From Novoye Russkoye Slovo
June 12, 2003
The U.S. District Court in Brooklyn indicted eight members
of a criminal gang comprised of Russian immigrants on charges of racketeering,
illegal gambling, loan-sharking and selling the drug Ecstasy. The court released
the 28-count indictment on June 10. Four gang members were arrested in New York
City on the morning of June 10. The other member was apprehended in Miami.
Long of the District Attorneys Office of Brooklyn, Joseph Valiquette of
the FBI New York field office and Michael OLooney, the deputy commissioner
of public information of the New York Police Department, issued a press release
on June 11. The press release describes how the Russian-speaking community of
Brooklyn helped law enforcement arrest and charge the members of the gang.
Bari, 39, of Ocean Avenue is believed to be the gang leader. Other gang members
included Alexei Tsetkov, known by the nickname Dumpling, Alexandr
Wayntraub, known by the nickname Mosquito, Sergei Korniyenko, Alexandr
Korsunsky, Dimitry Kremennoy, Robert Podlog and Gennady Tenenbaum.
Steven Gold read the courts charges against the gang and announced that
Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis would preside over the case. Bari faces
a possible sentence of 80 years and a fine of $250,000.
Gang members undertook
their most vicious attack on March 20, 2003. Tsetkov and Tenenbaum entered the
NY Cyber Place Internet Café on Avenue Z in Brooklyn and demanded protection
money from the stores employees. The gang members assaulted the employees
and destroyed the stores computers. The cafés security cameras
recorded the incident.
Gang members often resorted to threats and violence to
collect protection money.
In the case of John Doe No. 4, during the summer of
2001, Bari and Kremennoy forced the victim into the backseat of a car and wrapped
a wire around his neck. In the case of John Doe No. 6, Bari and Kremennoy forced
the victim, who owed the gang $16,000, into a van. Tsetkov and Korsunsky administered
a therapy, i.e. a beating, to the victim.
In April 2002, Tsetkov
entered a Brighton Beach restaurant to look for one of the gangs debtors,
John Doe No. 3. Tsetkov carried a machete in his hand which he waved in a threatening
The gang also threatened those who they suspected of cooperating with
the police. On February 24, Wayntraub, Podlog and Tsetkov beat John Doe No. 9
whom they suspected had talked to police officials. On March 16, Korsunsky and
Tsetkov told John Doe No. 10 they would kill him if he went to the police.
Mauskopf, the newly appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of the New
York, said the FBI, New York police officials and the district attorneys have
established an extraordinary working relationship, which has enabled them
to successfully contain organized crime activities. Mauskopf added that
the arrests of the members of the Bari gang represented another successful collaboration
of law enforcement agencies.
Kevin Donovan, the head of the New York field office
of the FBI, told journalists that Zinovy Bari and his gang have been put
out of action for the foreseeable future. Donovan commended the joint efforts
of the eastern European division of the FBI and the police. The assistance of
Brighton Beach residents was also noted.
In order to apprehend dangerous
criminals, such as the Bari gang, we need the cooperation of the victims and other
witnesses, said Kevin Donovan. Law-abiding citizens can protect their
neighborhoods, not only by keeping watch of what is happening, but by telling
us whats going on.
At the press conference, New York Police Commissioner
Raymond Kelly called the gang a violent group of criminals, who extorted
money from innocent people, threatened their lives and destroyed their property."
As a result of the efforts of the joint operation, Kelly continued, we have
turned the gang members over to the authorities and have returned to the residents
of Brighton Beach a sense of safety. I want to thank all who helped bring these
criminals to justice.
Translated from Russian by Elizabeth LeBras.
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