BROOKLYN/Imam in bomb probe makes guilty plea deal
Ahmad Wais Afzali, the Queens imam caught up in the investigation of the Najibullah Zazi bomb plot last year, has reached an "agreement in principle" on a deal to plead guilty, his lawyer said in federal court in Brooklyn Tuesday.
Prosecutors said it would take 24 to 48 hours to get final approvals on an immigration-related aspect of the deal for Afzali, who is charged with four counts of lying to the FBI.
Afzali, 37, a sometimes-informant for New York City police, has said he was asked by the NYPD to contact Zazi last fall and then got caught up in a dispute between the FBI and the NYPD about disclosure of the probe of Zazi.
"I believe we're very close to a resolution of the case," Prosecutor Jeffrey Knox told U.S. District Judge Frederic Block. Knox and Afzali's lawyer, Ronald Kuby, told Block they expect the deal to be done Thursday.
Zazi, a Colorado airport shuttle bus driver who grew up in Flushing, pleaded guilty last week to terrorism charges and said he and others were a few days away from carrying out multiple suicide bomb attacks in Manhattan's subways last September.
- JOHN RILEY
FREEPORT/Man on Meadowbrook charged with DWI
A Hempstead man was charged with driving while intoxicated and operating a vehicle with a suspended license after driving without headlights or brake lights on the Meadowbrook and Southern State Parkways, State Police said Tuesday.
Police said they stopped Jorge Medrano after he drove his black Toyota Highlander from the Meadowbrook onto the Southern State early Saturday in Freeport, police said.
State Police said the lack of headlights caused troopers to stop the Hempstead man's SUV and then found he had "bloodshot watery eyes, poor motor coordination and smelled of alcohol."
Medrano was given a breath test. Police said his blood alcohol content was .18 percent and he was arrested at 1:19 a.m.
Medrano, 24, of 97 Fairway Dr. in Hempstead, was charged with driving while intoxicated, operating a vehicle with a suspended license and what police termed "several vehicle and traffic violations."
His arraignment details were not immediately clear.
The stop occurred after troopers said they followed the vehicle north on the Meadowbrook and witnessed Medrano "pick up speed, change lanes several times" and cross hazard markings to exit the Meadowbrook and enter the westbound Southern State Parkway.
- JOHN VALENTI
SOUTHAMPTON/Woman who stole $4,400 bag sought
Southampton Village police are looking for a woman who stole a $4,400 Chanel bag from a local store in August.
Police said the unidentified woman entered Collette at 89 Jobs Lane in the village on Aug. 18 and then left the store without paying for a black Chanel ostrich bag with two long gold handles.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers, 800-220-8477. All calls will remain confidential.
- GARY DYMSKI