A Brief Look at Crime 7/20 – 8/02

Aqueduct Racetrack security guard charged as ‘inside man’ in $280K heist

According to court documents, a security guard at Aqueduct was charged as the ‘inside man’ who posed as a victim in the robbery that occurred about 10 p.m. on the night of March 7 following the running of the Gotham Stakes. Two criminal complaints were unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Lamel Miller, 37, and Lafayette Morrison, 37, with Hobbs Act robbery in connection with the March 7, 2020 armed robbery of over $280,000 in cash from Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens. Miller and Morrison were arrested earlier today.  According to documents, at approximately 9:45 p.m. following the Gotham Day races at Aqueduct, Miller and a co-conspirator held up at gunpoint several racetrack employees – including Morrison who was employed as a racetrack security guard – as they were transporting more than $280,000 in cash earnings to a vault.

200 people possibly facing felony charges after second cockfighting raid

During a raid Saturday in Midville, law enforcement officers from about nine federal and state agencies shut down a cockfighting event while it was in progress. They say 178 people attended the event and the investigations involve more than 200 potential defendants for operating or participating in animal fighting Ventures. The raid, called Operation Sunrise, began with information from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Immigration Enforcement Unit that lead to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General. In the investigation, a cockfighting operation was discovered at a facility just south of Midville. Officials say there had already been multiple events held there this year in “an indoor arena outfitted with a fighting ring, management office, concession stand, and stadium bleachers for spectators.”

“Most people in our community rightly would be shocked to learn that the barbaric bloodsport of cockfighting still exists, is happening right in their midst, and may involve numerous other types of criminal activity,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine. “But thanks to the outstanding cooperation and work of our law enforcement partners, these cruel activities and a potential bevy of other criminal activities have been dealt a significant blow in the Southern District of Georgia.”

3 shot, 1 fatally, during gambling night at Gresham home: police

A man was shot dead and two others wounded Wednesday morning during a night of drinking and gambling at a Gresham home on the South Side, Chicago police said. A witnesses told investigators he left the party to go to sleep in an upstairs bedroom when he heard gunfire on the first floor of the home in the 8000 block of South Stewart Avenue, police said. The witness found a 29-year-old man on the living room floor with a gunshot wound to his head, police said. Police responded shortly after 5 a.m. and found the man dead, along with several shell casings in the room. A 20-year-old woman was shot in the leg, police said. She was treated  and released from St. Bernard’s Hospital. An 18-year-old man took himself to Trinity Hospital with gunshots to his arm and abdomen, police said. He was transferred in fair condition to the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Camas Hotel manager charged with first-degree arson 

A man who claimed to be the owner of the historic Camas Hotel in downtown Camas is facing first-degree arson charges this week after allegedly setting fire to an unoccupied room in a bid to collect insurance money. Camas Police investigators say 30-year-old Won Dongandres Lee Kim, also known as “Brendan Lee,” the hotel’s manager, admitted to purposely setting fire to an unoccupied room in historic hotel on the morning of June 17. “(Kim) told me he is a gambling addict and had recently lost ($15,000) of his parents’ money gambling,” Camas police officer Scot Boyles stated in a probable-cause document. “He thought the insurance (money) would be a quick way to replace his parents’ money before they found out.”

Lobbyist Jack Abramoff Charged in Crypto-Currency Case, U.S. Says

Jack Abramoff, the onetime Washington insider who went to prison in a lobbying scandal, was charged by the U.S. with illegally lobbying for a fraudulent cryptocurrency project. Abramoff has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and violating the Lobbying Disclosure Act and faces as long as five years in prison, according to a court filing and U.S. Attorney David Anderson in San Francisco.

In separate complaints unveiled Thursday, prosecutors and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Abramoff misled investors while promoting a blockchain-based digital token called AML BitCoin, through the NAC Foundation. The company’s founder, Rowland Marcus Andrade, is fighting criminal charges, Anderson said. The two men claimed the security was an improvement on the original Bitcoin because it had encoded security features, including to prevent money laundering, according to the SEC’s complaint against Abramoff. They raised at least $5.6 million from about 2,400 investors, mostly in the U.S., from August 2017 through December 2018, the SEC said. The agency separately sued Andrade and NAC.

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