Category Archives: Crime

Man Nabbed for Kew Gardens Bomb Threat Hoax

A Flushing man on Tuesday was arrested after threatening to detonate a bomb inside a Kew Gardens building in which the Queens District Attorney, New York State Police and Federal Bureau of Investigation have offices, according to a spokesman for DA Richard Brown. Scott Sasonkin, 49, was expected to be arraigned on Wednesday night on a criminal complaint charging him with first-degree reckless endangerment, first-, second- and third-degree falsely reporting an incident, first-degree placing a false bomb and making a terroristic … Continue reading

Early AM Home Invasion in Ozone Park, Phone Track Leads to Arrest

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb. 25, police in the 106th precinct responded to a burglary taking place at 107th Avenue and 80th Street in Ozone Park.  A woman asleep in her bed had awoken to a noise to find two men in her home, one of them armed. The men were described as dressed in black from head to toe.  They made away with jewels, electronics, and possibly cash, fleeing on foot onto 80th Street. Police were … Continue reading

Sheldon Silver Pleads Not Guilty to Indictment Charges

Minutes after former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal extortion, mail- and wire-fraud charges, his attorneys filed an exhaustive motion to dismiss the indictment against the erstwhile Albany powerbroker. The request to toss the indictment is based on, according to Silver’s lawyers, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s “improper extrajudicial statements.” Silver was arrested late last month following a federal fraud and corruption probe charging one of Albany’s “Three Men in a Room” with allegedly using … Continue reading

Criminal Officials: Money is Not the Only Motive

“Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Sir John Dalberg-Acton’s astute observation has endured for more than 100 years. Last week, The Forum profiled a rogue’s gallery of elected officials from Queens who put faces to Dalberg-Acton’s succinct statement, illustrating impact of that corruption. The paper’s previous story told you the Who. But what about the Why? According to psychologist Dr. Ronald Riggio, leadership is all about power and influence. Leaders use their power to get things done. A simple distinction is between … Continue reading

LI Man Indicted on Hate Crime Charges in Ozone Park Incident

A Queens grand jury has indicted a Long Island man on hate crime charges for a July, 2014 incident in which he allegedly called a Sikh man “Osama” and then intentionally rammed his pick-up truck into the victim and dragged his body along an Ozone Park street before fleeing, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Joseph Caleca, 55, was arraigned last Wednesday on a nine-count indictment charging him with one count of second-degree attempted murder as a hate crime, … Continue reading

Cops Bust Man Running Drugs Out of Daycare Facility

A Woodhaven man on Thursday was arrested and arraigned on drug, child endangerment and other charges for selling marijuana and other drugs out of the basement of his family’s residence—which also operates as a family daycare center and is less than 1,500 feet from two Catholic elementary schools, according to police and Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Michael Gomez, 24, who lives in the same 88th Avenue building in which My Precious Moments, a group family daycare facility operated by … Continue reading

A Long Line of Cheats: Many Corrupt Officials Have Called Queens Home

  It was not too many years ago that it seemed that Malcolm Smith was a protagonist making history for all the proper reasons. In 2009, he became the first African-American majority leader of the state Senate, instantly positioning himself as one of the most powerful politicians in New York. Less than six years and one federal conviction later, Smith is a footnote of that history; the latest in a long line of unscrupulous elected officials who have at some … Continue reading

Woodhaven Murder Ends City’s 12-Day Homicide Streak

Prior to last Saturday, the city had gone nearly two weeks without a single homicide; an unprecedented streak, especially for a metropolis of New York’s size and density. The 12-day record came to a violent end shortly before noon on Friday, as a 28-year-old man was shot in the head, leg and hand on 89th Street in Woodhaven, according to police and published reports. Eric Roman was rushed to Jamaica Hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he succumbed … Continue reading

Grandmother Abandons Child to Play Slots

Casinos see their fair share of gambling addicts, and Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park is apparently no exception. Vigilance lead security guards at the casino to discover a five-year-girl left alone in an unheated vehicle this past Saturday around 11 am, with temperatures below freezing.  The girl’s grandmother, identified as Renee Osby, 56, of Brooklyn, had made an earlier attempt to bring her into the casino with her, but the pair was turned away due to the casino’s … Continue reading

Far Rockaway Gang Member Convicted

Lenard Crudup, reputed to be a member of the so-called Rowdy Gang, was convicted last week of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree reckless endangerment, and endangering the welfare of a child.  Crudup, a 22-year-old resident of Far Rockaway, has been held in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail since his August 7, 2013 arraignment.  He is scheduled to be sentenced later this month, at which time he faces up to 15 years in prison. Crudup wounded ten-year-old Brianna … Continue reading

$86 M Counterfeit Scheme Thwarted; Queens Perps Involved

A 13-member crime ring, responsible for the production of over $86 million in counterfeit U.S. currency, has been taken down by the United States Secret Service.  The last two defendants named in the scheme pleaded guilty last week to RICO conspiracy involving multiple acts of counterfeiting U.S. currency and money structuring. Two other co-conspirators of the 13 are Rego Park and Forest Hills residents. The criminal enterprise involved the production, sale, and distribution of high-quality counterfeit $50 and $100 Federal … Continue reading

DA Highlights Accomplishments, Initiatives at Legislative Breakfast

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown last Friday welcomed elected officials on the city, state and federal levels to his Kew Gardens office for the annual Legislative Breakfast in which he briefed them on key accomplishments and initiatives of the past year, as well as challenges facing borough prosecutors in 2015. The DA’s Office handled more than 77,000 cases in 2014, and the historical downward trend in homicides, robberies, felony assaults and burglaries over the past two decades continued, Brown said. … Continue reading

Flushing Man Charged in Pomonok Houses Murder

A Flushing man was charged with murder for the shooting death of an acquaintance in the early morning hours of Jan. 2 at the Pomonok Houses in Flushing, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. Shyron Kearse, 34, was arrested last Friday and arraigned on Saturday on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was remanded to the custody of the city Department of Correction without bail. According to the complaint, … Continue reading

Malcolm Smith, Vince Tabone Convicted in Bribery Scheme to Rig Race for Mayor

Former state Sen. Malcolm Smith, and former Queens County GOP Vice Chairman Vince Tabone on Thursday were convicted in a White Plains federal court on bribery charges stemming from a scheme to rig the 2013 New York City mayoral election. The jury deliberated for a little over two hours, according to the New York Post, before convicting Tabone and the once-powerful Democrat Smith in a failed $200,000 pay-to-play plan in which Smith tried to buy his way onto the Republican … Continue reading

Wills Bans Press from Civic Meeting

Hours after he was indicted for the second time since last May, City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) on Tuesday evening co-hosted with the South Ozone Park Civic Association West what was billed as a town hall meeting to continue to discuss the city’s plan to establish a facility for juvenile delinquents on a residential block in the neighborhood. Concerned citizens and area residents were urged to report to St. Anthony of Padua Church basement on 130th Street at 7 p.m. … Continue reading