Two Bronx Men Charged With 2014 Harlem Murder

Two Bronx Men Charged With 2014 Harlem Murder

(STL.News)Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Timothy Foley, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Division (“DEA”), and Ricky J. Patel, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Department of Homeland Security (“HSI”), and Keechant L. Sewell, Police Commissioner for the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today that CARLOS LAUREANO, a/k/a “Gordo,” and NNANDI BEN-JOCHANNAN, a/k/a “BJ,” were charged with the August 12, 2014 murder of Luis Perez in Harlem.  LAUREANO and BEN-JOCHANNAN were arrested today and will be presented this afternoon in Manhattan federal court.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge Paul A. Crotty.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Carlos Laureano and Nnandi Ben-Jochannan allegedly participated in the premeditated murder of Luis Perez over eight years ago in connection with a drug debt.  Now, thanks to the hard work of the DEA and NYPD, the defendants have been charged for this heinous crime.  We hope that today’s charges bring some measure of comfort to the family of Luis Perez and make clear that this Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to be relentless in our pursuit of anyone who takes another person’s life.”

Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Foley said: “Drugs and violence are a constant threat to the quality of life for New Yorkers.  This investigation demonstrates DEA and our law enforcement partners’ resolve to bring justice to victims of violence and to identify and disrupt the drug trafficking organizations that spread poison throughout our neighborhoods.”

Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of HSI New York Ricky Patel said: “Communities are being terrorized and the uptick in violent crime has instilled fear across New York City.  Today’s arrest for a 2014 unsolved murder is a testament to HSI New York’s commitment to protect the public from highly addictive and often deadly drugs, and rid our communities of those who perpetrate street violence and murder  The partnership that HSI shares within the OCDETF Strikeforce in New York City is crucial to combat the distribution of narcotics that often leads to extreme violence, overdoses, and loss of life.  HSI will continue to pursue organized criminal networks to make neighborhoods in New York City safer.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: “This case involves a homicide from 2014.  What this case highlights is that neither investigative challenges nor the passage of time will deter us from pursuing justice.  We long ago learned that narcotics and guns, money and murder go hand-in-hand to bring fear to communities.  The joint efforts of federal and state prosecutors and investigators in this case are yet another example that we will be relentless to end this violence”

According to the allegations in the indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

On or about August 12, 2014, in the vicinity of 501 West 147th Street in Harlem, New York, LAUREANO and BEN-JOCHANNAN shot and killed Perez in connection with a conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana.

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LAUREANO, 33, and BEN-JOCHANNAN, 28, both of the Bronx, New York, are charged with one count of using a firearm to commit murder during a drug-trafficking crime, which carries a maximum sentence of death or life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of five years in prison; and one count of murder in connection with a drug crime, which carries a maximum sentence of death or life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of 20 years in prison.

LAUREANO is also charged with one count of conspiring to distribute narcotics, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of ten years in prison; and one count of possessing a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum term of five years, which must run consecutively to any other sentence imposed.

The maximum and minimum 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. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the DEA, HSI, and NYPD.  He also thanked the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for its assistance.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Clore is 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.