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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 12, 2020

Brooklyn Man Convicted of Robberies and Attempted Robbery of Four Convenience Stores in Queens

Store Clerk Shot in the Head

Following two weeks of trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn today convicted Elgin Brack of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and related crimes for his participation in the gunpoint robberies and attempted robbery of four convenience stores in Queens in November 2018.  During the attempted robbery of a Duane Reade store, Brack shot the store’s clerk in the head and hand.  When sentenced by United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano, Brack faces a mandatory minimum of 31 years’ imprisonment.

Brack’s uncle and co-defendant, Scott Brack, pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy in November 2019 and is awaiting sentencing.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the verdict.

“The defendant has been held responsible by the jury for his crime spree that left bloodshed and terrorized victims in its wake,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “Today’s verdict ensures that Elgin Brack will face substantial punishment.  I commend the NYPD detectives and ATF Special Agents for quickly apprehending the defendants and preventing further mayhem.”

“Today’s verdict ensures that Elgin Brack will pay a price for the violence and terror that he perpetrated on the streets of New York,” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito.  “The reckless violence the defendant left in his wake will be met with years in prison contemplating his crimes and harm done to his fellow citizens. The robust partnership between the ATF Special Agents and NYPD detectives of the ATF/ NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force that worked this case led to quick arrests preventing additional violence and harm to the community. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting this case.”

“Today’s conviction assures a measure of justice for the victims of these violent robberies. I commend our detectives, working with our federal partners, for vigorously investigating this case from the moment these crimes occurred,” stated NYPD Commissioner Shea.

On November 26, 2018, between approximately 3:35 a.m. and 5:45 a.m., defendant Elgin Brack attempted to rob a Duane Reade store in Woodside, and completed three robberies of a 7-Eleven store in Long Island City, a Rite Aid store in Astoria and a second Rite Aid store in Jamaica, together with Scott Brack, who served as the getaway driver. 

As proven at trial, at approximately 3:30 a.m., Elgin Brack entered the Duane Reade store, pretended to make a purchase, then pointed a gun at the store clerk.  When the clerk did not respond quickly, Brack shot him in the hand and the head as he resisted.  Brack fled the store empty handed and, together with Scott Brack, drove to the 7-Eleven store, where he robbed the store of $300 at gunpoint from a store employee.  The defendants then drove to the first Rite Aid store, where Elgin Brack approached a store clerk and asked to purchase chewing gum.  When the store clerk opened the cash register, Brack pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded money.  The store clerk handed Elgin Brack $802.  Finally, at approximately 5:45 a.m., Elgin Brack entered the second Rite Aid store, pointed a gun at the store clerk and robbed the store of $200.

Later that day, at approximately 9:00 p.m., detectives and Special Agents from the ATF-NYPD Joint Robbery Task Force, Strategic Pattern Armed Robbery Technical Apprehension team, located the getaway vehicle in the Bronx and arrested the defendants.  The law enforcement officers recovered clothing from the back seat of the car that matched the clothes Elgin Brack wore during the robberies and attempted robbery, and a backpack containing a .357 revolver that was later determined to have Elgin Brack’s DNA on it.  Elgin Brack’s cell phone contained Internet searches for 24-hour stores made shortly before the defendants’ crimes occurred.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Phil Selden, Jonathan Siegel and Jonathan Lax are in charge of the prosecution.  Assistant United States Attorney Tanisha R. Payne of the Office’s Civil Division is handling the forfeiture matters.

The Defendant Convicted Today:

ELGIN BRACK
Age:  24
Brooklyn, New York

The Co-Defendant Who Previously Pleaded Guilty:        

SCOTT BRACK
Age:  51
Bronx, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-684 (ENV)

 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime
Contact: 
John Marzulli United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated March 12, 2020