Three men were sentenced to lengthy prison terms Thursday for kidnapping and robbing two men in Greenpoint.
Defendants Clarence Davis, 40, of Fredericksburg, Virginia and Abdul Lopez, 23, of Brooklyn were sentenced to terms of 13 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, following their guilty pleas to first-degree robbery. Defendant Francisco Graham, 39, of Philadelphia was sentenced on February 5, 2016 to 15 years to life after pleading guilty to first-degree kidnapping.
According to the investigation, on December 13, 2013 Angelo Gonzalez and Jerry Tavarez were walking along Greenpoint Avenue where they were ambushed by the defendants. Displaying firearms and police shields, the defendants identified themselves as Drug Enforcement Administration agents, handcuffed the victims and threw them into a van.
The victims were driven to a location in Queens, blindfolded and held in separate basement rooms. Gonzalez was stripped of his pants and underwear and tortured with a blow torch on his inner thighs and genitals. The defendants also extinguished lit cigarettes on his face, neck and body as loud Christmas music played in the background, drowning out the his cries for help.
Gonzalez eventually told the defendants that he kept a stash of cash at home and gave them his home address and the alarm code for entry. Held overnight and under additional duress, he also told the defendants about a safety deposit box in which he kept more money. The defendants then, with Gonzalez in tow, proceeded to drive towards the victim’s Williamsburg home and instructed the victim to have his girlfriend deliver the deposit box key directly to the van. The victim’s girlfriend, utilizing the ‘Find My Phone’ application, alerted the police to her boyfriend’s location. Detectives arrived at the location and arrested the defendants. Tavarez was later released.
A search of the home where the victims were kept led to the discovery of a fake badge and a firearm. The basement floor was covered in tarps, and a blowtorch, cigarette butts and a hacksaw were recovered.
“These three defendants not only blindfolded and kidnapped the victims but also subjected them to brutal acts of terror and even torture,” said Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson. “Such depraved acts of violence – all done for money – were cruel and simply inhumane and led to the lengthy prison sentences that each got.”
All three defendants were sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jamie Begley, formerly of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau- Grey Zone, and Assistant District Attorney Holly Serrette, also of the Grey Zone, under the supervision of Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.