BROOKLYN, NY. - A superseding indictment was unsealed this morning in federal court in Brooklyn charging Sergio Alejo, also known as “Viejo,” Wendell Alomar-Cabrera, also known as “Gregorio,” and Gabriel Pabon, also known as “Jose,” with the October 16, 2006, murder of Luis Sifuentes in Durham, North Carolina. These charges were added to an indictment previously obtained against more than 25 members of a violent robbery crew responsible for over 100 armed robberies of narcotics traffickers along the east coast of the United States that netted more than 750 kilograms of cocaine and $4 million in drug proceeds. 1 The defendants will be arraigned on the new charges later this afternoon before United States District Judge Nicolas G. Garaufis at the U.S. Courthouse, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York.
The charges were announced by John P. Gilbride, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York, Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Robert T. Johnson, District Attorney, Bronx County, New York, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
As detailed in the indictments and other court filings, beginning in May 2003, crew members often posed as police officers in order to subdue narcotics traffickers and their families, and then kidnapped, tortured, and robbed their victims. In 2006, members of the crew traveled to North Carolina from New York to engage in a series of robberies. On October 16, 2006, near Durham, North Carolina, the defendants kidnapped Sifuentes, tortured him for several hours, and murdered him.
DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Gilbride stated, “Drug trafficking and the violence it breeds can be seen throughout the world. The United States is no exception. These individuals allegedly kidnapped, tortured, and robbed narcotics traffickers and their families to include Luis Sifuentes in North Carolina. These charges exemplify the commitment of law enforcement to track all leads, over many years, in the pursuit of justice.”
“By holding these defendants accountable for the murder of Luis Sifuentes in North Carolina, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting the community, in New York and elsewhere, from the violence posed by robbery crews and drug traffickers,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. Ms. Lynch thanked the New York State Police; the Durham County District Attorney’s Office; Durham, North Carolina Police, Special Operations Division, Major Crimes Unit; and the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance in the investigation. Bronx County District Attorney Johnson stated, “This is a good example of how cooperation between state and federal law enforcement agencies can bring to justice those charged with the most serious offenses.”
If convicted, the newly-charged defendants each face a minimum sentence of life in prison and a potential sentence of death.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Shreve Ariail, Justin Lerer, and Gina Parlovecchio and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy Shockett, an Assistant District Attorney from the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation was led by the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force REDRUM unit which is comprised of agents and officers from the DEA, New York Police Department and the New York State Police.