Manhattan U.S. Attorney Announces Arrest Of Four Bronx Men In Connection With Robbery And Shooting Of Off-Duty Police Officer
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special-Agent-in-Charge of the New York Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced that JEFFREY OKINE, MARQUIS DANIELS, RAYSHAUN JONES, and TYQUEZ HARRELL were arrested today on robbery and gun charges in connection with their alleged January 2013 attempt to rob employees at a used car dealership in the Bronx, including off-duty NYPD Police Officer Juan Pichardo. Officer Pichardo was allegedly shot in the leg by OKINE during the course of the robbery. OKINE, DANIELS, JONES, and HARRELL were arrested and taken into federal custody today at Rikers Island, where they were being held since January 4, 2013, on state charges for these offenses. All four defendants will be presented in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Officer Juan Pichardo was true to his NYPD badge, even off duty, when he bravely resisted this alleged armed robbery and it was sheer luck that he was not fatally injured doing so. These four defendants, who are alleged to have engaged in a robbery spree in the Bronx, will now have to answer for their conduct.”
ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Anarumo, Jr. said: “Gun violence in our community is unacceptable. Particular to this arrest, allegations involving the use of firearms in a violent act to include the shooting of an off-duty NYPD Officer will not be tolerated. The United States Attorney’s Office, NYPD and ATF have worked jointly on this matter to ensure that these perpetrators are punished severely under federal law. I commend all who have participated in this investigation.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “Officer Pichardo was one of three NYPD officers shot in separate incidents in Brooklyn and the Bronx within one hour on Jan. 3. Despite their injuries, he and his colleagues took swift and courageous action to prevent harm from coming to others. The arrests of Officer Pichardo’s alleged assailants show that the New York City police and prosecutors will not relent in bringing to justice those who wield illegal guns and squander the public’s safety.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and other documents in the public record:
OKINE, DANIELS, JONES, and HARRELL robbed employees at a variety of commercial establishments in the Bronx. During a January 3, 2013, robbery, OKINE and HARRELL went to a car dealership and posed as potential buyers. When the off-duty officer and another employee brought them into the dealership’s office, HARRELL took out a gun and ordered the employees to empty their pockets. OKINE and HARRELL took their money and cellphones. HARRELL then gave OKINE the gun and went to inspect a safe. OKINE got into a skirmish with the off-duty police officer and shot him in the leg. He then tried to flee, but two other employees stopped him. HARRELL managed to run away and got into a getaway car, but NYPD officers apprehended and arrested him along with DANIELS and JONES. Among the items recovered from the car was the off-duty officer’s cell phone.
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OKINE, 21, DANIELS, 23, JONES, 25, and HARRELL, 22, have all been charged with one count of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence 20 years in prison, and one count of using, possessing and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Mr. Bharara praised the ATF and the NYPD for their work in this investigation.
The prosecution is being overseen by the Office's Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Jessica Ortiz and Parvin Moyne are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.