12 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 21, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
police beat COMPILED BY EMILY DAVENPORT AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
Drug probe leads to
assault rifl e fi nd
Cops found a cache of deadly weapons
— including an assault rifle of the
same caliber used in recent mass shootings
— inside an Ozone Park home
during a raid this week.
Members of the 106th Precinct and
its Field Intelligence Unit executed a
search warrant at a home on 87th Street
near 105th Avenue at 6 a.m. on March
13. Law enforcement sources said the
warrant was obtained as part of an
ongoing drug sale investigation.
Police said that two men were at
the residence during the raid: Daniel
Saniel, 27, and Christian Zitti, 48.
According to sources familiar with the
investigation, police learned that the
suspects were allegedly tied to narcotics
sales, and were likely in possession
of a firearm.
During the search, authorities said,
officers found a .233-caliber AR-15. It’s
similar to the weapon of choice used
by the gunmen responsible for recent
massacres across the United States,
including in Parkland, Florida and
Pittsburgh last year.
Officers also seized from the Ozone
Park home numerous swords and
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machetes, as well as a BB gun. Cops
also found a small quantity of marijuana.
Saniel and Zitti were subsequently
arrested and charged with criminal
possession of a weapon, criminal possession
of a loaded firearm, criminal
use of drug paraphernalia and unlawful
possession of marijuana.
Cops are looking for a pair of would-be
burglars who were caught in the act by a
Rego Park homeowner and chased off the
According to police, at 12:25 p.m. on
March 15, two unknown men broke into
a residence in the vicinity of Saunders
Street and 66th Avenue. Shortly aft erward,
cops said, the homeowner confronted
Law enforcement sources said the homeowner
then chased the suspects, who are
described as men dressed in black clothing,
out of the house before they could
take anything. Th ere were no reported
injuries as a result of the incident.
Th e homeowner caught the entire incident
on a cellphone camera, and provided
the footage to the 112th Precinct. Th e
NYPD released the video on March 17.
Call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS
with information about the case.
Man stabbed in
apparent drug deal
Cops are looking for a trio who robbed
two men at knifepoint and stabbed one of
them in an apparent failed drug deal on
an Astoria street.
According to police, at 5 p.m. on March
18, an 18-year-old man and a 24-year-old
man were standing in the vicinity of 31st
Street and 38th Avenue when they were
approached by three unknown men. Th e
men proceeded to display weapons and
demanded money from the pair.
Th e suspects took the pair’s cellphones,
electronics and $50 in cash before stabbing
the 24-year-old victim in the body.
Th e perpetrators then fl ed the scene to
parts unknown. Sources familiar with the
investigation indicated that the incident
was a drug deal gone wrong.
Offi cers from the 114th Precinct and
EMS responded to the scene. Paramedics
rushed the 24-year-old man to Elmhurst
General Hospital in stable condition.
Police could not provide a description
of the suspects at this time.
Th e investigation is ongoing.
Bandits mug man
for a few bucks
Cops are looking for three men who
beat and robbed a man on a Sunnyside
street corner last week.
According to police, at 11:20 p.m. on
March 11, a 34-year-old man was walking
on the corner of Greenpoint Avenue
and 48th Avenue when three men
approached him and began to yell at
him. Th e suspects then began to punch
and kick the victim, knocking him to
Th e crooks then took the victim’s wallet,
which contained $600, an iPhone X
and Apple AirPods before fl eeing the
scene in an unknown direction. Th e
victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital
Center, where he was treated for bruises
to his head and body.
On March 19, the NYPD released surveillance
video of the attack.
Th e suspects are described by police as
black men in their 20s, one of whom had
long braids, white jacket and blue jeans.
Anyone with information in regards
to the identity of these males is asked
to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers
Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or for
Spanish, 888-57-PISTA (74782). Th e
public can also submit their tips by logging
onto the Crime Stoppers website,
nypdcrimestoppers.com, on Twitter @
NYPDTips or by texting their tips to
274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
All calls and messages are kept confi -