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Eight Westchester Men Charged In Numerous Robberies In County

The U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains.
The U.S. Federal Courthouse for the Southern District of New York in White Plains. Photo Credit: Google Maps

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Ten members of a Westchester-based crime "crew" are facing a series of robbery and firearms charges after committing no less than nine robberies and more than 50 commercial robberies in the tri-state area in the past few years.

Joon Kim, the acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Wednesday the unsealing of an indictment charging ten people with a conspiracy to commit robberies in Westchester, the Bronx, Manhattan and Connecticut.

Seven of the suspects were brought into custody on Wednesday. Yonkers residents Jason Auza, Guillermo Fernandez and Kasean Galloway, all suspects, had previously been in state custody for other criminal charges.

According to the indictment, from 2012 to December last year, Bronx natives Alex “Al Bundy” Ayala and Elbio Espaillat, as well as Yonkers residents Dennis “Bundles” Brown, Nelson Cartagena, Andre Emilien, Fernandez, Auza, Gallow and Elmsford resident Paul Vallaro were a loosely organized criminal crew that “worked together to enrich themselves and their fellow crew members through thefts, burglaries and robberies, both armed and unarmed.”

Between 2015 and 2016, officials said that the crew members burglarized more than 50 commercial establishments in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam Dutchess and Fairfield Counties. Additionally, they are accused of working to sell drugs, including drugs stolen from other dealers during robberies and other thefts.

“As we allege, robberies and burglaries were the profit making ways of the 10 members of a loosely organized criminal charged group today,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney Jr. said in a statement. “Sometimes armed, sometimes not, this crew varied their targets from commercial establishments to drug dealers.”

In the six-count indictment, members of the crew were charged with conspiring to commit Hobbs Act robberies - which includes the unlawful taking of personal property of one person in the presence of another, - robbing a pizzeria at gunpoint in Yonkers in 2012; carrying firearms that were used in connection to robberies; transporting more than $25,000 in stolen goods across state lines following a burglary in Connecticut and a Yonkers carjacking last year.

“I applaud the outstanding police work that enabled us to apprehend these dangerous criminals,” Scarpino said in a statement. “This inter-agency collaboration is critical to our efforts to bring down these gangs who have been terrorizing our citizens over the past two years.”

  • Ayala faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and firearms charges.
  • Auza faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and firearms charges
  • Brown faces 20 years in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy.
  • Cartagena faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen property and firearms charges.
  • Emilien faces 20 years in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy.
  • Espaillat faces 20 years in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy.
  • Fernandez faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, interstate transportation of stolen property and firearms charges.
  • Galloway faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, carjacking and firearms charges.
  • Nassar faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and firearms charges
  • Vallaro faces life in prison for Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and firearms charges

“As alleged, the ten defendants charged today went on a brazen crime spree across Westchester and the Bronx, robbing and attempting to rob at least nine businesses and drug dealers, often armed with guns,” Kim said. “We are grateful to all of our law enforcement partners for their work in bringing the dangerous alleged crimes by this determined crew to an end.”

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