New York State Criminal Cases – Friday, July 23, 2021

Last edited on Friday, July 23, 2021, at 10:44 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, July 23, 2021

I. Rapper’s Security Team, Including Former NYPD Detective, Indicted for Robbery, Criminal Impersonation

On July 19, 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of five members of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s private security team, which includes a former NYPD detective, for robbing a man after chasing him through Harlem in SUVs with flashing lights and sirens. All five defendants are charged in the New York State Supreme Court with Robbery in the First Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, and Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree. 

The former NYPD Detective Daniel Laperuta, 44, has also been charged with Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree, after he falsely claiming in a 911 call and to arriving NYPD officers that the victim had threatened the defendants with a firearm.

According to court documents and other statements, on August 9, 2020, a 34-year-old man and his girlfriend saw rapper Daniel Hernandez, a/k/a “Tekashi 6ix9ine,” and several members of his security team while driving in Harlem. When the group saw the victim attempt to record the rapper on his cellphone, they shouted at him and began to chase him as he drove away. 

The team followed the victim for approximately 20 blocks in three SUVs equipped with flashing lights and sirens. When the victim attempted to flag down a marked police car, retired NYPD Detective Laperuta flashed a retired NYPD Member of Service card, told the officers that the victim threatened them with a firearm, and rejoined the chase. Laperuta called 911 as the team drove after the victim and repeated the claim that the victim threatened the defendants with a firearm.


II. Seven Charged for Laundering Over $28 Million For Drug Trafficking Organizations

On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several prominent law enforcement officials, announced charges against seven people involved in laundering tens of millions of dollars for drug trafficking organizations selling illegal narcotics throughout the United States.  Ying Sun, Jian Wang, Frank Liu, Dielong Wu, Larry Lai, and Jie Lin, have been charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmission business; Steven Woo was also charged as part of the conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmission business.  

SUN, LIU, and WOO were arrested in California and will be presented in the Central District of California this afternoon before Magistrate Judge John D. Early.  Wu and Lai were arrested July 21 in New York City and was later presented in the Southern District of New York before Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker.  Wang and Lin remain at large.

According to the Indictment, from at least November 2019 through May 2021, Sun coordinated the activities of a money laundering organization (“MLO”), communicating with drug trafficking organizations (“DTOs”) throughout the United States and Mexico to receive large quantities of cash to be laundered.  

From April 2020 through April 2021, Sun organized more than 130 money pickups in 23 states involving over $20 million in drug trafficking proceeds.  Wang, Liu, Wu, Lai, Lin, and Woo facilitated the MLO’s operations by conducting these money pickups, transporting the cash, depositing the money into the retail banking system, and/or transferring the money to different individuals or entities.


III. Manhattan Businessman Charged for Fraudulently Obtaining Government Procurement Contract

On July 21, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with several prominent law enforcement officials, announced that Raymond White, a/k/a “John Raymond Anthony White,” a/k/a “Raymond Alexander White,” was arrested by agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Army Major Procurement Fraud Unit that same morning at his residence in New York City.

White is charged by complaint with submitting false information regarding the finances of his general contractor business, as well as prior performance of contracts to obtain a contract to build a munitions load crew training facility at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, and submitting false information to the SBA in order to induce the SBA to guarantee 80% of the performance and payment bonds issued in connection with the contract.  The contract was worth more than $4.8 million.


IV. British Antiquities Restorer Arraigned in Global Antiquities Trafficking Scheme Following Extradition

On July 20, 2021, the Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance, Jr., announced the indictment of Neil Perry Smith, 58, following his extradition from London, England, to face charges for his role in a decades-long, global antiquities trafficking ring that looted and smuggled culturally significant relics from Asia and sold them in New York’s art market. Smith has been charged with possessing and restoring 22 stolen pieces, with an estimated value of more than $32 million.

Smith’s restorations concealed the antiquities’ illicit origin so that alleged conspiracy ringleader Subhash Kapoor could then sell them at his now-closed Madison Avenue-based gallery, Art of the Past. Smith is charged in a 29-count New York State Supreme Court Indictment with multiple counts of Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, Grand Larceny, Conspiracy, and Scheme to Defraud. 

Smith, Kapoor, and six other codefendants were indicted in October 2019 following a years long investigation by the Manhattan D.A.’s Office’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit, along with law enforcement partners at U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), into the group’s illicit activities affecting the New York market and originating in many nations, including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, and others.


V. Nine Charged with Conspiring to Act as Illegal Agents of People’s Republic of China

A superseding indictment was filed on July 22, 2021, in Brooklyn federal court, charging nine defendants with acting and conspiring to act in the United States as illegal agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) without prior notification to the Attorney General, and engaging and conspiring to engage in interstate and international stalking.  Two defendants, Tu Lan and Zhu Feng, were also charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice arising out of the same course of conduct.

The defendants, allegedly acting at the direction and under the control of PRC government officials, conducted surveillance of and engaged in a campaign to harass, stalk, and coerce certain residents of the United States to return to the PRC as part of a global, concerted and extralegal repatriation effort known as “Operation Fox Hunt.”  

In addition to the six defendants previously charged in a related criminal complaint in October 2020 and a related indictment in May 2021, this superseding indictment alleges that Tu Lan, a new defendant who was employed as a prosecutor with the Hanyang People’s Procuratorate, traveled to the United States, directed the harassment campaign and ordered a coconspirator to destroy evidence to obstruct the criminal investigation.


VI. 4 Men Charged with Trafficking Nearly 5 Tons of Cocaine Hidden in Furniture

On July 22, 2021, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, along with Ray Donovan, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s New York Field Office; and other law enforcement personnel, announced the unsealing of a superseding indictment in Manhattan federal court charging Pedro Guzman-Martinez, a/k/a “Peter,” Abel Montilla, a/k/a “Coche Bomba,” Jorge Miranda-Sang, a/k/a “Chinito,” and Luis Gomez Ortiz, a/k/a “Kiké,” with participating in a drug trafficking organization that shipped approximately 4,500 kilograms of cocaine from Puerto Rico to the continental United States, including to New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and Connecticut, for sale and distribution over a period of approximately 10 months.

Guzman-Martinez and Miranda-Sang were arrested July 22 in Puerto Rico and are expected to be presented before a magistrate judge in the District of Puerto Rico later today.  Gomez Ortiz was arrested July 22 in Florida and is expected to be presented before a magistrate judge in the Middle District of Florida later today.  Montilla was arrested July 22 in Springfield, Massachusetts, and will be presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker in the Southern District of New York later that day.  The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel.


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