Last edited on Friday, May 21, 2021, at 5:51 PM.
Welcome to The Blanch Law Firm’s weekly digest of New New York Criminal Cases. Our goal is to keep the public informed as to recent events in federal courts around the country.
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Friday, May 21, 2021
I. Two Jefferson County Men Arrested on Drug and Firearms Charges
On May 15, 2021, Richard Desormeau, 22, of Watertown, and Adam Cook, 30, of Clayton, were arrested and charged with federal firearms and/or drug charges. The announcement of the charges was made by the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York, Antoinette T. Bacon, along with several prominent law enforcement officials.
Adam Clark has been charged in a criminal complaint alleging that he manufactured, possessed, and transferred an illegally short-barreled (sawed-off) shotgun/rifle. He is also charged with possession with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine, as well as possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. If Clark is convicted on the charges related to the illegally short-barreled rifle, he faces as much as ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If convicted for possession with intent to distribute and distribution of cocaine, he faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and period of supervised release of at least three years and up to life. If he is convicted of the charge of possession of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking crime, Clark faces a mandatory consecutive sentence of at least 5-years and up to life.
Likewise, Richard Desormeau is charged with possession and transferred an illegally short-barreled rifle. For his alleged possessing and transferring an illegally short-barreled rifle, he faces up to ten-years imprisonment, a fine of up to $10,000, and a period of supervised release of up to three years.
II. Eight Brooklynites Charged with Covid-19 Relief Fraud
A criminal complaint was unsealed in a Brooklyn federal court on May 18, 2021. According to the complaint, eight Brooklyn residents, Bryan Abraham, Carlos Vazquez, Angel Cabrera, Armani Miller, Johan Santos, Gianni Stewart, Andre Ruddock and Seth Golding, are charged with conspiracy to commit access device fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in unemployment insurance benefits funded, in whole or in part, by COVID-19 pandemic assistance programs, like those found in the CARES Act.
Six defendants were arrested May 18 and made their initial appearance that day before U.S.s Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes. Miller and Santos remain at large. The announcement of the charges was made by the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Mark J. Lesko, along with a number of prominent state and federal law enforcement officials.
According to the criminal complaint, all eight defendants together submitted numerous fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits, and obtained as much as $2 million as a result.
III. Accused Manhattan Drug Dealer Arrested For Causing Overdose Death
On May 19, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging Edward Navedo, a/k/a “Eddy Bolsas,” with distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of a 41-year-old victim (the “Victim”) on or about December 19, 2020, in New York City. Navedo was arrested May 19 and was subsequently presented and arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger, who ordered him detained. This case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres.
Navedo, 60, of Brooklyn, has been charged with distribution and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. If he is convicted of the charges, Navedo faces at least 20 years and up to life in prison.
IV. New York Men Charged with Mortgage Fraud Offenses Related to Securing a Loan for Connecticut Apartment Buildings
On May 19, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Leonard C Boyle, announced that two men, Jacob Deutsch, 56, of Brooklyn, New York, and Aron Deutsch, 60, of Monsey, New York, were arrested on federal charges of conspiracy, fraud and false statement offenses related to a mortgage fraud scheme involving a loan for two properties in Hartford, Connecticut.
According to court documents, Jacob and Aron Deutsch work at B H Property Management, LLC (BHPM), which is a property management company that manages a number of multifamily housing properties in Hartford, CT. Jacob Deutsch has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of BHPM, and Aron Deutsch has coordinated maintenance and construction activities for the housing properties managed by BHPM.
In April 2017, the Deutsches and others, through an entity known as 16 53 Evergreen Avenue LLC (Evergreen LLC), purchased two Hartford properties, 16 Evergreen Avenue, a 24-unit housing property, and 53 Evergreen Avenue, a 12-unit housing property, for a total of approximately $1.8 million. The Deutsches allegedly defrauded CBRE Capital Markets, Inc., a mortgage origination and servicing company, and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), when applying for, and ultimately acquiring, a mortgage loan for Evergreen LLC to refinance the purchase of the two Hartford properties.
The loan application documents contained numerous misrepresentations about 16 Evergreen Avenue’s occupancy rate and net operating income.
V. Four Charged in Nationwide Bank Fraud Conspiracy
On May 20, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with Patrick J. Freaney, Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Secret Service, and other prominent law enforcement officials, announced the indictment of Dramion Coombs, 37, of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; Olufemi Nathaniel Itiowe, 47, of Brooklyn, New York; Tanzania Hogan, 47, of Canoga Park, California; and Deibi Sanchez, 48, of Bronx, New York, have all been charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Each defendant, if convicted, faces up to 30 years in prison.
The charges are connected with a scheme in which the defendants ordered bank checks in the names of a number of victims with accounts and then fraudulently depositing those checks into accounts that the defendants controlled. All four defendants were arrested pursuant to a complaint and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judges on April 20, 2021. Itiowe and Sanchez were arrested in New York, while Coombs was arrested in Pennsylvania, and Hogan, was arrested in California.
VI. Narcotics Dealer Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Causing Overdose Death From Fentanyl
On May 20, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging Michael Kelleher, 35, of the Bronx, NY, with distributing fentanyl that resulted in the death of a victim on May 19, 2020, in the Bronx, New York. Kelleher and codefendant Mark Gonzalez, 43, also of the Bronx, are also charged with participating in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and using and carrying a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense.
Kelleher was previously charged by a criminal complaint and arrested on March 5, 2021. Gonzalez was arrested the same day and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger the next day. The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Victor Marrero.
VII. Four Men Charged with Large-Scale Distribution Of Synthetic Cannabinoids Through Many Websites
On May 20, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, and other officials with state and federal law enforcement services, announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging Niaz Khan, Noel Sanabria, Andre Gomes, and Patrick Patterson, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute synthetic cannabinoids and to distribute controlled substances using the internet.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken, and all defendants except Paterson were arrested May 20 and will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger May 21. Patterson will appear May 21 in San Francisco federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson.
According to the allegations in the indictment, between February 2019 and May 2021, Khan, Sanabria, Gomes, and Patterson operated a scheme to distribute massive quantities of smokable synthetic cannabinoids (“SSC”), colloquially referred to as “K2” or “Spice,” containing controlled substances and/or a controlled substance analogue, throughout the United States. Khan, Sanabria, Gomes, and Paterson sold SSC through at least four different websites that they operated, namely K2HerbStore.com, HerbalPlug.com, LegalAromaTherapy.com, and LegalHerbalSmack.com (collectively, the “Websites”).
The SSC the defendants sold through the Websites included dried, shredded plant material onto which synthetic cannabinoid chemicals had been sprayed. The SSC distributed by the defendants was branded with colorful graphics and distinctive names, including “Train Wrecked,” “Scooby Snax Kush,” “Bizarro,” “AK 47,” “Hi5 Triple X,” “Evil Santa,” “Krazy Turkey,” “Sexy Monkey,” “W.T.F.,” and “COVID-19 Coronavirus Limited Edition.”