Thursday, July 16, 2015
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK,JULY 16- Elizabeth Gill, President of the 47th Precinct Council, demanded action when crime was going way up last year in the 47th Precinct, and it seems that City Hall heard her.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton came to Cardinal Spellman High School to explain the new 'Summer All Out' police department program. It is a three-month program called 'Summer All Out' in the 10 highest crime police precincts. The mayor and police commissioner praised the new program that was started last month. Crime decreased in the 47th Precinct in Wakefield with shootings down 70 percent for the past month.
In the past the Mayor said that there was a chain of command that had to be gone through to change the deployment of police officers in a precinct. Now that red tape has been cut to allow for an almost instant redeployment of officers where they may be needed when problems pop up. The 47th Precinct has been assigned 26 additional officers for three months, and several other officers commonly refereed to as 'House Mouse Officers' have also been deployed into the streets of the precinct. In all there are 330 additional officers that have been sent to the 10 precincts in the 'Summer All Out' Program which began on June 8th. Other Bronx police precincts in this three month program are the 43rd, 44th, and 46th according to Bronx Assistant Chief Commanding Officer Larry Nikunen.
Deputy Inspector Stevenson of the 47th Pct. had only praise for his police officers, and he thanked 47th Pct. Council President Elizabeth Gill for her help in getting his command the much needed manpower to reduce the high crime rate.
Commissioner Bratton spoke of how the NYPD must keep coming up with new strategies to keep ahead of the bad guys. However when asked the question - that it looks like the first thing that the new street officers are doing is looking at car registration and inspection stickers when they arrive on their beat. I then said that to me it looks like these officers might have a ticket quota to fill.
Commissioner Bratton fired back to me, 'Well that's what it looks like to you', and then stepped away from the podium without any real answer. I asked one of the new officers the same question, and was told if the situation warrants a summons it will be given. 47th Pct. Commanding Officer Stevenson said 'No Comment' when I asked him the same question.
#NYPD #MayordeBlasio #Bratton #SummerAllOut #Bronxnews
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Hunts Point News: Authorities Snuff Out $2M bootleg Smokes Ring: Authorities Snuff Out $2M bootleg Smokes Ring BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 9- District Attorney Robert Johnson announced mu...
Posted by Bronx News at 2:27 PM
BRONX, NEW YORK, JULY 9- District Attorney Robert Johnson announced multiple indictments of 20 people and six corporations containing 1,345 counts regarding a major smuggling operation that brought more than 44,000 untaxed cartons of cigarettes from Virginia to the Bronx during a single five-month period in 2014 alone. The participants are accused of evading more than $2.978 million in New York State and City taxes. The total maximum tax penalty, for New York City and State combined, is more than $35,768,000.
After a two-and-a-half-year multi-agency investigation, 19 men and one woman were charged following simultaneous arrests in New York, Virginia, Connecticut and New Jersey. The Bronx County grand jury indictments were unsealed with the Supreme Court arraignment of several of the defendants in Part 60, before Justice Steven Barrett. The following defendants are named in one or more indictment:
Cigarette smuggling is big business. It is estimated that, in New York State, 58 percent of all cigarettes sold are untaxed, and smuggled in primarily from Virginia. With per pack prices topping $11 and more, bringing in untaxed cigarettes is very profitable – New York state and city taxes add $5.85 to each pack.
It is alleged in the indictment that the boss, Mohamed Mustafa, headed the operation by acquiring cigarettes for distribution from Virginia, storing those cigarettes at 2118 Matthews Avenue in Morris Park and other locations in the Bronx, and by controlling the distribution of cigarettes to the New York City area without paying New York State or City tobacco taxes, thereby generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit proceeds for himself and other members of the enterprise. His lieutenant, Hiyad Chaib, is alleged to have assisted the criminal enterprise in all aspects of the operation, and would serve as the central contact for the employees and associates when Mustafa was away.
Mustafa and Chaib determined the New York-based distributors to whom they would sell cigarettes, the prices thedistributors had to pay for cigarettes, and the times and locations at which the distributors would exchange money for cigarettes, it is further alleged. They also controlled the storage facilities and both of them actively answered a “business line” to collect orders and arrange deliveries. Each week, almost 2,000 cartons of cigarettes (400,000 cigarettes) would pass through the enterprise costing the state over $100,000 in tax revenue. The total tax fraud is estimated to be close to $3 million; total maximum tax penalties, if the defendants are convicted, will reach nearly $36 million.
Indictment papers also describe how Mustafa and Chaib originally acquired the majority of the cigarettes they distributed in the Bronx from suppliers Rabih Saba and Moeen Khan, residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia, who owned and managed a chain of mattress stores (“The Mattress Place”) and dollar stores around Richmond, Virginia. Indeed, Saba and Khan used their Virginia businesses, in part, as collection and distribution centers for cigarettes purchased in Virginia with only the low Virginia cigarette tax, and thereafter controlled the distribution ofthe cigarettes to the New York City area without anyone associated with the Enterprise paying New York State or City tobacco taxes for those cigarettes. They also used their business and personal accounts to transfer money from the Bronx and Manhattan to them in Virginia.
To generate said money, Saba and Khan are accused of forming a network of cigarette buyers in Virginia who would visit Costco, Sam’s Club, Wawa, and other retail sellers of cigarettes, to purchase cartons of cigarettes in a large enough quantity to make trafficking them to New York profitable. Saba and Khan arranged with Mustafa and Chaib for near-daily deliveries to New York. Some of the proceeds were also sent to a number of the defendants’ home countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Money seized from the operation totals more than $100,000.
Operation Smoke Brake is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys W. Dyer Halpern, Jessica-Deanna Lupo, and Caitlin Carroll of the Arson/Auto/Economic Crimes Bureau, which is under the supervision of Counsel to the Investigations Division Mary Jo Blanchard, Bureau Chief William Zelenka and Executive A.D.A. Thomas Leahy.
#Cigarettes #BronxDA #Bronxnews
Hunts Point News: Inmate charged with attacking social worker in Rik...: Inmate charged with attacking social worker in Rikers District Attorney Robert Johnson announced the indictment of 35-yea...
District Attorney Robert Johnson announced the indictment of 35-year-old Jonathan Hodgson in the brutal June attack on a Rikers Island medical worker.
Hodgson was arraigned in Bronx Supreme Court before Justice Joseph Dawson and pled not guilty to: assault in the first degree (Class B Felony); assault in the second degree (3 counts) (Class D Felony); assault in the third degree (Class A Misdemeanor) and resisting Arrest (Class A Misdemeanor).
Hodgson is being held at Rikers Island’s George R. Vierno Center on an underlying Manhattan indictment for attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the first degree for a January, 2015 attack. On June 18th, he stepped into the office where 69-year-old mental health clinician Ralph Atlas was working.
Hodgson is accused of, without warning or provocation, pummeling the Corizon employee in the face and head, breaking the clinician’s jaw, fracturing his eye socket and nose, as well as causing other injuries for which the victim had to be hospitalized.
Bail was set at $10,000 following the D.A.’s request for $250,000; Hodgson is to return to court on September 1, 2015, Part 77, Hall of Justice, 265 E. 161st Street, Room 680. The defendant has asked to represent himself in Court.
If convicted of the charges, Hodgson faces up to 25 years behind bars. The case against Hodgson is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Ara Ayvazian of the Bronx D.A. Intake Bureau. The charges in this indictment are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
#RikersIsland #NYPD #BronxDA #Bronxnews