in the justice achieved by today’s sentence.  Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute all those who engage in these senseless acts of violence in our communities.”

In imposing sentence, Judge Engelmayer noted the “savagery of the attack,” and observed that Martinez was “personally responsible for the slaughter” of Phillips and that Martinez’s crime was “as wrongful and evil as a crime can be.”

According to the Indictment, and other documents filed in the case, as well as statements made during the sentencing proceedings:

The Trinitarios Gang was a violent gang that was formed in the New York state prison system in the early 1990s and subsequently spread to the streets.  JUAN MARTINEZ, a/k/a “KJ,” was a member of the Yonkers faction of the Trinitarios Gang.  On September 5, 2005, MARTINEZ – who was 30 years old at the time – was involved in a fistfight with Ka’Shawn Phillips at a pickup basketball game in Yonkers.  MARTINEZ retaliated first by attacking Phillips with a machete, and then by enlisting members of the Bronx faction of the Trinitarios Gang to attack Phillips.  Armed with guns, knives, and swords, a mob of Trinitarios Gang members shot, beat, and stabbed Phillips to death.  He was 16 years old.

In addition to the prison term, MARTINEZ, 42, of Yonkers, New York, was sentenced to five years of supervised release. 
Since 2009, as part of “Operation Patria” and “Operation Green Haze,” this Office has charged at least a combined 149 members and associates of the Trinitarios Gang.
Mr. Kim praised the work of the New York City Police Department’s Bronx Gang Squad, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives’ Joint Firearms Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Former Attorney Sentenced To More Than 3 Years In Prison For Defrauding Investors Of More Than $1 Million

   Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that BRANDON LISI was sentenced today to 38 months in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud at least four individual investors in real estate transactions of more than $1 million.  LISI pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on April 3, 2017, for his role in the fraud.  LISI entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, who imposed today’s sentence.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As he previously admitted, Brandon Lisi, a former attorney, misled clients into investing over $1 million in real estate properties.  These investments yielded no profit for investors, because Lisi and his co-defendant simply pocketed the funds.  Now Brandon Lisi faces time in federal prison for his fraud.”  
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Financial crimes have the potential to turn lives upside down and inside out.  The victims in this case deserve to see justice served. As evidenced by today’s sentence, they will.  May this be a reminder to others that this type of behavior won’t go unpunished.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in related court proceedings:
LISI, a former attorney, and his co-conspirator, a practicing attorney, built relationships of trust with victim investors and then induced those investors to put money into fraudulent business deals.  Through the course of the scheme, LISI and his co-conspirator made false representations and failed to disclose material information to investors, all in an effort to induce them to hand their money over to invest in these purported deals.  LISI further caused another individual, acting at his direction, to make false statements in bankruptcy court in an effort to forestall foreclosure on one of the properties LISI had obtained.   Although LISI promised his victims large returns on their investments, he and his co‑conspirator used the invested funds for personal use, through substantial cash withdrawals, payments to relatives, and transfers to pay off personal debts.
Ultimately, the victims of this scheme lost nearly all of the money they had invested, which was more than $1 million in total. 
In addition to the prison term, LISI, 43, of Melville, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $1,438,358 and to pay $1,438,358 in restitution.
Mr. Kim praised and thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their outstanding investigative work. 
If you believe you were a victim of this crime, including a victim entitled to restitution, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement and/or receive notice of future developments in the case or additional information, please contact the Victim/Witness Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, at (866) 874-8900.  For additional information, go to


Defendant Allegedly “Raped” Two Women Could Face 50 Years In Prison If Convicted Of Top Counts 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that a female inmate on Rikers Island has been indicted for first-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse and a host of other charges for attacks on three fellow inmates. Many of the sexual abuse incidents were captured on video. 

   District Attorney Clark said, “This case is horrific for many reasons: the defendant allegedly sexually brutalized an inmate in view of a surveillance camera, she was able to enter a locked area to savagely beat another inmate, and the defendant allegedly caused an inmate to break a wrist to stop her from reporting the abuse. Fortunately, the witness was not intimidated and informed my office. 

  “No matter why these women are in jail, they cannot and must not be treated as less than human.” 

  District Attorney Clark said the defendant, Alexandria James, 23, was arraigned today before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and bail was set at $50,000. She is due back in court on January 10, 2017. She was indicted on two counts of first-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse, three counts of third-degree Aggravated Sexual Abuse, 20 counts of first degree Sexual Abuse,28 counts of Forcible Touching, 28 counts of third-degree Sexual Abuse, three counts of Attempted Assault second-degree, two counts of second-degree Assault, two counts of third-degree Assault; two counts of third-degree Intimidating a Victim or Witness, three counts of first-degree Stalking, two counts of third-degree Stalking, second-degree Menacing, 14 counts of third-degree Menacing, three counts of first-degree Harassment and 23 counts of second-degree Harassment. If convicted of the top counts, she could face 50 years in prison.

  According to the investigation, between October 10, 2016 and April 16, 2017, the defendant, while housed in the Rose M. Singer Center, sexually abused two women on numerous occasions. On April 15th and 16th, 2017, while the defendant was housed in a segregated cell with another inmate, the defendant allegedly subjected the inmate to two days of assaults, culminating in penetrating her while wearing a makeshift phallic device. The cell was under video observation and all the incidents were recorded.

  According to the investigation, the defendant attacked another inmate on several occasions in October and November, 2016 including one in which she beat the inmate and tore hair out of her head after gaining access to a locked area where the inmate was working, and another in a shower area where she penetrated the inmate while wearing the phallic device.

  The defendant is also charged with assaulting an inmate whom the defendant believed had told jail officials about the sexual abuse. On November 25, 2016, the defendant pushed the inmate and she fell and broke her wrist. That inmate sent a letter to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in February, 2017, and the Rikers Island Prosecution Bureau began an investigation in April, 2017.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Department of Correction Investigation Division Investigator Ingris Martinez, Investigators Scott Frank and Daniel Monaco of the DOC Correction Intelligence Bureau, and Bronx DA Detective Investigators Timothy Gernon and Monisara Brahm for their assistance in this case.

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.


Defendants Allegedly Assaulted Rival Gangs And Innocent Victims; Murdered Teen Over Two Dollars In 2016 Robbery; Robbed Family Out Shopping On Christmas Eve 2014, Stabbed Son 

  Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark today announced that 20 members of the Slattery Avenue Boys gang have been indicted in a Conspiracy that caused a wave of bloodshed in the Fordham/Mount Hope neighborhoods over four years that included two murders, assaults on rival gangs and brutal crimes against innocent victims.  

  District Attorney Clark said, “The violence allegedly wrought by these defendants was fierce and prolific, and left surviving victims irreparably damaged. These young defendants chose the gang life and this case shows how it will lead to either death or prison.” 

  District Attorney Clark said the defendants are variously charged in a 41-count indictment including Conspiracy, Reckless Endangerment, Criminal Possession of a Weapon, Attempted Murder, Gang Assault, Assault and Robbery. If convicted of the top charge of first-degree Conspiracy, they face a minimum of 15 to 25 years and a maximum of life in prison. 

  Ten of the defendants were already incarcerated and seven were arrested and arraigned on Sept. 12, 2017 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice Robert Neary. Three are still being sought.

  According to the investigation, members of the gang, which began as a dance/rap crew in Slattery Playground on East 183rd Street between Valentine and Ryer Avenues, stepped up their battles with rivals in 2013. On August 2, 2013, Juan Calderon, Jahkim Wright and Abraham Moore allegedly shot and killed Khaleed Adams in retaliation for a shooting that left Calderon’s brother paralyzed. On December 28, 2015, in Jimmy Jazz Clothing Store on East Fordham Road, Wright and Moore allegedly stabbed an opposing gang member in the torso, eviscerating part of his bowel.

  According to the investigation, on June 17, 2016, Tristan Ortiz allegedly acted in concert with another to stab random victim Carl Ducasse, 17, to death when he refused to give them two dollars

  On Christmas Eve 2014, a man and his 19-year-old daughter, 16-year-old son and his three young children were out Christmas shopping when Tyquan McNeil, Joshua Castro and another individual allegedly demanded the family’s property. During the course of the robbery, the teen son was stabbed twice in the back.

  According to the investigation, on February 3, 2015 Wright, Tyrell Griffin, Will Jetter and Laron Hudson and others had gathered for a wake following the death of a fellow Slattery Boys member. During the wake they went to a nearby bodega where they allegedly stabbed an innocent bystander—puncturing his lung--whom they believed to be a rival gang member.

  On March 16, 2017, inside a Rikers Island jail, Nasir Cooper allegedly slashed a fellow inmate multiple times in the head, face and body.

  District Attorney Clark thanked Detectives Michael Delgardo and Patrick Nichols of the NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Unit for their work in the case. 

An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt

DEFENDANTS Juan Calderon, 24 Jahkim Wright a/k/a “Jah”, 23 Abraham Moore a/k/a "Abe", 23 Tyrell Griffin a/k/a "Tye", 23 Will Jetter, 21 Laron Hudson a/k/a "Yungie", 25 Tristan Ortiz a/k/a "Wizzy", 20 Joshua Castro, 19 Nasir Cooper a/k/a "Nas", 20 Jon Arce a/k/a "Jon Jon", 19 Tyquan McNeil a/k/a "Ty Gz",20 Christian Salcedo a/k/a "Sandy", 18 John Doe, 16 John Doe, 15 Joseph Valdez, 18 Jeffrey Valdez a/k/a "Charlie Balla", 19 Shameek Mitchell a/k/a "Sha", 24 Joel DeJesus a/k/a "Ha", 22 Daniel Vega a/k/a "Doofy", 23 Curtis Wilson a/k/a "Gilly", 20

The indictment variously charges the defendants with the following: 
 One of count first-degree Conspiracy, one count of second-degree Conspiracy, two counts of third-degree Conspiracy and one count of fourth-degree Conspiracy.
 One count of first-degree Reckless Endangerment 
 Six counts of second-degree Criminal Possession of a Weapon and four counts of fourthdegree Criminal Possession of a Weapon 
 Six counts of Attempted Murder second-degree 
 One count of first-degree Gang Assault and one count of second-degree Gang Assault 
 Two counts of first-degree Assault and four counts of second-degree Assault
 One count of first-degree Robbery, two counts of second-degree Robbery and one count of third-degree Robbery
 One count of Attempted Robbery in the Second-Degree 
 One count of fifth-degree Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 
 Four counts of Attempted Assault in the First-Degree 
 One count of fourth-degree Criminal Mischief

Assembly member Mark Gjonaj amd CM Andrew Cohen Host 7th Annual "Welcome to the Neighborhood Weekend Walk"


  "For the second time today, I must offer my prayers for peace and comfort, and my heartfelt condolences, to the family of a worker killed on another construction site today. I would further extend my prayers to a second worker on-site who sustained serious injuries in the same accident. I pray for his recovery."
"That we should grieve the loss of a second worker in one day, that their families are now in mourning, is unfathomable. That these accidents occur with such frequency is unbelievable. That more is not being done to protect those who build this great city is unconscionable."
"I can only hope that we as a city move quickly to change the culture and environment that undervalues workers' safety and well-being. I continue to work to make these issues a priority."



  "We would like to offer our prayers for peace and comfort to the family of Juan Chonillo, who was killed on a construction site in Manhattan this morning. His tragic death is another in a series of far too many caused by an eroded culture of safety in the New York City construction industry, which has only gotten worse. No other industry would have been allowed to witness such death without substantive change. Immediate and real action is required."
"The measures before the City Council next week are common sense, essential steps towards beginning to change the culture in the industry. For too long, their safety has been sacrificed for the sake of expediency and profit. This bill would, for the first time ever, mandate a uniformed minimum amount of safety training for all sites across the city, making the protection of workers a priority. Additionally, the fine structure for safety violations will be changed, ensuring that responsibility for such violations, and the tragic consequences they may lead to, is now felt by all, including owners and developers.
"Alarmingly, the construction project in question had already received numerous violations and fines this year, and as recently as yesterday a partial stop work order was issued. This is a clear demonstration that available tools are not sufficient."
"The bill and accompanying funding commitments before the City Council next week are aimed at this instance and all the other workers we have lost. I would like to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito, Council Members Chin and Menchaca, and my other colleagues on the Council for their sponsorship of this bill. It will not only demonstrate our commitment to worker safety as a priority; it will also address the needs of those who cannot afford to pay. It is our sincere hope that this will help prevent future injuries and deaths like the heartbreaking incident we experienced today."