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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Two Yonkers Men Arrested After High-Speed Car Chase

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Charles Gardner, the Commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department, announced today the filing of federal criminal charges against HARRY QUINTANA-CRUZ and ALEJANDRO ORTIZ-CRUZ, both of whom were charged in a complaint with forcibly assaulting, resisting, and interfering with FBI Special Agents by colliding into their vehicle after a high-speed car chase.  QUINTANA-CRUZ was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm after a gun was found in an apartment where he resided.  Both QUINTANA-CRUZ and ORTIZ-CRUZ will be presented today in White Plains federal court before the Honorable Judith C. McCarthy.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Thankfully, the FBI, the United States Probation Office, and the Yonkers Police Department put the brakes on this car chase quickly and safely.  Quintana-Cruz and Ortiz-Cruz are now in custody and facing federal felony charges.”  

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “We have a responsibility to the public to protect them from criminals who pay no heed to the danger they place innocent people in while trying to evade law enforcement.  Luckily in this case, no one was hurt.  We want to thank our law enforcement partners in this investigation, and appreciate their dedication to the safety of the community.”

Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner said:  “This incident highlights both the dangers our law enforcement officers face every day, and the shared commitment the Yonkers Police Department has with our local and Federal partners in apprehending those individuals who dare to commit acts of violence in our communities. I applaud our officers, the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, and the U.S. Probation Office for their exceptional efforts in making these arrests.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed in White Plains federal court:[1]

On June 1, 2018, QUINTANA-CRUZ fled on foot from officers of the U.S. Probation Office who sought to meet with him regarding non-compliance with the terms of his supervised release.  After arranging for his brother, ORTIZ-CRUZ, to pick him up in a car, a high-speed police chase ensued with ORTIZ-CRUZ at the wheel.  During the pursuit, the defendants’ vehicle drove through red lights, failed to stop at “Stop” signs, and proceeded in the wrong direction on one-way streets.  At one point, the vehicle approached two law enforcement cars blocking an intersection, one of which was an FBI car.  Instead of slowing down, the defendants’ vehicle rammed into the FBI car and continued driving for a few more blocks before finally stopping as a result of another collision.  In addition to being charged with assaulting the officers effecting his arrest, QUINTANA-CRUZ is charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm after a Springfield Armory .40 caliber pistol was found in an apartment where he resided.  The investigation is continuing.

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Both QUINTANA-CRUZ, 26, and ORTIZ-CRUZ, 18, of Yonkers, New York, are charged with one count of assaulting, resisting, and interfering with their arresting officers, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.  QUINTANA-CRUZ is also charged with one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 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. Berman praised the outstanding work of the U.S. Probation Office, the Yonkers Police Department, and the FBI’s Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and task force officers from the FBI, the U.S. Probation Office, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department, the Yonkers Police Department, the Peekskill Police Department, the Greenburgh Police Department, the Mount Vernon Police Department, and the New York State Police Department.  Mr. Berman thanked the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office for its assistance in the arrest and apprehension of the defendants.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorney Sam Adelsberg is 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 set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Press Release Number: 
18-188
Updated June 5, 2018