HEROIN CONSPIRACY INVOLVING UTICA MALE

By JUSTICE CAMPBELL

United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt announced yesterday that a federal jury in Syracuse, New York convicted Luis Estela of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin after a two-day trial.

July 2015, Mr. Estela became a member of a heroin trafficking organization operating in Utica and Rome, New York based on evidence that was presented at trial. The evidence shed light on the fact that the defendant helped the organization package heroin and assisted in selling drugs along the Erie Canal Trail in Rome.

On November 9, 2017 Chief United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby will sentence Estela who faces a fine of up to $1,000,000, up to 20 years in prison, and a term of supervised release of at least 3 years and up to life. This case was investigated by the New York State Police-Community Narcotics Enforcement Team-Central (NYSP-CNET), the DEA, the City of Rome Police Department, City of Utica Police Department, Oneida County Sheriff’s Office, Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, and Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Levine and Carla Freedman.

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MOB BOSS BECOMES THE OLDEST FEDERAL PRISONER AT AGE 100

By DEVON ST. CLAIRE

At age 100, the Columbo family underboss, John “Sonny” Franzese, was released from a Massachusetts prison hospital last week. Newsday reported that Franzese has been in and out of jail for most of his adult life and was granted parole at least six times by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

In 2010, at the age of 93 Franzese was sentenced to 8 years in prison for shaking down the Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in Manhattan.

Newsday reported, Franzese was acquitted and believed to be responsible for 50 to 100 murder cases going back for decades. However, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 1967 for his involvement in a bank robbery conspiracy. He never completed his time because he was released on the account of good behavior. “I’d be shocked if he doesn’t live to 100. That man can do jail time standing on his head,” Franzese’s wife, Cristina explained to the New York Daily News.

In 2006, investigators caught him on tape describing his method of making bodies disappear. CBS reported Franzese as saying, ”Dismember victim in kiddie pool. Cook body parts in microwave. Stuff parts in garbage disposal. Be patient.”

Franzese’s release has also been confirmed by his son, Michael Franzese in a twitter message, “It’s official! Dad has been released! 100 years old, a free man! PRAISE GOD!,” John Franzese is one of the most dangerous crime bosses of his time and his son Michael could have very well followed in his footsteps. However, Michael sought answers from a power higher then the mob and has since turned to God. Today Michael Franzese tours the world as a Christian sharing his testimony of how he is one of the very few men who survived the mafia and could leave that lifestyle behind without any repercussions. He credit’s God for this divine protection. Whereas, Franzese’s other son, John Franzese Jr. was also a Colombo associate but instead became an informant and testified against his father. John Jr. is currently in witness protection.

First busted for assault at the age of 19, then labeled “too violent” for the US Army who discharged him in 1942, John “Sonny” Franzese could have left behind a legacy of being a powerful soldier who risked his life to defend his country, instead he spent most of his life behind bars and at the age of 100 he will live out the rest of his days at his daughters home in Brooklyn, NY confined to a wheelchair, suffering from kidney problems, hearing loss and a bad heart.

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U.S. ATTORNEY RICHARD S. HARTUNIAN RETIRING AFTER 20 YEARS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

By DEVON ST. CLAIRE

Today, Richard S. Hartunian, announced that after serving seven and one-half years in office and 20 years with the Department Of Justice, he will step down as U. S. Attorney of the Northern District of New York on June 30, 2017. United States Attorney, Hartunian said, “Serving as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York has been the highest professional privilege of my lifetime. It has been an honor to work with the men and women of the Department of Justice and to witness the immeasurable commitment to justice of my law enforcement colleagues throughout the nation. I am especially grateful for the opportunity to lead an office of outstanding, dedicated professionals who work tirelessly, day in and day out, to keep our communities safe. I am proud of our achievements and confident that the good work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue under the outstanding leadership of Acting United States Attorney Jaquith.”

On January 3, 2010, Richard S. Hartunian took office as the 48th United States Attorney of the Northern District of New York. Hartunian worked alongside his U.S. Attorney colleagues across the nation to fight violent crime, child exploitation, promote boarder security, improve police/community relations and address the nationwide heroin/opioid abuse epidemic. In the same year, Hartunian was also honored by the Armenian Bar Association as the first United States Attorney of Armenian descent. In 2016 and 2017 he served as the Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. After his sister Lynn was killed in the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 his highest priority was to fight terrorist activity. He also worked as a long time narcotic’s prosecutor on both the local and federal level’s and even combated financial fraud.

U.S. Attorney Hartunian doubled the number of AUSAs that handled civil matters and emphasized affirmative civil enforcement cases in the areas of health care and defense procurement that strengthened the NDNY Civil Division. He instituted programs designed to maximize recoveries and informed industry representatives about the NDNY’s increased enforcement efforts, as a member of the AGAC’s Health Care and Environmental Issues Subcommittees.

Crime prevention has been a top priority for Hartunian working through a youth violence reduction program designed to help 5th grade students steer clear of gangs, drugs, violence, and vandalism called, LEADership Project and other interdisciplinary forums to address the epidemic of opioid and synthetic drug abuse.

“Throughout his service as a career prosecutor and as United States Attorney, Rick Hartunian has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the cause of justice. He is an excellent colleague and a reliable friend. I thank Rick for his twenty years of distinguished federal service and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career.” states Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

Hartunian has also received many awards for his work, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons General Counsel’s Exemplary Assistance Award, the Narcotics Enforcement Officers’ Association U.S. Department of Justice Award, various Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Regional Awards, and several case-related commendations.

Hartunian plans to enter private practice, with a further announcement to follow.

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BOWLMOR AMF SUPPORTS AUTISM SPEAKS

By JUSTICE CAMPBELL

Established in 2013, Bowlmor AMF has become the largest operator of bowling centers in the world. They specialize in corporate and special events, as well as league and walk-in retail bowling. They recently partnered with Autism Speaks by supporting the organizations efforts in promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. On June 21, 2017 – the first day of summer, they donated $1 from every “Summer Game Pass” that was purchased nationwide, to Autism Speaks.

Bowlero, Bowlmor Lanes, Brunswick Zone XL, and AMF centers nationwide participated in this event. The Summer Game Passes are considered season passes for bowling at Bowlmor AMF centers across the country. Passes are available for purchase for all ages, from now through Labor Day. Prices range from $9.95-$39.95 for children 15 and younger and $15.95-$44.95 for those 16 and older depending on the center. Summer Games Passes can be purchased for centers across the country at: www.BowlSummerGames.com

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FIRST ROCKAWAY CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL LAUNCHED BY SENATOR JAMES SAUNDERS

By DEVON ST. CLAIRE

August 19, 2017, State Senator James Saunders Jr. will launch the first ever Rockaway Caribbean Carnival. On Saturday, June 17, 2017 during a sneak peek press conference in Far Rockaway, Saunders proudly exclaimed, “Welcome to the Rockaways and welcome to the carnival. We are going to have some fun. We are going to be celebrating all of the Rockaways, but we will be particularly highlighting the contributions of the Caribbean community to America.”
The Carnival is expected to be a family friendly event that will mirror WIADCA’s other carnival events such as the one they host annually in Brooklyn. It will highlight the hidden jewel that is the Rockaways while celebrating the various arts and culture of the Caribbean. There will be food, local youth performances, entertainment, culturally related activities and even a parade that will begin at Mott Ave & Beach 20th Street and end at Beach 17th amphitheater in the park. The Rockaway Caribbean Carnival will take place on Saturday, August 19, 2017 from 11am to 5pm.
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14-YEAR-OLD GIRL FORCED INTO SEX TRAFFICKING BY AN EAST NEW YORK MAN AND HIS GIRLFRIEND.

By JUSTICE CAMPBELL

Today, an East New York man has been charged with a 21 count indictment with sex trafficking of two 14 year old girls. Acting Brooklyn District Attorney, Eric Gonzalez, announced that this man and his girlfriend promoted prostitution by offering up two 14 year old females to men who would pay to have sex with them. “These defendants preyed upon vulnerable young girls, selling them to men who would have sex with them in exchange for money. Prostitution of minors is a dangerous and degrading crime, and those who force others to work in the sex trade will be prosecuted,” stated Acting District Attorney Gonzalez.
The defendants, Anthony Young, a.k.a Royalty, 30, of East New York Brooklyn and his girlfriend, Shaunda Swanson, 23, of the Bronx, were identified by the district attorney yesterday. Young was arraigned on an indictment wherein he is charged with sex trafficking, first degree promoting prostitution and related charges, before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice, Danny Chun. Next week, Swanson is expected to be arraigned and is charged with first degree promoting of prostitution and related charges. Both Young and Swanson face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count. Young would have to register as a sex offender, if convicted. He has been ordered to return to court on September 13, 2017 and he is being held without bail.
Young allegedly prostituted two 14 year old girls in Brooklyn, Hempstead, Huntington, and Westbury, New York, as well as in Elizabeth, New Jersey. According to the investigation, between March and August of 2016, Young posted photos of the juveniles alongside advertisements for escort services, according to the Acting District Attorney. The allegations include that the underage girls were driven to various locations by Young, in order to have sex with men for money. The girls were purportedly forced to turn over most of their earnings to Young, while one of the girls was allegedly threatened by him and told she would be harmed if she did not comply. Young’s co-defendant, Swanson, allegedly assisted him in promoting one of the 14-year-old victims by providing her with false identification so she could rent hotel rooms.
Senior Assistant District Attorney David Weiss, of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit, along with the assistance of Brooklyn Middletown, Senior Intelligence Analyst with the District Attorney’s Crime Strategy Unit, under the supervision of District Attorney Laura Edidin, Unit Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney, Miss Gregory, Chief of the Special Victims Unit, are currently prosecuting this case.

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KOLB PRESENTS A BETTER WAY TO CREATE JOBS IN NEW YORK

By ROCCO ARTESIAN

Politicos statewide in New York lament job creation and job growth. This is an old tune, not just in New York, but throughout the country. The elected officials’ wailing and moaning, allegedly on behalf of the working American, is on the local, state, and federal levels. Every so often, a dude like Donald Trump comes along and is earnest about making a difference. To be fair, there are political leaders, from the smallest of municipalities to the largest of states, who also are genuine in their concern for the plight of those U.S. citizens who desire to not only work, but to attain the American dream.

In furtherance of truly seeking to create and maintain jobs for the residents of the State of New York, State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb issued a press release, stating:

“The state’s efforts to create jobs are not working as well as they should. In order to improve New York’s economy, especially Upstate, we must commit to a focused, robust job-creation agenda. Upstate New York’s job growth lags well behind the rest of the nation, and without a thriving job market we risk a sluggish economy and a continually dwindling population.

“The Assembly Minority Conference has advocated for programs that provide cost-effective solutions to New York’s job problem but have been ignored year after year. The state’s corrupt and wasteful economic development programs have failed to deliver for taxpayers and the time for change is overdue. It’s time to rethink our strategy and move toward jobs programs that offer value for taxpayers shelling out huge parts of their paychecks each month.

“According to a recent report, New York spent $8 billion in 2015 on economic incentives. That amounts to as much as the next three biggest states combined. In return, we have seen essentially insignificant results. Under this governor, upstate job growth has increased by a paltry 2.7 percent. The national average is 11 percent. We must seriously question the motivation for handing out such enormous sums of money with such a disappointing return on investment.

“In addition to reforming the broken economic development programs that have plagued the state, we must also alleviate the crushing taxes and regulations that inhibit the backbone of our state— small businesses. The Assembly Minority Conference has offered a number of solutions aimed at creating quality jobs.

“The Small Business Full Employment Act would broadly cut taxes and create a review panel to find ways to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations. It would also prohibit the state from passing on expensive costs to small businesses, schools and local governments (A.5423, Kolb). We have seen too many questionable economic-development gimmicks. It’s time for permanent solutions.

“Our Conference has proposed a Learning for Work Program designed to provide a more direct path from high school to the workforce, including a youth apprenticeship program, Enhanced Regents Professional Degree and youth apprenticeship tax credit (A.4333, Lupinacci). Combined, these will give young men and women the tools they need to begin filling important jobs and providing businesses with a strong, capable workforce. By ensuring New York has trained and motivated workers, we can help businesses grow.

New York cannot sustain its shrinking tax base and weak job market much longer. Florida has already surpassed New York in population and our ineffective economic development programs have done nothing to reverse that trend. We must make drastic changes now, and get New York’s economy trending in the right direction. The hard-working people of our state deserve nothing less.”

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CUOMO DIRECTS KOSCIUSZKO BRIDGE TO LIGHT UP FOR BELMONT STAKES

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE

The Belmont Stakes has occurred nearly 150 times. this year will be its 149th racing festival. In honoring this anticipated, New York State tradition, Governor Andrew Cuomo has directed the Kosciuszko Bridge to be lit green and white.

“The Belmont Stakes Racing Festival attracts worldwide attention, thousands of visitors and millions of dollars of economic activity on Long Island and across the entire New York Metropolitan area,” Governor Cuomo stated.

The Belmont Stakes features thoroughbred horse racing, scores of vendors, and concerts, all over a three-day period.  The event is being held held through June 10 in Elmont, New York.

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BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT SPENDS MONEY ON LGBT SURVEY, BUT NO SURVEY FOR HETEROSEXUALS

By THE OLD BAG,

Some dude, or dudetress, in the Bronx is conducting an “LGBTQ needs assessment survey” during the month of June. Presumably, this survey will cost taxpayers money, as the dude-ess who has announced it is the Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz. His press release proclaims that his office is conducting this survey as part their efforts to celebrate Pride Month.

Diaz stated, “Our LGBTQ population is growing and becoming more and more vocal about their needs and what services and amenities they would like to see in The Bronx. Through this survey, my office will acquire more detailed information about our borough’s LGBTQ residents and how we can provide this important community with better government, cultural, medical and other services.”

To make things equal, will Diaz’s office also conduct a survey to assess the needs to heterosexuals? Or are heterosexuals’ needs less valuable than homosexual (and the 29-different-gender-non-gender-whatever) needs? Doesn’t the Equal Protection Clause mean that taxpayers’ money should be spent equally?

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SCHUMER ASSISTS IN OBTAINING BROWNFIELD FUNDING IN UPSTATE NY

By DANIEL SONNINSHINE,

There are 338 brownfield sites in Niagara County, New York. Challenges from these sites, have stymied efforts for new manufacturing and industrial properties, as well as tourism-type development. Since 1998, Niagara County has been the benefactor of $4.8 million in brownfield grants to assist in remediate this issue. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has stepped in, to aid this process.

Schumer announced today that multiple areas in upstate New York will receive federal funding pertaining to brownfields; $700,000, in total, has been allocated. These monies have been provided via the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program. The funds are designed to help clean up, redevelop and reuse contaminated and abandoned properties. Niagara County is one of the funds’ recipients, receiving $300,000 of the monies;  Sullivan County Valley Falls in Rensselaer County will each receive$200,000.

Senator Schumer stated,“The bottom line is brownfields are more than eyesores for local residents, they devalue surrounding properties and harm the local economy, and pose potential environmental and health threats. These federal funds are critical because they will not only help our Upstate municipalities clean up these brownfield properties for the short-term health of residents living near the sites, but also invest in the long-term redevelopment of our communities so we can spur job creation and economic growth for years to come.”

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