Teenager Shot On Sneaker Line Seconds later, police said, several members of the group fired shots at the victim, one of which struck his left foot. The perpetrators reportedly fled from the scene in an unknown direction. Members of the 83rd Precinct and EMS units responded to the shooting. The victim was brought to Kings County Hospital Center, where he was treated for a non-life-threatening injury. Following an investigation, police tracked down the 14-year-old suspect last Saturday night and charged him with felony assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The 83rd Precinct Detective Squad is continuing its investigation, police said. -CONTINUED FROM PG. 6- Illegal Smokes Bust Near DA Office first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, criminal possession of forgery devices, seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and violating the NewYork State tax law. “Cigarette smuggling to evade state and local taxes is a multimillion dollar industry. It is a highly profitable tax-free cash business for those involved in it,” Brown said in a statement. “However, it cheats taxpayers who must dip into their pockets to pay higher taxes. And it cheats the government as well by fueling an underground economy which does not pay much needed state and city taxes.” “Each stamp on a lawfully stamped pack of cigarettes represents $6.66 of excise and sales tax that would have been paid to New York State and New York City,” Brown added. “Consequently, in this particular case, the alleged counterfeit stamps seized represent a potential loss of approximately $800,000 in tax revenue.” According to the criminal charges, Detective-Investigator John Warner of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau is presently assigned to the DA’s Crimes Against Revenue Unit and has been involved in the investigation of the possession, transportation and sale of contraband cigarettes in Queens County. As Detective Warner was returning from court to his office at 80-02 Kew Gardens Rd. at approximately 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, Apr. 17, he allegedly observed Urena delivering a bag appearing to contain cigarettes to a corner newsstand located at 80th Avenue and Queens Boulevard. An inspection of the bag and two additional bags in the vehicle that Urena arrived in allegedly revealed that the bags contained 41 cartons of cigarettes (or 410 packs of cigarettes). It is additionally alleged that 350 of the packs bore purported Commonwealth of Virginia tax stamps on them and not the joint State of New York/City of New York tax stamps required to be present on cigarettes possessed for sale in New York. The remaining 60 packs allegedly bore counterfeit joint State of New York/City of New York tax stamps. At the time of his arrest, $5,532 in cash was allegedly recovered from Urena’s person and vehicle. It is further alleged that Urena made statements to investigators to the effect that he buys cigarettes and forged tax stamps and that the cigarettes he was caught with were stamped at his house and that he still had counterfeit stamps there. Urena also allegedly indicated that he stamped cigarettes for other individuals and/or businesses as well. At approximately 4 p.m. last Thursday, Detective Warner and members of his investigative team executed a court-authorized search warrant at Urena’s residence. Inside the location, the investigative team allegedly recovered 123,830 counterfeit joint State of New York/City of New York tax stamps with various tax numbers displayed that were affixed on 774 rectangular wax sheets. Also allegedly recovered from Urena’s residence were records that indicated the delivery of various cigarette brands to individuals, a money counter, $3,546 in cash, a heater/iron (that is often used to adhere counterfeit tax stamps to packs of cigarettes purchased out-ofstate) and a small bag of cocaine. Brown said that all cigarette packages sold in NewYork City must bear a joint NewYork City/NewYork State tax stamp and only a licensed stamping agent can possess untaxed cigarettes and affix the tax stamp on the packages, which come on rolls and not sheets. The investigation was conducted by Detectives JohnWarner, JeffreyA. Boyce, Joseph Brancaccio, John J. Keeley and David Matos of the DA’s Detective Bureau, under the supervision of Sgt. Liz Curcio and Lt. Robert Burke, and the overall supervision of Chief Investigator Franco Russo. Also involved in the investigation was Special Agent DavidMondanaro of the Department of Homeland Security. Assistant District Attorney Andrew H. Kaufman, chief of the Crimes Against Revenue Unit, and Assistant District Attorney Michael- Sean Spence are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Anthony M. Communiello, bureau chief of the District Attorney’s Special Proceedings Bureau, and Oscar W. Ruiz, deputy bureau chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations LindaM. Cantoni. It was noted that criminal charges are merely an accusation and that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. -CONTINUED FROM PG. 11- TIMES, THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014 • 52 Meng Reports To Residents At 110th Council Rep. Grace Meng (background, at far left) addresses residents at Monday’s 110th Precinct Community Council meeting at Corona’s Flanders Field VFW Post 150. a package of bipartisan bills, would force regional Veterans Administration (VA) offices to be more accountable and transparent to other offices and their community. Other legislation in the works, she explained, includes criminalizing “spoofing” done outside the country. Spoofing is the act of calling or texting as an official such as the I.R.S., immigration service, or even the local police in an attempt to get money. Meng’s Kid Safety Caucus is working on legislation that would make it illegal for stores to sell expired baby formula which can clump, causing choking and reducing nutritional value. Ideas from the community are strongly encouraged, Meng noted. “I really appreciate being able to come back and talk to all of you and meet with you because everyone of our legislative ideas have come directly from constituents of community leaders like you,” she said. “We really appreciate and need to hear from all of you.” Meng has offices in Forest Hills (1-718-445-7861) and Flushing (1- 718-455-7860). Cop of the Month P.O. James Droge was March’s Cop of the Month for recently making a robbery arrest on Mar. 18 at 4:40 a.m., when a woman’s iPhone was stolen. “Officer Droge saw a commotion, figured out what was going on, went and looked for the guy, found the guy and recovered the phone, actually found the phone in the guy’s pocket,” explained Deputy Inspector Ronald Leyson, 110th Precinct commanding officer. “So, he did an excellent arrest.” The suspect is a first time offender, which is not uncommon in the area especially with small electronics. Leyson went on to warn, “What do I always tell you? Pay attention to your surroundings.” Droge could not make Monday’s ceremony. He will be properly recognized at the council’s May meeting, during which he will be awarded with a plaque donated by the Times Newsweekly. Other news City Council Member Julissa Ferreras is meeting with local police and fire officials to inform them on what the community needs most. In May, she will be stationed at City Hall for the budget hearing as over 30 committees will present their proposals. She encouraged the community to come to meetings they care most about and voice their needs. Meeting schedules can be found by calling her office at 1-718-651-1917. A scammer at large in the Queens area has taken anywhere from $100- $31,000 from victims, according to Leyson. Residents have received calls from supposed IRS agents, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) agents, distressed family and local police threatening fines, deportation, back taxes, utility shut off and imprisonment if they don’t pay via a purchased money card. “Don’t fall for it,” he warned. “Hang up the phone, let us know about it. Nobody is going to call and ask you to make a payment over the phone immediately in anyway shape or form. . . Once you give them that serial number, they have access to that money immediately.” Home security surveys are available for free from the 110th Precinct, coming with suggestions on how to better fortify their homes from robberies. In conjunction with the Mayor’s Vision Zero, it was announced, the 110th Precinct will be educating the public between Apr. 28 through May 3 on traffic crime prevention with members of Community Affairs and Department of Transportation. This will be followed by a week of strict enforcement May 5-11. Police will be targeting intersections with historically high pedestrian injuries and deaths. Crime is down 14 percent overall from 2013. Burglary is up 37 percent from 2013 but declined by 50 percent in the last week, Leyson noted. Wednesday, May 21, is the 110th Precinct Community Council’s annual fundraiser. Tickets are $55 per person which includes dinner, unlimited beer, wine and soda. Businesses can also help support by purchasing an ad in the souvenir journal. On Sunday, Apr. 27, a benefit for Sgt. Paul Ferrara is being held at 345 Deer Park Ave. in Babylon. Ferrara was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and the benefit is to help his medical expenses. He has served the department for 22 years. Finally, the 110th Precinct Community Council will hold its annual barbecue at its June meeting on Monday, June 16, to be held at Flanders Field Post 150. * * * The 110th Precinct Community Council generally meets on the third Monday each month at 7 p.m. at Flanders Field VFW Post 150, located at 51-11 108th St. in Corona. For more information, call the 110th Precinct Community Affairs Unit at 1-718-476-9310. -CONTINUED FROM PG. 8- (photo courtesy of Meng’s Twitter account, @RepGraceMeng) HAVE YOU READ A BOOK WITH YOUR CHILD TODAY?
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