Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Mary Galligan, the Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD), announced today the unsealing of charges against Marco Perez, Said Rivera, Dinos Psirros, Morelos Disla for robbery and firearms offenses that were committed while impersonating law enforcement agents. Perez, Rivera, Psirros, and Disla were arrested earlier today and will be presented and arraigned in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott this afternoon.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said, “As alleged, these defendants brought violence and fear into their victims’ homes by masquerading as armed law enforcement agents and then robbing the victims. Not only did they steal from the targets of their crimes, they also dishonored the fine men and women who risk their lives every day by enforcing the law and protecting the public.”
FBI Acting Assistant Director in Charge Mary Galligan said, “Nowhere is the right to safety and security more fundamental than in one’s own home. The defendants’ home invasions, carried out with deceit and trickery, put innocent people at risk, not just their intended victims. The FBI remains committed to protecting the public from violent crime.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, “I want to commend investigators and prosecutors for bringing these suspects to justice, particularly the diligence of the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau who, early on, recognized a pattern of conduct related to a series of home invasion robberies where the suspects identified themselves as NYPD detectives and federal agents. Solid investigative work led to the gathering of physical evidence and the identification of the suspects.”
The following allegations are based on the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
From November 2011 through September 2012, Perez, Rivera, Psirros, and Disla conspired to commit robberies of suspected traffickers of narcotics and untaxed cigarettes. The defendants impersonated law enforcement agents in order to rob their victims. For example, on November 15, 2011, Perez, Rivera, and Psirros robbed a suspected untaxed cigarette trafficker of approximately $200,000 and a quantity of untaxed cigarettes while impersonating law enforcement agents. And, on June 6, 2012, Perez, Rivera, Psirros, and Disla again robbed a suspected narcotics trafficker and others of approximately $1,000 while posing as law enforcement agents.
In addition to the robbery offenses, Perez, Rivera, and Psirros are charged with possessing and using a firearm, which was brandished, in relation to the November 15, 2011 robbery. All three men and Disla are also charged with possessing and using a firearm, which was brandished, in relation to the June 6, 2012 robbery.
Perez, 45; Rivera, 31; and Disla, 34, are all residents of the Bronx, New York; and Psirros, 39, is a resident of Queens, New York. Perez, Rivera, and Psirros face a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of 32 years in prison. Disla faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of seven years in prison.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain, and the first pre-trial conference is scheduled for September 17, 2012 at 12:00 p.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI and NYPD and stated that the investigation is ongoing.
The case is being prosecuted by the Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kan M. Nawaday and Hadassa Waxman are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.