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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 14, 2021

Brooklyn Man Indicted For Armed Robberies Of Cab Drivers

Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Dermot F. Shea, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, and John B. DeVito, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), announced that KYMAHLI LYSIUS was indicted today in connection with armed robberies he carried out last summer against livery cab drivers.  LYSIUS was arrested last week and presented in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Kevin N. Fox.

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated:  “Kymahli Lysius allegedly carried out a spree of brazen gunpoint robberies of livery cab drivers in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Lysius’s alleged conduct includes chillingly pointing a gun at the back of drivers’ heads and demanding their money, then fleeing on foot under the cover of night. We thank the NYPD and ATF for holding Kymahli responsible for alleged acts that put his victims in fear for their lives.”    

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said:  “This individual allegedly targeted hard-working victims and exploited the nature of their job to lure them to a location for the purpose of a robbery. I commend the detectives and members of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District, for targeting violent crime and their hard work which resulted in this indictment.”

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge John B. DeVito said:  “As alleged, defendant Lysius committed several armed robberies of honest and hard-working New Yorkers who were trying to provide for their families in the midst of a pandemic. This indictment sends a clear message that ATF and our law enforcement partners remain committed to ensuring public safety and that those who violate federal law and threaten the safety of our communities and the citizens within will be dealt with swiftly."

As alleged in the Complaint unsealed last week in Manhattan federal court[1]:

Between on or about July 28, 2020, and August 7, 2020, LYSIUS committed eight gunpoint robberies and a ninth attempted gunpoint robbery against livery cab drivers.  Two of the robberies were in Manhattan; the others were in Brooklyn.  The robberies followed a simple but brazen pattern:  On each occasion, a livery cab was ordered for a pick up at a specific location.  Upon its arrival, LYSIUS would get into the back seat of the cab.  Shortly thereafter, he would pull out a firearm from a fanny pack strapped across his chest, place the firearm on the cab driver’s head or back, and demand all of the driver’s money.  After taking all the cash the driver had on him and any other cash in the cab, LYSIUS would get out of the cab and flee on foot.  Each robbery occurred on dark streets, late at night or in the very early morning hours. 

LYSIUS, 28, of Brooklyn, is charged with two counts of Hobbs Act robbery and two counts of using a firearm in connection with the two robberies that occurred in Manhattan.  The Hobbs Act robbery charges each carry a statutory maximum sentence of twenty years in prison.  The charges for using, carrying, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of the Hobbs Act robberies each carry a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed. 

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department, the ATF, and the Strategic Pattern Armed Robbery Technical Apprehension (“SPARTA”) Task Force.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Sarah L. Kushner is in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Complaint and Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Nicholas Biase, James Margolin (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
21-008
Updated January 14, 2021