(STL.News) – Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), Raymond Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Jose Rodriguez , a/k/a “Hov,” a/k/a “Hov Goon,” with murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and firearms offenses in connection with the murder of Daquan Cooper on June 25, 2015, in the Bronx. RODRIGUEZ was already in federal custody serving a sentence for other charges. RODRIGUEZ will be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As alleged in the indictment, Jose Rodriguez and others were responsible for the cold-blooded murder of Daquan Cooper in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx in 2015. We commend the extraordinary efforts of our law enforcement partners to bring this defendant to justice.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh said: “Rodriguez allegedly ran with a gang whose calling card was violence and drug trafficking, and he is now charged with murder in aid of racketeering for his involvement in a 2015 homicide. As alleged, he may have thought he was in the clear four years later, but strong law enforcement partnerships ensure that no one will get away with murder. You commit a crime, you will be arrested and you will be prosecuted.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Raymond Donovan said: “Too often we see murder as a byproduct of gang violence and drug trafficking. This investigation is a result of combined law enforcement efforts to thwart violent crime and bring answers to victims’ families.”
NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said: “Our obligation is not just to ensure that New Yorkers in every neighborhood are safe, but that they feel safe. To that end, our work identifying and dismantling gangs and crews, and preventing the violence so often associated with their activities, continues to be of paramount importance. I thank our NYPD investigators, and our law enforcement partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District, HSI, and the DEA, for their dedication and vital work in this case.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
RODRIGUEZ was a member or associate of a racketeering enterprise known as the Beach Avenue Crew, a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in, among other things, murder, attempted murder, and narcotics trafficking.
On June 25, 2015, RODRIGUEZ and others murdered Daquan Cooper in the vicinity of 1595 Unionport Road in the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx.
RODRIGUEZ, 27, from the Bronx, New York, is charged with one count of murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of death or life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; one count of murder through use of a firearm, which carries a maximum sentence of death or life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison; and one count of being a felon in possession of ammunition, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Mr. Berman praised the investigative work of HSI, DEA, and the NYPD. Mr. Berman added that the investigation is continuing.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Maurene Comey, Jacob Warren, and Andrew K. Chan are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.