NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A coordinated crime ring in Brooklyn has been busted.
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U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara described the 35 defendants in this case as part of a highly organized, all-purpose gang based in the borough’s Chinatown.
They’re accused of transporting narcotics from China, the proceeds from which they used to bring over illegal aliens.
They’re also accused of participating in home invasion burglaries. They allegedly would target Chinese restaurant owners known to take cash home with them from their businesses.
Bharara said the arrests were made as some of the gang members were on their way to rob a wealthy restaurant owner who lives in Westchester County. They were anticipating that they find $70,000 in the home safe, but instead found handcuffs on their wrists.READ MORE: Dr. Fauci Says He 'Would Not Be Surprised' If Omicron COVID Variant Is Already In U.S.
Their M.O. involves striking while families are at home because the burglar alarms would most likely be turned off.
When arrested, they had the tools of the trade in their car – including zip ties and crowbars.
24 of the defendants were taken into custody either Wednesday afternoon or yesterday as part of a coordinated operation involving federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, and appeared in Manhattan federal court before United States Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.
Ten of the defendants remain at large, and one defendant is currently in custody on other charges, and will be presented on the new charges in the near future.MORE NEWS: New York State Trooper Injured After Being Struck By Vehicle On RFK Bridge
The indictment has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.