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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Robert Pizarro And Juan Rivera Charged In Violent Robbery And Kidnapping Of Bronx Man, Which Resulted In Man’s Death

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, James J. Hunt, Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), George P. Beach II, the Superintendent of the New York State Police (“NYSP”), and James P. O’Neill, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of ROBERT PIZARRO and JUAN RIVERA on charges of kidnapping conspiracy, kidnapping resulting in death, robbery conspiracy, robbery, and firearms offenses.  The defendants have been remanded and remain in custody.

Manhattan Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As alleged, Robert Pizarro and Juan Rivera robbed, terrorized, and ultimately killed 36-year-old Robert Bishun.  Today’s arrests mark the end of an exhaustive investigation by the DEA, the NYPD, and the New York State Police, and the beginning of justice for Bishun’s family.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division James J. Hunt said:  “This investigation led law enforcement through a violent series of events leading to a murder by strangulation.  The New York Drug Enforcement Task Force’s REDRUM Group and the U.S. Southern District of New York identified the alleged crimes committed by Pizarro and Rivera and worked collaboratively to arrest them today.”

NYSP Superintendent George P. Beach II said:  “I applaud the hard work of our law enforcement partners on the DEA New York Drug Enforcement Task Force. Through solid police work, two suspects have been put behind bars and two dangerous men are off of our streets. These men not only allegedly kidnapped a man from his business, robbing him of hard earned money – but they ultimately took his life. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with the Task Force, and bringing those who commit these heinous types of crimes, to justice.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “As alleged, the brazen violence carried out by the defendants named in this indictment demonstrates a blatant disregard for both the law and human life.  I commend the prosecutors, investigators, and agents who diligently brought this case to its swift conclusion.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment[1] and other documents in the public record, and statements made in court:

On September 20, 2016, PIZARRO and RIVERA robbed Robert Bishun at gunpoint in his auto body shop in the Bronx.  They then kidnapped Bishun, forcing him into his own car, and driving it away.  Bishun’s body was found several hours later in the back seat of his car.  The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City concluded that the cause of Bishun’s death was strangulation.

On a prior occasion, in January 2015, PIZARRO robbed Robert Bishun at gunpoint at the same auto body shop, taking approximately $10,000 cash from Bishun. 

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PIZARRO, 37, of the Bronx, and RIVERA, 39, of the Bronx, are each charged with one count of kidnapping conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; one count of kidnapping resulting in death, which carries a maximum sentence of death; one count of robbery conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of use of a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.  PIZARRO is also charged with one count of robbery related to his January 2015 robbery of Bishun, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by a judge

Mr. Kim praised the investigative efforts of the DEA New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, which comprises agents and officers of the DEA, NYPD, and NYSP. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Margaret Graham, Jessica Fender, and Jared Lenow are in charge of the prosecution.

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

 

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

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
17-084
Updated March 16, 2017