Occasionally, criminals turn on each other. Such behavior is especially common if a deal “goes bad,” that is, one party fails to fulfill its obligations. However, the mere fact that one or both of the parties may be engaged in committing a crime does not exculpate either side from criminal prosecution. A federal grand jury in Brooklyn recently returned a 14-count superseding indictment against two individuals who were involved in the alleged murder of an individual in Brighton Beach, New York.
According to the superseding indictment, the two main defendants caused death through the use of firearms in connection with a murder alleged to have occurred on December 3, 2021, in Brighton Beach. The superseding indictment also charges six additional defendants with violations of the Hobbs Act, robbery, drug trafficking and various firearms crimes.
Another defendant was charged as an accessory to the murder. The indictment alleges that the defendants are members and associates of an armed robbery gang that has been operating since at least July of 2020, targeting criminal marijuana trafficking businesses in Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the Bronx. In announcing the indictments, the assistant United States Attorney in charge of the case, “the deadly combination of drug trafficking, illegal guns, and brutal violence is a grave threat to our communities.”
The superseding indictment alleges that beginning on the evening and early morning of December 3, 2021, the defendants gathered at an Airbnb in Brighton Beach, which had been rented for one night by the victim. The indictment alleges that shortly after midnight on December 3, 2021, three men carried four very large duffel bags, approximately the size of hockey equipment bags, into the rented apartment. Two hours later, gunfire erupted. The victim was shot in the abdomen and later died from those wounds.
The NYPD examined the apartment where the shootings occurred. They found the victim’s body and recovered two firearms, 15 shell casings, a money counting machine, a vacuum sealing machine, a bag containing real and counterfeit U.S. currency, and smaller vacuum-sealed bags containing marijuana. Police estimate that they also recovered 140 pounds of marijuana.
If convicted, the two main defendants face life imprisonment. Other defendants face minimum sentences of 17 to 20 years in prison.
The defendants, in this case, are facing serious criminal charges with lengthy prison sentences if they are convicted. Anyone in a similar position may benefit from consulting a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling major federal crimes. A knowledgeable attorney can evaluate the evidence, suggest various defense strategies, and, when appropriate, assist in negotiating an acceptable plea agreement.