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Press Release

Two Brooklyn Men Indicted For Gunpoint Kidnapping

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants, Seeking to Steal Drugs and Cash, Pistol-Whipped and Tortured Victim with a Hot Iron

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, an indictment was unsealed charging Michael Crumble and Ramell Markus with kidnapping, extortion and possessing and brandishing a firearm in relation to those crimes.  The defendants were arrested today and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge James Orenstein.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges. 

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants kidnapped and viciously assaulted an individual for eight hours, forcing him to turn over narcotics and cash,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office and our law enforcement partners, are committed to ridding our community of individuals, like these defendants, who are responsible for drug-related violence.”  Mr. Donoghue gave particular thanks to the New York Metropolitan Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD.

“Not only did the subjects in this investigation allegedly rob their victim, but kidnapped and tortured him to extract information.  No human deserves to be beat, burned and pistol-whipped into submission,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “The FBI Metro Safe Streets Task Force works each day with our law enforcement partners to uncover, and investigate cases to get these violent criminals off the streets and out of our communities.” 

As alleged in the indictment and detailed in court filings, the defendants Michael Crumble and Ramell Markus, along with a third co-conspirator (“CC-1”), abducted, assaulted, and extorted a victim (“John Doe”) in the early morning hours of December 18, 2017.  At that time, Doe left his home to meet Markus in Markus’s car.  As Doe got into the backseat, Crumble and CC-1 came out of the shadows and pushed Doe further into the car, where CC-1 pressed a gun against Doe’s head.  Markus, sitting in the front seat, told CC-1 to check Doe for any weapons and, if Doe had one, to shoot him in the face.  Markus then took the gun from CC-1 and pistol-whipped Doe across the head.  While in the vehicle, Markus demanded, in sum and substance, that Doe give Markus narcotics that the defendants believed Doe had at his home.

Subsequently, Markus, Crumble and CC-1 drove Doe to a residence in Brooklyn and forced him inside.  The defendants again demanded that Doe give them money and narcotics, and also disclose an address where the perpetrators believed additional narcotics and money were located.  To force Doe to comply, Markus broke a glass on Doe’s face, and CC-1 repeatedly burned both of Doe’s arms with a hot iron.  Doe eventually called his fiancée and told her to gather his cash and narcotics, which Markus and Crumble retrieved from outside Doe’s home and then brought back to the residence with Doe and CC-1.

Not satisfied with the drugs and cash, the defendants and CC-1 continued to keep Doe captive, and drove him to a hotel.  The perpetrators forced Doe to stay at the hotel while they waited for another individual to call Doe, who would supposedly provide the address that the defendants sought.  After waiting a number of hours, the defendants forced Doe back inside the car and took him back to his home.  Because Doe refused to provide the perpetrators with the address, they forced Doe to provide a pound of marijuana as collateral.  In total, the defendants kidnapped Doe for approximately eight hours.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of all counts, the defendants face a mandatory minimum of seven years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment.    

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Keith D. Edelman and Lindsay K. Gerdes are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

Age: 34 
Brooklyn, New York

RAMELL MARKUS (also known as “Rah,” “Dollah” and “Smooth”)
Age: 35 
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-32 (ARR)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated February 6, 2018