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Sentencing in witness tampering scheme connected to Suffolk murder, feds say 

A Queens man who federal prosecutors said conspired with others to make a witness lie under oath at a Suffolk County trial stemming from a gang-related double-murder in 2010 was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday, authorities said.

The sentencing of Charles Gallman, 57, comes four months after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Travel Act by bribing a witness to testify in a double-homicide trial in Suffolk County Supreme Court, and for conspiring to make false statements to the Bureau of Prisons, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue.

“Gallman was the driving force behind brazen criminal conduct designed to undermine our criminal justice system,” Donoghue said in a statement. “Today, the defendant has been held accountable, thanks to the outstanding work of this office’s prosecutors and our law enforcement partners.”

Murray Singer of Port Washington, Gallman’s attorney, declined to comment Thursday night.

Prosecutors said Gallman served as a middle man in a scheme to bribe Luis Cherry to testify falsely to secure an acquittal for Reginald Ross, an alleged leader of the Crips street gang who was on trial for the 2010 murders of flagman Raymond Hirt, 51, of Mastic Beach and John Williams, 39, of Holbrook.

Ross was accused of shooting Hirt, a road flagman, on May 24, 2010, a few weeks after they had a confrontation at a construction site. Prosecutors said Ross had been upset over being delayed at the site on Portion Road in Ronkonkoma.

He was also charged with shooting Williams on Oct. 14, 2010, with the hope of luring a friend of Williams, who owed Ross a drug debt, to the funeral, where Ross hoped to kill him.

Cherry had already pleaded guilty to participating in the Williams murder, but prosecutors have said that a wiretap of a conversation between Gallman and John Scarpa of Queens, Ross’ attorney, revealed that Gallman told Scarpa that Cherry would testify to having committed that murder alone. Cherry, who prosecutors described as a five-time convicted felon who participated in two murders, was serving a 60-year sentence.

They said Gallman visited Cherry in prison at the start of the Ross trial in 2015.

Wiretaps also “captured Gallman scheming with three other co-conspirators, including another attorney, to defraud the Bureau of Prisons by submitting a fraudulent letter to help an inmate obtain early release from prison,” prosecutors said in the news release.

At trial, prosecutors said, Scarpa called Cherry as a defense witness and solicited testimony that implicated Cherry alone despite previous confessions implicating Ross, as well as evidence that two different guns and Ross’ car were used in the ambush on Williams.

Ross was ultimately convicted in April 2015 and sentenced to 74 years to life in prison.

Bribery-related charges against Scarpa are still pending.

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