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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Three Brooklyn Men Charged in Manhattan Federal Court for Two Bank Burglaries

Thefts Yielded About $5 Million in Cash and Valuables

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriquez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and William J. Bratton, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced that MICHAEL MAZZARA, CHARLES KERRIGAN, and ANTHONY MASCUZZIO were arrested this morning for their roles in bank burglaries in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, earlier this year.  MAZZARA, KERRIGAN, and MASCUZZIO will be presented later today in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis.

            Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said:  “In the dark of the night, these defendants allegedly blowtorched their way through the roofs and into the vaults of two different banks, stealing over $5 million in cash and customer valuables kept in safe deposit boxes.  Through their brazen bank heists, the defendants allegedly stole not just people’s money, but their memories too, leaving in their destructive wake gaping holes and looted vaults.  But these bank jobs also left enough of a trace for the FBI and NYPD, whose good old-fashioned police work led to the charges and arrests announced today.”     

            FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Diego Rodriquez said:  “The Mazzara bank robbery crew did more than just allegedly steal money from banks, they took irreplaceable mementos from people who believed those items were far too valuable to be kept at home.  These men were allegedly after the money, but they also took heirlooms, jewelry, documents and family photos and tossed them aside.  Those items held little value to the men accused in this case, but we hope the community finds some solace in the fact that they will no longer be able to commit these thefts.”

            NYPD Commissioner William J. Bratton said:  “These heists resembled scenes from the movie Heat – the work of a crew that was well organized, meticulous, and elusive to law enforcement.  This investigation was conducted with painstaking persistence.  Left with few clues after the heists, our crime scene teams hunted for every shred of evidence.  From the plywood purchased at a nearby Home Depot, to the torches from a Brooklyn welder used to muscle into the vault, the picture slowly came into focus, resulting in today’s arrests and charges.”

            According to the Complaint[1]:

            Between April 2016 and the present, MAZZARA, KERRIGAN, and MASCUZZIO were part of a crew that burglarized banks in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, by cutting into the banks’ vaults, and stealing a total of approximately $5 million in cash, jewelry, diamonds, stock certificates, and other valuables.  Specifically, from about April 8 to April 10, 2016, MAZZARA, KERRIGAN, and others burglarized an HSBC Bank branch in Brooklyn, and from about May 19 to May 22, 2016, MAZZARA, KERRIGAN, MASCUZZIO, and others burglarized a Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch in Queens.  On both occasions, the burglars used acetylene blowtorches to cut into the top of the banks’ vaults from the roof of the building.  At the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank branch, they shielded their activities from view by constructing a plywood shed on the roof of the bank.  The burglars then entered the vaults from above, broke open safe deposit boxes, and took both cash belonging to the bank and customers’ valuables from the safe deposit boxes.  The crew obtained approximately $330,000 in cash and an unknown amount in valuables from the HSBC branch, and approximately $296,000 in cash and $4.3 million in valuables from the Maspeth bank.  Surveillance footage captured some of MAZZARA, KERRIGAN, and MASCUZZIO’s activities as they prepared for and executed the burglaries.  Financial records and video surveillance also showed MAZZARA and MASCUZZIO purchasing some of the supplies that appear to have been used in the Maspeth burglary.

*                *                *

            MAZZARA, 44, KERRIGAN, 40, and MASCUZZIO, 36, all of Brooklyn, New York, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank burglary, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of bank burglary, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  MAZZARA and KERRIGAN have also been charged with a second count of bank burglary, 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 sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

            Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of the FBI, the NYPD, and the Drug Enforcement Administration in this investigation.  He also thanked the U.S. Probation Office, the New York State Police, and the New York National Guard Counter Drug Task Force for their assistance.  He added that the investigation is continuing.

            This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Benet J. Kearney and David W. Denton, Jr., are in charge of the prosecution.

            The charges contained in the Complaint 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 Complaint and the description of the Complaint forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

16-207
Updated July 27, 2016