WHITE PLAINS, NY and YONKERS, NY — April 6, 2017 — Joon H. Kim, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York yesterday advised that ten members of a “loosely organized criminal crew” in Westchester were charged with burglarizing over 50 businesses and drug dealers in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and Fairfield Counties, and the Borough of The Bronx over a four-year crime spree begun in 2012 and that ended in December 2016. Some of the incidents, particularly those that transpired between 2015 and 2016 were armed and at other times unarmed robberies.
Acting U.S. Attorney Kim divulged that the crew of 10 worked and collaborated together to expedite the sale of drugs, as well as the sale of drugs stolen from drug dealers during robberies and other thefts, sharing the proceeds from those sales.
“As alleged, the 10 defendants charged today went on a brazen crime spree across Westchester and The Bronx, robbing and attempting to rob at least nine businesses and drug dealers, often armed with guns… We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners for their work in bringing the dangerous alleged crimes by this determined crew to an end.”
The six-count indictment includes several alleged robberies and burglaries committed by Alex Ayala, Jason Auza, Dennis Brown, Nelson Cartagena, Andre Emilien, Elbio Espaillat, Guillermo Fernandez, Kesean Galloway, John Nassar* and Paul Vallaro.
The indictment specifically mentions:
• On Oct. 5, 2012, Fernandez, Nassar* and others allegedly robbed employees of a pizzeria at gunpoint on Morsemere Avenue in Yonkers.
• On Dec. 17, 2015, Vallaro and others allegedly attempted to rob a drug dealer inside the U.S. Post Office on Executive Boulevard in Yonkers.
• On Feb. 21, 2016, Galloway allegedly stole a car in Yonkers.
• On April 16, 2016, Emilien, Cartagena and others allegedly attempted to rob employees of a chain restaurant in the area of Central Park Avenue in Scarsdale.
• On July 10, 2016, Ayala, Vallaro and others allegedly attempted to rob a drug dealer on Franklin Avenue in Bedford.
• On Aug. 2, 2016, Brown, Espaillat, Vallaro and others allegedly robbed a bookmaker on Main Street in Irvington.
• On Sept. 3, 2016, Ayala, Cartagena and others allegedly robbed a Bedford Road restaurant owner at gunpoint in Bedford Hills.
• On Sept. 9, 2016, Ayala, Galloway and others allegedly robbed and shot a drug dealer in the area of Avenue St. John in The Bronx.
• On Sept. 22, 2016, Auza, Fernandez and others allegedly robbed a drug dealer at gunpoint on Roberts Avenue in Yonkers.
• On Dec. 2, 2016, Cartagena allegedly burglarized a Connecticut business and transported over $25,000 worth of stolen goods to New York.
* John Nasser, a/k/a “Mush” and a/k/a “Big Johnny” is a resident of the City of Yonkers, and employed by Yonkers (DPW) Department Public Works. He was also employed on a part-time basis by former New York State Senator Nick Spano. John Nassar’s brother Yonkers Police Department Detective Lieutenant Kallid (Kal) Nasser, not part of this indictment, is Mayor Mike Spano‘s driver.
Some of the members named in the indictment are also facing weapons charges.
Acting U.S. Attorney Kim praised the work of the FBI‘s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, U.S. Probation Officer, Westchester District Attorney’s Office, and Westchester County, New York City, Yonkers, Peekskill and Mount Vernon Police Departments.
In a statement issued by Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said, “I applaud the outstanding police work that enabled us to apprehend these dangerous criminals. This inter-agency collaboration is critical to our efforts to bring down these gangs who have been terrorizing our citizens over the past two years.”
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.