Five people have been charged with being members of a robbery crew that staged a series of violent, gunpoint home invasions in Suffolk, Queens and New Jersey, according to officials.
In one case, the crew terrorized five women and three young children in a Little Neck home, and sexually assaulting one of the women, according to an investigation by the NYPD and agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"These defendants, as alleged, terrorized communities from eastern Long Island to New Jersey," said John DeVito, head of the ATF in New York, in a statement. "But all five now face life in federal prison."
"As our charges allege, the defendants targeted and terrorized numerous victims at gunpoint, including a family inside their home in Queens where two of the defendants sexually assaulted a women," said acting Eastern District United States Attorney Seth DuCharme, in a statement.
"With this prosecution the defendants’ crime spree has been put to an end. This office will continue to commit our people and resources to bringing to justice those who participate in such brutal crimes," DuCharme said.
DeVito and DuCharme announced the charges along with New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
The robbery spree occurred over a three-month period from March to May of 2019, according to papers filed in the federal court in Brooklyn.
In the Little Neck case, the robbers also dragged an elderly women — who was unable to walk and was holding a baby in her arms, across a floor — as they forced her, four other women and three children into a downstairs bedroom, officials said.
The accused robbers expected "to find tens of thousands of dollars in the home," officials said, and they threatened to kill all the residents there if they did not reveal where the supposed money was, officials said. The men took a few thousand dollars that one victim had planned to give as a gift to her family, officials said.
After a robbery in New Jersey, one of the crew members was recorded boasting of taking $120,000 in cash and $50,000 worth of "an unnamed item," officials said. An attempted robbery in Suffolk in May of 2019, was unsuccessful, officials said in court papers without giving further details.
Two of those accused in the case were identified by DNA they left at the Queens home, and much of that robbery was recorded on surveillance cameras inside and outside the home, officials said.
Those charged as members of the robbery crew, were identified by officials as: John Martin, also known as "Lil John," 48, of Brooklyn; Brandon Daniels, 26, also of Brooklyn; Lamonte Johnson, 52, of Auburn, in upstate New York; Shi Zhen Lin, also known as "Kevin Lin," or "Kev," 29, of Maspeth, and Corey Mobley, 50, also of Brooklyn.
If convicted the defendants face up to life in prison.