New York State Criminal Cases – Friday, August 13, 2021

Last edited on Friday, August 13, 2021, at 8:56 AM.

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. 

As always, unless otherwise disclosed, none of the defendants mentioned in these summaries are clients of our firm.

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Friday, August 13, 2021

I. Two Myanmar Citizens Arrested in Plot to Injure or Kill Myanmar’s Ambassador to The United Nations

On August 6, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several prominent law enforcement officials, announced the arrests of Phyo Hein Htut and Ye Hein Zaw, of Myanmar, for conspiracy to assault and make a violent attack upon Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  Htut and Zaw were charged in two separate complaints and were presented Aug. 6 in the U.S. District Court in White Plains before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause.

According to the allegations in the two Complaints filed August 6etween at least in or about July 2021 through at least on or about August 5, 2021, Htut and Zaw, citizens of Myanmar currently residing in New York, conspired to injure or kill Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (the “Ambassador”).  During the conspiracy, Htut communicated with an arms dealer in Thailand (the “Arms Dealer”) who sells weapons to the Burmese military, which overthrew Myanmar’s civilian government in or about February 2021.  

During those conversations, Htut and the Arms Dealer agreed on a plan in which Htut would hire attackers to hurt the Ambassador in an attempt to force the Ambassador to step down from his post.  If the Ambassador did not step down, then the Arms Dealer proposed that the attackers hired by Htut would kill the Ambassador.


II. Brooklyn-Based “Ninedee Gang” Members Indicted for Racketeering and Murder of a Federal Witness

On August 9, 2021, a nine-count superseding indictment was unsealed in Brooklyn federal court charging four members of the Ninedee Gang, a violent street gang based at the Louis H. Pink Houses (Pink Houses) in East New York, with racketeering, murder in-aid-of racketeering, drug trafficking, firearms offenses and robbery.  The new charges were announced against defendants Quintin Green, Chayanne Fernandez, Maliek Miller and Kevin Wint.  

Green and Wint were arrested Aug. 9 and were arraigned that day before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr.  Fernandez and Miller were already in federal custody because of prior charges and will be arraigned at later date. Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced the arrests and charges.

According to the indictment and supporting documents, on the evening of July 7, 2020, Ninedee Gang members, including Green and a juvenile male, opened fire on Walls as she walked through a courtyard at the Pink Houses.  Walls was shot multiple times and succumbed to the gunshot wounds on July 17, 2020.  Ballistic evidence recovered from the scene of the fatal shooting showed that one of the handguns used to kill Walls matched the firearm used by Miller on the Fourth of July.  

In the days following Walls’ murder, the defendants posted on Facebook a newspaper article about the murder and claimed credit on behalf of the Ninedee Gang. Additionally, Green is charged with the Hobbs Act robbery of a Target store on Staten Island on November 3, 2020; Wint with access device fraud; Fernandez, Miller and Wint with conspiracy to distribute marijuana; and Green, Fernandez and Miller with unlawful use and possession of firearms.


III. Former Bronx Public Charter School Teacher Charged for Sexual Exploitation of Former Students

On August 9, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several prominent law enforcement officials, announced the arrest of Jesus Concepcion, a/k/a “Mr. C.,” for enticing four minor victims to engage in sexual activity, transporting those minor victims across state lines to engage in illegal sexual acts, and inducing one minor victim to produce child pornography.  Concepcion was arrested on August 7, 2021, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was presented that same day in the Western District of North Carolina.

According to the allegations contained in the indictment, originally filed on July 28, 2021, and unsealed Aug. 9, Concepcion was a music teacher and orchestra instructor at a public charter middle school located in the Bronx, New York (“School-1”), from in or about 2000 up to and including in or about 2007.  Concepcion lured four of his students at School-1 into sexual relationships (“Minor Victim-1,” “Minor Victim-2,” “Minor Victim-3,” and “Minor Victim-4,” and together the “Minor Victims”).  

The Minor Victims were as young as 12 years old at the time of the abuse. From at least 2002 through at least 2007, Concepcion singled out the Minor Victims for personal attention.  He gave them money, clothing, jewelry, and other gifts, and he provided them with alcohol.  He told several of the Minor Victims that they were in romantic relationships with him and provided each of the Minor Victims with a cellphone so that they could communicate with him without their parents’ knowledge. 

Concepcion used the cellphones he provided and other devices to maintain his “relationships” with the Minor Victims and to arrange sexual encounters.


IV. Folk Nation Gangster Disciples Members Charged with Shootings, Other Firearms Offenses

A 20-count superseding indictment was unsealed August 10, 2021, in federal court in Brooklyn charging Oluwagbenga Agoro, Lorenzo Bailey, Quincy Battice, Davon Brown, Hans Destine, Jean Fremont, Ricardo Hepburn, McKoy Lima, Triston Lawrence, Deryck Thompson and Michael Williams with violent crimes in-aid-of racketeering — including attempted murder and related firearms offenses.

As alleged in the indictment, the defendants are members and associates of the Folk Nation Gangster Disciples, also known as “GD.” Bailey, Destine, Fremont, and Thompson are leaders of the No Love City (“NLC”) subset of GD, with Destine and Fremont serving on NLC’s five-member “Steering Committee” — its top leadership.  

Additionally, during the execution of search warrants this morning, investigators recovered three firearms at Destine’s residence, one firearm at Lawrence’s residence, one from Thompson’s residence and one from Bailey’s residence in Georgia.


V. Several Arrested for Around-The-Clock Crack Cocaine Sales in Times Square

On August 9, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several prominent state and federal law enforcement officials, announced the unsealing of an indictment charging eight people with participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in the vicinity of Times Square. 

Johnny Perez, a/k/a “Ghost,” Aaron Starks, a/k/a “Duke,” Sekou Simpson, a/k/a “Tre,” Fred Johnson, a/k/a “Trinny,” Davon Mial, a/k/a “Smooth,” and Donnell Bruns, a/k/a “Mac,” were arrested Monday evening in the New York area, and were presented Aug. 10, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses. Frayvon Young, a/k/a “Harlem” and Robert Mason remain at large. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer.

As alleged in the Indictment, between at least December 2019 and August 2021, the defendants sold crack cocaine nearly around-the-clock in the vicinity of 43rd Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan, near Times Square.  One ‘shift’ would arrive in the late morning and made sales through the late afternoon, and then other defendants arrived and sold through the evening and nighttime.  

Although there was no set composition of defendants for the two shifts, defendant Starks was often present and overseeing the first shift, whereas defendant Perez was often present and overseeing the second shift.


VI. Mount Vernon Baseball Coach Charged with Sexual Coercion and Enticement of a Minor

On August 11, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, announced the arrest of Robert Pope, 30, of Mount Vernon, New York, for persuading, inducing, enticing and coercing a 16-year-old minor to engage in sexual activity.   Pope was arrested Aug. 10 and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul E. Davison in White Plains federal court.

According to the Complaint, which was filed on August 9, 2021 in White Plains federal court and unsealed the next day, between on or about September 1, 2020, up to and including at least on or about April 11, 2021, Pope communicated with a 16-year-old minor (“Victim-1”) by cellphone and persuaded Victim-1 to meet Pope in person in Westchester County, New York on more than one occasion to engage in sexual activities with Pope.  

On or about June 15, 2021, Robert Pope was charged in Westchester County, New York, with three counts of Criminal Sexual Act in violation of New York Penal Law 130.40(2).


VII. Four Arrested in Multimillion-Dollar Counterfeit Goods Trafficking Scheme

On August 12, 2021, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, announced that a 14-count indictment had been unsealed in Brooklyn  federal court that day, charging seven defendants with participating in a counterfeit goods scheme in which they imported generic goods into the United States from China, applied brand labels to those goods in workshops, some of which were controlled by the defendants, and then sold those counterfeit-branded goods to retail and wholesale purchasers.

The charges against the defendants include conspiracy to traffic and trafficking in counterfeit goods and money laundering.  Four defendants were arraigned Aug. 11 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, and each was released on a $200,000 bond.  Three additional defendants remain at large.


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