A third person was arrested by federal agents and New York City police Wednesday and charged with the March 2020 gunpoint robbery of $280,000 in cash from Aqueduct Racetrack, officials said.
Khaleel Williams, 32, identified only as being from Queens, pleaded not guilty at a video arraignment at federal court in Brooklyn to what authorities have termed an "inside job."
The crime also involved a track security guard who escorted other employees -- who were unaware of the scheme -- to a vault with money collected from patrons, officials said.
Williams was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery in interstate commerce, robbery in interstate commerce, and possession and brandishing a firearm in a crime of violence.
As part of his role, Williams purchased burner phones — which are difficult to trace — that were used for communication by the robbers, according to court filings by Eastern District prosecutors.
The guard, Lafayette Morrison, 37, of Jamaica, and a third man, Lamel Miller, 37, were similarly charged when they were arrested in June 2020, officials said.
Morrison was also charged Wednesday in a new indictment with obstruction of justice for lying to agents and detectives when questioned about knowing Miller, officials said.
The two have in fact known each other for 20 years, officials said.
Morrison and Miller have been held without bail since their arrests. Williams also was held without bail at Wednesday’s arraignment, pending future hearings.
Williams' defense attorney, Murray Singer of Port Washington, had no comment.
Track officials, agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and NYPD detectives assumed from the first that the robbery was an inside job because it happened in the nonpublic area inside the track’s complex of offices, according to court filings by Eastern District prosecutors.
Furthering suspicion was that the masked gunmen, alleged to be Williams and Miller, were waiting at "a chokepoint" along the path used by the security guard, Morrison, as he was escorting two other Aqueduct employees carrying the bags of cash, officials said.
In addition, the robbery occurred on a day when track attendance was high because of the running of the Gotham Stakes, considered a run-up to the Kentucky Derby, officials said.