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Press Release

Two Brooklyn Men Sentenced to Nine Years’ and 15 Years, Respectively, for Kidnapping, Extortion and Torture of Victim

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendants Burned Victim with an Iron to Obtain Drugs and Cash

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Michael Crumble was sentenced by United States District Judge Allyne R. Ross to nine years’ imprisonment for kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping and committing physical violence in furtherance of an extortion relating to the December 2017 abduction, assault and extortion of a victim.  On May 3, 2019, co-defendant Ramell Markus was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for his role in the same crimes.  The defendants were convicted by a federal jury in May 2018 following a one-week trial.

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 sentences.

 “The defendants were seeking cash and drugs when they brutally assaulted the victim, but what they ultimately received as a result of their vicious conduct were lengthy prison sentences,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “I commend our FBI and NYPD partners in the New York City Safe Streets Task Force for their outstanding investigative work in this case.”

“The primary mission of the NYPD and our law enforcement partners is to arrest, prosecute, and send away with a meaningful prison sentence anyone who commits violent crime, and instills fear in New Yorkers through their criminal actions,” stated NYPD Commissioner O’Neill.  “I want to thank the Eastern District and the investigators from the FBI and NYPD who worked on this case. Their hard work helps ensure that those who engage in serious crimes like kidnapping, extortion and assault will face justice.”

On December 17, 2017, Crumble, Markus, and a co-conspirator kidnapped the victim outside his residence in Queens and forced him into a vehicle.  Markus pistol-whipped the victim in a futile attempt to force him to give up narcotics believed to be in the victim’s home.  The defendants and their co-conspirator then drove the victim to another location in Brooklyn, and during the next several hours tortured him – smashing a glass into his face and burning his arms with a hot iron – until the drugs and cash were given to them. 

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:  35
Residence: Brooklyn, New York,

RAMELL MARKUS (also known as “Rah,” “Dollah” and “Smooth”)
Age:  36
Residence: 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 May 6, 2019

Violent Crime