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Bronx County District Attorney

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					              District Attorney’s Message
           “My staff worked hard to help make our Bronx
                community a safe and healthy environment
                               for you and your families.”
                                         crime — over 7000 complaints of          fight against auto crime since 1995
                                         grand larceny involving automo-          through its operation of the Bronx
                                         biles in the Bronx. Somewhat             Anti-Auto-Theft Program. By forg-
                                         encouraging, though, is that this        ing a cooperative working relation-
                                         number is 12% fewer than last year,      ship with other agencies, and with
                                         less than half the number made five      the help of sophisticated techno-
                                         years ago and nearly 69% less than       logical surveillance equipment and
                                         in 1990.                                 our “old-fashioned” auto-crime
                                                My staff worked hard to help      Hotline (590-CARS), in 1998 we
                                         make our Bronx community a safe          helped recover vehicles valued
      I am delighted to report yet       and healthy environment for you          close to $600,000.
again that crime has dropped in the      and your families.                             Though we vigorously prose-
Bronx and throughout the rest of                We had more top count felony      cute crime and often recommend
New York City. For example, Bronx        convictions than any other New           the incarceration of defendants, my
robbery complaints decreased by          York prosecutor’s office, and a high-    office is about much more than
15%. Most striking, certainly, is that   er percentage of state prison sen-       sending people to jail.
crime complaints for murder have         tences than New York State or the              For example, I believe strongly
shown dramatic decline each year         rest of New York City.                   in the appropriate use of drug treat-
since the start of the decade. This             Our Narcotics Bureau had a        ment as an alternative to incarcera-
year, there were 15% fewer murder        95% felony conviction rate and sent      tion. I also believe that in certain
complaints in the Bronx than there       61% of defendants convicted of           cases defendants should be ordered
were in 1997. By the end of 1998         felony drug charges to state prison.     to enter batterers’ programs, make
our county had 166 murder com-           That is a higher rate of imprison-       restitution, participate in mediation
plaints, 75% less than the 653 com-      ment than was achieved by New            or perform community service. This
plaints filed here in 1990. That is      York State or the rest of New York       year defendants were sentenced to
extremely good news.                     City. The bureau increased by 57%        perform 232,240 hours of commu-
      Of course, there is still too      over last year its felony prosecutions   nity service, an increase of 37%
much violence in the Bronx. For          of drug sales near schools and had a     over 1997.
example, we again had the highest        felony conviction rate in school cas-          I believe as well that we
incidence of murder, rape, robbery       es of 93%. The bureau’s Narcotics        should use our resources to help
and felonious assault of any New         Eviction Unit helped close 301 drug      crime victims and to help our youth
York City county per 100,000 pop-        locations, 13% more than in 1997.        become productive members of
ulation, and a disproportionate                 The Arson/Economic Crime          society. My Crime Victim
share of reported domestic violence      Bureau of our Investigations             Assistance Unit provides essential
cases. We also have too much auto        Division has been helped in the          support and services to victims of
                                                                                                                  1
Annual Report 1998
             District Attorney’s Message
                                                   contin ued

all crimes, but works most closely     staff and I also participate in a      can do. With your support, my staff
with the families of homicide vic-     variety of outstanding mentoring       and I look forward to the accom-
tims, and with the victims of          programs supported by my               plishments ahead.
domestic violence and sexual abuse     Community Affairs Unit.
or assault. To prevent crime in the          Ten years ago you elected me
first instance, and provide positive   to be your District Attorney. While
role models in law enforcement to      there is certainly much that we have
the children of our community, my      done, there is surely more that we




                                                                                                            2
Annual Report 1998
                       Table of Contents
           District Attorney’s Message                                     1

           INTRODUCTION          C RIME O VERVIEW                          4
                                 O RGANIZATIONAL S TRUCTURE                8
                                 L EGISLATIVE I NITIATIVES                 9

           PROSECUTING CRIMES                                             14
                                 DRUG CRIME                               14
                                 D RUG S ALES N EAR S CHOOLS              20
                                 M AJOR C ASE / H OUSING TASK F ORCE      21
                                 D RUG T REATMENT A LTERNATIVE            23
                                 C IVIL E NFORCEMENT                      24

                                 VIOLENT CRIME                            27
                                 H OMICIDE                                27
                                 G UN V IOLENCE                           32
                                 S EX C RIMES                             33
                                 D OMESTIC V IOLENCE                      34
                                 C RIMES A GAINST C HILDREN               36

                                 ORGANIZED, OFFICIAL AND ECONOMIC CRIME   40
                                 ORGANIZED CRIME                          40
                                 OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT                      41
                                 A UTO C RIME                             41
                                 F RAUDS                                  43

                                 QUALITY OF LIFE OFFENSES                 47

                                 DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED                49

                                 APPEALS                                  50

           COMMUNITY OUTREACH                                             52
                                 C OMMUNITY A FFAIRS                      53

           WORLDWIDE OUTREACH U NITED S TATES                             56
                              I NTERNATIONAL                              56

           BEHIND THE SCENES                                              59
                                 T ECHNOLOGICAL I NNOVATIONS              59
                                 R ECRUITMENT AND T RAINING               59

           ORGANIZATIONAL GLOSSARY                                        63

           1998 STATISTICAL HIGHLIGHTS                                    67




                                                                               3
Annual Report 1998
                                          Introduction
                                             Crime Ov er vie w
          TEN YEARS : JANUARY 1, 1989 - D ECEMBER 31, 1998

      The end of 1998 marked ten years in office for District Attorney Robert T. Johnson, a period that Mr. Johnson
summarized as “ten years of hard work to make the Bronx a safe and healthy place for all of our families.” The
combination of vigorous prosecution and aggressive community outreach by Mr. Johnson and his staff of nearly 800
has had a significant influence on the quality of life in the county and has contributed to a borough-wide reduction
in crime.
      Among the strategies and policies that the District Attorney considers most instrumental in accomplishing his
goals are his tough policy on plea bargaining, the Anti-Auto Theft Program, the Major Case/Housing Task Force
and community outreach (all of which are discussed in this report). Together with the work of the New York City
Police Department (NYPD) and other public and private agencies, these efforts have resulted in a 75% reduction in
the murder rate, from 653 murders in 1990 to 166 in 1998 (see Figure 1). During the same period robbery com-
plaints declined 58% (from 17,862 to 7,570); burglary complaints declined 57% (from 19,326 to 8,247); and auto
theft dropped 69% (from 22,946 to 7,180).

                                             CRIME IN 1998


       For the past five years the              Decline in Bronx Homicides
NYPD has compiled weekly reports                1990 - 1998
of crime complaints in seven cate-
gories (murder, rape, robbery, felo-
nious assault, burglary, grand larce-          700
                                                        653
                                                                                      Bronx Homicides declined
ny and motor vehicle theft).                   600
                                                              554   547               by almost 75% since 1990
                                                                          512
Although each category is reported             500                              400
separately, the total of all seven cat-        400
                                                                                      304
egories may be used to assess over-            300                                          249
                                                                                                  196
all crime rates.                               200
                                                                                                        166

       Based on this measure, for              100
the fifth consecutive year, crime                 0

dropped in the Bronx and the rest                     1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998


of New York City. According to               Source: New York City Police Department
the NYPD, there were 15% fewer               Figure 1
crime complaints for murder in
the Bronx in 1998 than in the pre-             Even with the remarkable         16.4% of the city’s population in
vious year (see Figure 1). In addi-       decreases in violent crime, drugs     1998, the Bronx accounted for
tion, burglary complaints fell 14%        and violence are still very serious   nearly 20% of the City’s violent
and robbery complaints fell 15%.          problems in the Bronx. With only      crime (see Figure 2). The Bronx
                                                                                                                 4
Annual Report 1998
also had the highest incidence of
murder, rape, robbery and felonious              Bronx Violent Crime 1998
assault of any New York City coun-               Percentage of City-wide Violent Crime v Population
ty per 100,000 population.
      Decreases in violent crime do
not necessarily result in fewer                                 30.0%      26.40%     25.80%
                                               In every
arrests. In fact, there was a 17%              category, the    25.0%
                                                                                                  22.40%
                                               Bronx’s share                                                  19.40%
increase in arrests this year in the           of the city’s    20.0%
                                                                                                                           17.50%

Bronx, resulting in 9,322 defendants           violent crime
                                               exceeds its
                                                                16.4%
                                                                15.0%
being prosecuted on felony charges;            16.4% share of
                                               the city’s
two-thirds of these were felony drug
                                                                10.0%
                                               population.
prosecutions (6,225) (see Figure 3).                             5.0%

                                                                 0.0%
                                                                        Murder      Rape    Fel. Assault   Robbery     Burglary
STREAMLINING ARREST
AND C ASE                                     Source: New York City Police Department

PROCESSING                                    Figure 2



      Under the law, individuals        arrested in the Bronx during 1998                  closely together to prepare and
arrested and held in custody by         were processed for court in this                   expedite cases for arraignment.
police must be brought before an        manner. The huge number of “on-                          Assistant district attorneys
arraignment court “without unnec-       line” arrests requires prosecutors,                (ADAs) in the Complaint Room
essary delay.” Over 75,000 of the       police, the courts, defense attorneys              interview police and civilian victims
more than 83,000 defendants             and detention facilities to work                   and witnesses in person or via video
                                                                                           links to precinct station houses.
                                                                                           They prepare the prosecution files
        Bronx District Attorney’s Office
                                                                                           and draft necessary court docu-
        Felony Prosecutions: 1998
                                                                                           ments. Complaint Room supervi-
                                                                                           sors then review case files and bail
      9,322 Total Felony Prosecutions           3.9% Guns                                  recommendations. At the arraign-
                                                      3.6% Other                           ment ADAs present their cases to
                                                          3.6% Assault                     the judge and request bail and
                          66.7%                             3.1% Homicide
                                                                                           orders of protection as appropriate.
                         Narcotics                                                         This all must be accomplished with-
                                                            1.6% Sex Crimes
                                                                                           in 24 hours of arrest.
                                                          11.2% Robbery
                                                                                                 Despite the increased work-
                                                  3.5% CPSP & Larceny
                                                                                           load that resulted from the increase
                                               2.3% Burglary                               in arrests in 1998, the Office
     Source: Bronx District Attorney’s Office                                              reduced arrest processing time by
     Figure 3                                                                              11.9% in December (as compared

                                                                                                                                    5
Annual Report 1998
to December 1997) and reduced its        the Bronx rose to a record high of     pending cases cannot be reduced
time by 2.3% for the entire year.        5,180, an increase of 38% over         without appropriate additional judi-
The Office has continued its efforts     1989. The Office continued to          cial resources. In 1997, the Office of
to further reduce arrest processing      address the backlog through: (1)       Court Administration began to rec-
time by increasing Complaint             enhanced pre-indictment screen-        tify this imbalance by assigning
Room staffing and its hours of           ing procedures and a tough plea        additional judges to the Bronx. This
operation. Additionally, this year       policy that encourages felony pleas    combination of Office initiatives
the Office expanded the Expedited        before indictment; (2) a case readi-   and enhanced judicial resources
Affidavit program to 24 hours. This      ness program which emphasizes          helped to reduce the backlog of
program permits officers to prepare      expedited disclosure to the            felony cases by more than 1,100 to
supporting depositions, which serve      defense; and (3) the creation of       4,051 by the end of 1998.
as the basis for a court complaint       new courtrooms through the trans-      Unfortunately, in 1998 the Office of
for quality-of-life offenses without     fer of District Attorney’s office      Court      Administration       again
being interviewed by an ADA, thus        space to the courts.                   reduced judicial resources. We need
reducing arrest processing time.              This Office has consistently      those resources to be restored to
                                         maintained that the backlog of         maintain current caseload levels.
SHORTAGE OF JUDICIAL
RESOURCES
                                                    “The Office continued to
      One of the unfortunate lega-
cies of years of high crime in the
                                                 address the backlog through:
Bronx is a backlog of felony cases                (1) enhanced pre-indictment
awaiting trial. For years the criminal
justice system in Bronx County suf-
                                                  screening procedures and a
fered from a severe shortage of judi-            tough plea policy that encour-
cial resources. As a result of not
having sufficient judges to handle
                                                ages felony pleas before indict-
the caseload, the number of pend-               ment; (2) a case readiness pro-
ing cases steadily increased.
Between the time the District
                                                 gram which emphasized expe-
Attorney took office in 1989 and the            dited disclosure to the defense;
end of 1996, the number of judges
available to hear felony cases
                                                  and (3) the creation of new
dropped 10%, and the number of                   courtrooms through the trans-
pending cases increased some 33%.
      The backlog of felony cases
                                                fer of District Attorney’s Office
awaiting trial has been a continu-                    space to the courts.”
ing concern for this Office. In
November 1996, pending cases in

                                                                                                                6
Annual Report 1998
                      Pending Cases v. Judge Days
                                Percentage Change 1989-1998


                                                                                       Bronx County
                                                40%
           To prevent                           35%
                                                30%
                                                                       Pending Cases                                            33.3%
                                                                       Judge Days
           pending case-                        25%
                                                20%                                                        26.1%
           loads from                           15%                                    18.1%
                                                                                                 21.1%               22.4%
                                                                                                                                          8.0%
                                                10%                        14.3%
           returning to                          5%             9.5%                                      1989 level
                                                                                                                                                     7.9%
                                                 0%
           record high                          -5% 0%                      -1.7%      -2.6%                                                        -5.8%
                                                                                                 -4.1%                                    -2.6%
           levels. . .                         -10%
                                               -15%
                                                                -6.2%                                      -7.5%     -8.9%     -10.4%
                                                     1989     1990       1991       1992       1993      1994      1995      1996       1997      1998



                              Other N.Y.C. Counties
         20%
                              17.9%
                                              14.1%
                      13.7%                           11.5%
         10%                  12.9% 12.5%                     9.0% 9.0%
               9.2%
                                                                                    2.9%
                       3.3%                   1.8%
         0%
               0%                     -1.9%                                                -5.5%
                                                      -3.8%
        -10%
                                                              -6.2%
                                                                                                            . . . Judicial
                       Pending Cases
                       Judge Days
                                                                                                         resources must
        -20%
                                                                       -21.6%
                                                                                           -22.9%            be increased
        -30%
            1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998


       The term “judge days” refers to the total number of days all judges “sat” over
                                   the course of a year.
      Source: Office of Court Administration
      Figure                  4


                                                                                                                                                            7
Annual Report 1998
RESTRICTIVE PLEA                         ate acknowledgment of guilt, and         and average time to disposition of
POLICY                                   that it provides the court with          felony cases and conserves resources
                                         means to impose an appropriate           which prosecutors, defense attor-
      While the District Attorney        sentence.                                neys and judges can ill afford to
considers the number of pending                The policy recognizes the          waste. (A superior court informa-
cases to be an important issue, and      importance of an enhanced screen-        tion is a written accusation by a dis-
has taken the measures described         ing process and the value of an          trict attorney, filed with a superior
above to reduce this number, his         admission of guilt entered pre-indict-   court, which charges one or more
overriding concern is with the qual-     ment in an appropriate case. Victims     defendants with the commission of
ity of justice rather than the quanti-   and witnesses are saved the anxiety      one or more offenses. A superior
ty of dispositions. It was this con-     of testifying before a grand jury and    court information has the same
cern that in 1992 led him to imple-      avoid the frustration of having their    force and effect as a grand jury
ment a policy that restricts plea bar-   case pending in court for months or      indictment.) Thus, assistant district
gaining after indictment. This poli-     years. Furthermore, the use of a         attorneys carefully screen cases to
cy is still in effect and embodies the   superior court information (SCI) to      determine those appropriate for
District Attorney’s belief that the      obtain a guilty plea to a felony         pre-indictment pleas, and accept
criminal justice system must ensure      charge at a very early stage of the      lesser pleas after indictment only to
that each plea includes an appropri-     proceedings reduces the median           promote justice.




            “Victims and witnesses are saved the anxiety of

                testifying before a grand jury and avoid the

        frustration of having their case pending in court for

                                         months or years.”




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Annual Report 1998
         1998 Top Count Felony Convictions



              Bronx                                                                             4,173

              Queens                                                                         4,015

              N.Y.                                                           3,131

              Kings                                           2,366

              Special Narcotics                1,630

              S.I. 256

          0                1000                2000                3000              4000

      Source: NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
      Figure             5



      This approach and other pro-    tions than any other New York pros-   sentences (Figure 6) in Bronx
cedures used by this Office, have     ecutor’s office (Figure 5), and a     County than in New York State and
resulted in more top count convic-    higher percentage of state prison     in the rest of New York City.



         State Prison Sentences
         as Percent of Felony Convictions 1998




              Bronx
                                                                                                57.9%


              Other NYC Counties                                                          54.1%


              New York State                                                      47.9%




       0%           10%              20%        30%           40%           50%          60%

    Source: NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
    Figure             6




                                                                                                        9
Annual Report 1998
                        Or g aniza tional Str uctur e of the
                        Of fice of the District Attor ne y
                                          not assigned to the Senior Staff are   Unit and the Office’s enforcement
       The District Attorney is           allocated among the following seven    units: the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Bias
responsible for prosecuting crimes        departments within the Office: the     Unit, Detective Investigators,
within the county’s borders. To do        Investigations Division, the Trial     Detective Squad and Narcotics
this, the Office of the Bronx District    Division, the Appeals Bureau, the      Eviction Unit. Also, by collaborat-
Attorney employs nearly 400 assis-        Criminal Court Bureau, the             ing with the office support units,
tant district attorneys (ADAs) and        Domestic Violence/Sex Offense          including the Crime Victims
more than 400 support staff, includ-      Bureau, the Grand Jury and             Assistance Unit and the Community
ing stenographers, crime victims          Evaluation Bureau and the              Affairs Unit, the prosecutorial
advocates and computer techni-            Narcotics Bureau. While each of        departments and enforcement units
cians. All office personnel are           these departments has a distinct       respond to the distinct needs of the
assigned to the Executive Staff, a        function, the work of the Office is    Bronx community.
prosecutorial department, the             accomplished most effectively by             In addition, the successful
Senior Staff, an enforcement unit or      their collaboration.                   investigation and prosecution of
a support unit.                                 The responsibility for daily     cases requires that the District
       Overall responsibility for         supervision of legal and support       Attorney’s staff enter into partner-
office operations is vested in the        staff assigned to these departments    ships with various hospitals, mental
District Attorney and the Executive       belongs to the division, bureau and    health providers, schools and gov-
Staff, which is comprised of the          unit chiefs, their deputies and        ernmental agencies. In 1998, the
Chief Assistant District Attorney,        supervisors. The District Attorney     District Attorney’s Office worked
the Counsel to the District Attorney,     has designated certain members of      with a number of these agencies,
the Senior Executive Assistant            the legal staff within these depart-   including other District Attorneys,
District Attorney, the Executive          ments as Senior Trial, Senior          the Administration for Children’s
Assistant District Attorney, two          Appellate or Senior Investigative      Services, the New York City Police
Administrative Assistant District         Attorneys. The District Attorney       Department, the New York City
Attorneys, the Administrative Chief       has further assigned certain trial,    Board of Education, the New York
and the Deputy Administrative             appellate and training responsibili-   City Housing Authority, the New
Chief. (The function of each orga-        ties to the six members of the         York State Police, the Organized
nizational unit within the Office is      Senior Staff. The Senior Attorneys     Crime Task Force, the Offices of
briefly      explained       in     an    and the members of the Senior          the United States Attorneys for the
Organizational Glossary at the end        Staff average nearly 20 years of       Southern and Eastern Districts, the
of this report. The first mention of      prosecutorial experience and han-      Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
a bureau or unit in the body of the       dle matters that are particularly      Firearms, the U. S. Customs
report is italicized to indicate that a   serious, sensitive and complex.        Service, the Drug Enforcement
description is in the Glossary.)                The prosecutorial depart-        Administration, the Federal
       Screening, investigation, and      ments are supported by the             Bureau of Investigation and the
prosecution of crime complaints           Litigation Training Unit, the Video    Secret Service.




                                                                                                                10
Annual Report 1998
                                   Le gisla ti v e Initia ti v es

      In 1998, New York State enacted a considerable amount of criminal justice legislation. Perhaps the most sig-
nificant of these is the one popularly known as “Jenna’s Law,” which instituted determinate sentencing for first-time
violent felony offenders. Although this was the most far-reaching modification made to the state’s criminal justice sys-
tem, there were many other new laws of more limited application. For example, new crimes were created or existing
crimes expanded for assaults on hospital emergency room personnel; selling drugs near child day care centers; the
abuse of vulnerable elderly persons by care givers; and filing false statements with certain public authorities. Penalties
were raised for illegal gun sales; the sale of “disguised” guns was banned; and the possession by 14 or 15 year-olds
of a loaded firearm or machine gun on school grounds was made a “juvenile offense” punishable in the criminal
courts. Other measures allowed crime victims to recover costs for crime scene cleanups and provided for the confi-
dentiality of Crime Victims Board records.
      Significantly, one of the bills enacted was a victim’s-rights law first proposed by the Bronx District Attorney.
This law allows victims of car theft and certain other offenses to fax statements to the grand jury concerning the lack
of authority of the defendant to possess the vehicle or other property. Previously, the demands of the criminal jus-
tice process often required that such statements be signed and hand-delivered or sent via express mail. In that
process, both the victim and the criminal justice system wasted considerable time, effort and expense.
      Since a number of the initiatives which we proposed last year have not yet been enacted, we will propose them
again. Additionally, we will propose other measures concerning stalking, violent or repeat misdemeanors, vehicular
manslaughter, money laundering and access to criminal justice records.

 VIOLENT CRIME

NEGLIGENT       KILLING OF                      New York law does not now adequately protect police officers. This
POLICE OFFICERS                           was demonstrated by the events surrounding the death of Police Officer
                                          Vincent Guidice, who was killed when he fell onto a broken mirror during a
                                          struggle to restrain a man being arrested after engaging in domestic vio-
                                          lence. The offense of criminally negligent homicide, with which the perpe-
                                          trator of this incident was charged, is only a class “E” felony, the lowest lev-
                                          el of felony crime. We will continue to propose a statute, which has now
                                          been introduced as the “Police Officer Vincent Guidice Memorial Act,” that
                                          will make such a killing a class “B” felony.

CONSECUTIVE         SENTENCES                   Under present law, a person who kills multiple victims by ordinary
FOR MULTIPLE KILLINGS                     means such as shooting or stabbing may generally receive consecutive sen-
                                          tences for the murder of each victim. However, a defendant who kills by
                                          what is technically a single criminal act, such as placing a bomb or setting a
                                          fire, must receive concurrent sentences for each death. Thus, in the
                                          “Happyland” case, although the defendant set a fire which killed 87 people,



                                                                                                                   11
Annual Report 1998
Legislative Initiatives continued from previous page

                                       his time in prison is the same as it would have been for only a single death.
                                       Our proposed legislation would correct this inequity.

      ELIMINATE    SENTENCE                  Currently there are “caps” on multiple consecutive sentences for even
      CAPS FOR VIOLENT                 violent crimes. For example, if a defendant is convicted of two separate acts
      CRIMES                           of robbery in the second degree and receives consecutive sentences with
                                       maximums which appear to aggregate to thirty years imprisonment, by
                                       operation of law the actual maximum term imposed is reduced to twenty
                                       years. This is unjust and misleading to the public. Our proposal eliminates
                                       this “cap” when violent or other serious felonies are involved.

      REDEFINE “PHYSICAL                      Despite several recent improvements in the assault laws, one basic
      INJURY ” IN ASSAULT              problem remains. To be guilty of even the lowest degree of assault, a defen-
      CASES                            dant must cause “physical injury.” Unfortunately, this reasonable language
                                       has been interpreted by courts to exclude many injuries, such as swellings
                                       and bruising or unspecified severe pain, which are typical in domestic vio-
                                       lence cases. As a result, these “assaults” can currently be punished only as
                                       the non-criminal offense of harassment. Our proposed legislation modifies
                                       this language.

      PASS    ANTI -STALKING                 New York is the only state which has failed to enact a specific anti-
      LEGISLATION                      stalking law. Stalking is a particularly dangerous activity because it is often a
                                       precursor to violent crime and can have severe psychological consequences
                                       for the victim. Stalking is rarely an isolated incident. It usually involves
                                       repeated threats, phone calls, letters and other intrusions on the victim’s
                                       home or workplace. The victim may also be followed about or repeatedly
                                       confronted and may lose the ability to engage in normal activities in public
                                       places. In 1992, the Legislature amended the pre-existing crimes of menac-
                                       ing and harassment to encompass some of these activities, but that amend-
                                       ment was insufficient. Under current law, many have sought protection from
                                       their stalkers without success. Accordingly, we will propose more specific
                                       and effective legislation.

      PASS    TOUGHER                        It is not unusual to see defendants with long prior histories of misde-
      MISDEMEANOR LAWS                 meanor arrests and convictions who have avoided meaningful punishment
                                       for these crimes because of the limitations of present law. Our proposal
                                       would rectify this.




                                                                                                                 12
      Annual Report 1998
Legislative Initiatives continued from previous page

       YO U T H C R I M E

      ELIMINATE    YOUTHFUL                  Current law permits judges to grant youthful offender (“YO”) status
      OFFENDER STATUS FOR              to certain defendants aged 14 through 18 who are convicted of a felony.
      REPEAT OFFENDERS                 The laudable goal of this process, which involves replacing a criminal con-
                                       viction with a “youthful offender adjudication,” is to “clean the slate” of a
                                       youth who gets into serious trouble for the first time. However, because of
                                       the nature of the process, a YO who subsequently commits a second felony
                                       offense is legally a first felony offender, and thus not subject to the manda-
                                       tory punishment generally applicable to recidivists. Unfortunately, there are
                                       many such repeat offenders. Our proposal provides that the person who
                                       received YO treatment for a first felony, but who nevertheless goes on to
                                       commit a second felony, must be treated in the same manner as one con-
                                       victed of the two felonies.

      CRIMINAL    RESPONSIBILITY             Under current law, a 14 or 15 year old can be prosecuted as an adult
      FOR FELONY MURDERS               for felony murders committed during the commission of specified serious
      RESULTING FROM                   crimes, such as first degree robbery, burglary or rape. The juvenile can also
      ATTEMPTED CRIMES                 be prosecuted as an adult for the specified crimes. However, current law pro-
                                       hibits prosecution as an adult of a juvenile charged with an attempt to com-
                                       mit one of the specified crimes. Thus, if a juvenile demands money at gun-
                                       point and gets it, but kills the victim, the killer faces felony murder and rob-
                                       bery charges as an adult. However, if the victim refuses to hand over the
                                       money and is shot as a consequence, the youth may be charged with felony
                                       murder and attempted robbery only as a juvenile delinquent in Family
                                       Court. This makes no sense, and we have proposed legislation to change it.

       LARCENY         AND    AU TO C R I M E

      FELONY    CRIMINAL                     In order to steal a vehicle or a particular part such as a radio or airbag,
      MISCHIEF FOR CAR                 a car thief will often damage the windows, locks, dashboard or ignition of
      THIEVES                          the vehicle to gain entry or to remove the part. If the thief is caught before
                                       stealing the part or the car itself or if the damage actually done is under
                                       $250, the defendant can sometimes be charged only with a misdemeanor.
                                       Our proposed legislation elevates such conduct to a felony.

      AUTOMOBILE      KEY                   Although current law proscribes the unlawful possession of automobile
      CUTTING EQUIPMENT                master keys, it does not prohibit unlawful possession of duplicate keys, key
                                       “blanks” from which duplicate keys are cut or the equipment used to cut

                                                                                                                 13
      Annual Report 1998
Legislative Initiatives continued from previous page

                                       those blanks. Our proposal closing this loophole is aimed at professional car
                                       thieves, who often search an area for a particular car model, and then on the
                                       spot produce a key capable of opening and operating the target vehicle.

      INCREASE    SCOPE OF                   Unauthorized use of a vehicle is a misdemeanor that is usually easier
      FELONY OF UNAUTHORIZED           to prove than the felonies of larceny or criminal possession of stolen prop-
      USE OF A VEHICLE                 erty. Sometimes unauthorized use is the only charge which can be proved
                                       when a number of persons are discovered inside a stolen vehicle. Present law
                                       allows for prosecution of this crime as a felony where the defendant has a
                                       previous conviction for unauthorized use within a ten-year period, but not
                                       where that conviction was for any other car-related offense, including the
                                       actual larceny of a vehicle. Our proposal corrects this by expanding the list
                                       of predicate offenses to include any that are car-related.

      L ARCENY   FROM THE                   Current law does not adequately protect the elderly or those suffering
      ELDERLY                          from incapacity from misappropriation of property by caregivers. Our pro-
                                       posal protects persons who are not capable of giving informed consent in
                                       such situations.

      REVISE    MONEY                         New York’s current money laudering offenses are cumbersome and
      LAUNDERING                       unworkable. This allows drug dealers and others to freely move the proceeds
                                       of their illicit activities across state and national boundaries and also helps
                                       them conceal and profit from illegal enterprises. Our proposal would sim-
                                       plify these laws and make them more effective.

       P RO C E D U R A L R E F O R M

      REVISE    THE RULE                    In a series of decisions, the Court of Appeals has extended the rule
      CONCERNING PRIOR                 requiring prosecutors to turn over prior statements of witnesses to a point
      WITNESS STATEMENTS               well beyond what is fair and reasonable. Under these rules, whenever the
      (RANGELLE)                       prosecutor fails to turn over even a single statement of a single witness, a
                                       conviction must be reversed. It does not matter that the prosecutor had no
                                       knowledge of the statement; that the statement would not have helped the
                                       defense case; or that the prosecutor did turn over many similar statements.
                                       This rule, which does not exist in the federal courts and has been rejected
                                       by the courts of other states, is unnecessarily strict, assumes a degree of
                                       perfection in the handling of documentation which is simply unattainable
                                       and is at odds with other rules governing similar situations. Remarkably, in
                                       cases involving even an intentional failure to disclose evidence which is

                                                                                                               14
      Annual Report 1998
Legislative Initiatives continued from previous page

                                       actually favorable to the defendant (so-called Brady material), a reviewing
                                       court looks to whether the defendant has actually been harmed by the error.
                                       Such cases are reviewed under an appropriately stringent standard —the
                                       conviction will be reversed unless there is “no reasonable possibility” that
                                       the failure to disclose the evidence contributed to the jury’s guilty verdict.
                                       Our proposal applies this same standard to witness statements.

      REVISE    THE RULE                     In another series of decisions, the Court of Appeals has applied cer-
      REGARDING NOTICE OF A            tain technical notice requirements in a manner which has severely hampered
      DEFENDANT ’ S PRIOR              prosecution or caused the dismissal of otherwise meritorious cases. Current
      STATEMENTS AND
                                       law requires the prosecutor to serve formal notice that a defendant has made
      IDENTIFICATIONS
                                       a statement or been identified at a procedure such as a lineup within fifteen
      (O’DOHERTY)
                                       days of a defendant’s arraignment. The rule exists primarily to allow a
                                       defendant to move to suppress such evidence in the event of a constitution-
                                       al violation, an issue which is normally decided in a suppression hearing
                                       months after the arraignment. At this hearing all of the details surrounding
                                       the taking of the evidence are fully explored. However, despite the fact that
                                       the present statute allows late notice if there is “good cause” for a delay, the
                                       Court has decided that evidence must be precluded if no notice or an insuf-
                                       ficiently detailed notice was given within 15 days. This preclusion — a
                                       court-created remedy — must be ordered even where the prosecutor does
                                       not know of the existence of the evidence and even though there is still plen-
                                       ty of time to give the defendant an opportunity to litigate the constitutional
                                       issues. As presently construed, the rule exalts procedure over substance and
                                       gives the defendant an unjust windfall by excluding evidence taken in full
                                       compliance with a defendant’s constitutional rights. Our proposed legisla-
                                       tion corrects this.

      ALLOW    THE   PEOPLE   TO             Although the prosecution has a statutory right to appeal a trial court’s
      APPEAL PRECLUSION                decision suppressing evidence for constitutional violations, the Court of
      ORDERS    (L AING)               Appeals has also held that the People are not authorized to appeal a trial
                                       court’s ruling precluding the receipt of evidence. Preclusion may be ordered
                                       either for failure to give proper notice (see above), or for other reasons —
                                       such as a trial court’s decision to exclude proof that a defendant has com-
                                       mitted other crimes. Our proposed legislation allows such appeals.

      RESTRICT    DEFENDANT                 The Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) contains a series of “discovery”
      ACCESS TO CRIMINAL               provisions which carefully balance criminal defendants’ legitimate need for
      JUSTICE RECORDS                  information necessary to defend themselves with the need to protect wit-

                                                                                                                15
      Annual Report 1998
Legislative Initiatives continued from previous page

                                       nesses and victims. Notwithstanding these rules, court decisions have held
                                       that a criminal defendant may get this information before trial (and effec-
                                       tively avoid the discovery rules) simply by requesting it under the state’s
                                       Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). This has led to much duplication of
                                       effort and wasted resources, as police and prosecutors supply the same infor-
                                       mation twice, once pursuant to the CPL discovery rules and once pursuant
                                       to FOIL. It also raises grave concerns about protecting the safety and priva-
                                       cy of witnesses and victims because access to information under FOIL is
                                       broader and without the safeguards of the discovery provisions. Our pro-
                                       posal would restrict FOIL access to these records in the pre-trial stage, while
                                       allowing for full disclosure after trial with appropriate safeguards.




                                                                                                               16
      Annual Report 1998
                           Prosecuting Crimes
                                                     Dr ug Crime

                                                The District Attorney employs    drug crimes, the Office also pursues
     The number of drug arrests in        a number of strategies to meet the     civil enforcement remedies and
New York City and the Bronx has           goal of reducing drug crime in the     allows appropriate defendants to
been increasing since the mid-            Bronx. Although the primary strate-    enter drug treatment as an alterna-
1990s. In 1998, New York City             gy is to prosecute vigorously defen-   tive to incarceration.
felony drug arrests (47,879)              dants who have been accused of
increased 8% over 1997, while in
the Bronx they increased 9% (to
13,945). There were 34% more mis-                                    PROSECUTION
demeanor drug arrests (79,368) in
the city as a whole than there were                                              the increase in the number of nar-
in 1997. In the Bronx during this               The Bronx District Attorney’s    cotics arrests, the Narcotics Bureau
period, misdemeanor drug arrests          Narcotics Bureau prosecutes felony     was responsible for over 65% of the
(17,539) increased 55% over 1997.         offenses relating to the possession    Office’s felony prosecutions.
Bronx narcotics arrests accounted         and sale of controlled substances,           Most dispositions in the
for 25% of New York City’s drug           including heroin, cocaine and crack.   bureau are obtained through guilty
arrests in 1998, a percentage that is     In addition, the bureau’s senior       pleas to indictments and superior
disproportionate to the 16% of            assistant district attorneys (ADAs)    court       informations      (SCIs).
New York City residents who live in       prosecute homicides and other vio-     Compared to New York State and
the Bronx.                                lent felonies. In 1998, because of     the average for the other New York
                                                                                 City counties, a higher percentage
                                                                                 of Bronx defendants pleaded guilty
                                                                                 to the most serious charge con-
        Top Count Pleas                                                          tained in these accusatory instru-
        For Felony Drug Offenders: 1998                                          ments (see Figure 7).
                                                                                       This year the Narcotics
                                                                                 Bureau achieved a felony convic-
                                                                                 tion rate of 95%. More defendants
                                                                                 convicted of felony drug charges
             Bronx                                          46.8%
                                                                                 were sent to prison from the Bronx
             New York State                  44.4%                               (2,787) than from any other county
                                                                                 in the state. Furthermore, these
             Other NYC Counties   43.1%
                                                                                 defendants represent 61% of the
                                                                                 defendants convicted on felony
       40%           42%          44%                46%       48%               drug charges, which is higher than
     Source: NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services                           that for both New York State (55%)
     Figure 7




                                                                                                               17
Annual Report 1998
and the rest of New York City
(56%). (See Figure 8.)                          State Prison Sentences
      While a single drug dealer                for Felony Drug Offenders: 1998
poses risks to the community, an
organization of them is virtually
certain to be even more dangerous
and destructive. The following case                     Bronx                                      61.0%
(and Operation Malpractice on
page 22) illustrate our efforts to                      Other NYC Counties                     56.0%

bring these organizations down.                         New York State                        55.0%



                                                  0%            20%          40%            60%

                                              Source: NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services
                                              Figure 8




         A Blow Against Organized Crime

                                                            purchases of heroin from J, an organization
         Over the past year, officers of the South          member. Subsequently, the informant intro-
   Bronx Initiative, Gang Unit, in conjunction              duced an undercover police officer to J, from
   with the Narcotics Bureau of the Bronx District          whom the officer allegedly made additional pur-
   Attorney’s Office, have been investigating               chases of heroin. (The identify of this and the
   criminal activity of members of the NETA                 other defendants in the case are concealed
   organization within the Bronx. This organiza-            because three of them are still awaiting trial.)
   tion was reportedly founded some thirty years                  When J was incarcerated on a parole viola-
   ago in Puerto Rico by prison inmates.                    tion, the operation was taken over by his mother.
   Currently, it claims thousands of members                The undercover officer then allegedly purchased
   throughout the East Coast of the United States.          heroin from her, A and another individual.
   The organization is divided into regional chap-                Since the negotiations regarding the vari-
   ters; within each chapter is a set hierarchy of          ous drug sales involved calls to a residence, this
   officers. To date, six chapters have been iden-          office obtained a wiretap order for the tele-
   tified in Bronx County.                                  phone located there. Thereafter, the Grand
         During the course of this investigation, the       Jury indicted seven individuals on charges
   police utilized a confidential informant who has         involving drug sales and conspiracy.
   been an active NETA member for years and is              Confronted with the evidence against them,
   familiar with its customs and practices. This            four of the seven defendants pleaded guilty less
   informant was allegedly able to make several             than two months after indictment.


                                                                                                           18
Annual Report 1998
         A Blow Against Organized Crime
                        Continued
          J’s mother, who has two prior felony con-          each pleaded guilty to a class A-II felony and
    victions involving assault and sale of drugs,            both were sentenced to indeterminate terms
    pleaded guilty to a class B felony with the              having a maximum of life. One of these will
    understanding that she would be sentenced to             not be eligible for parole for at least three
    state prison for 25 years without eligibility for        years, and the other will not be eligible for at
    parole for at least 12½ years. Another defen-            least four. Neither has a prior criminal record.
    dant in the case, who had no prior record,               The other three defendants in the case are
    pleaded guilty to a class C felony and was sen-          awaiting trial. u
    tenced to five years probation. Two defendants




      The potential profits associat-   demonstrates, successful investiga-    prosecutorial agencies on both the
ed with drug trafficking ensure a       tion and prosecution of drug traf-     federal and local level.
virtually never-ending supply of        ficking and related crimes often
individuals available to work in the    require collaboration among a
industry. As the following case         number of law enforcement and


                 The Kenlock Sisters
                                                                pounds of marijuana to undercover detec-
              Joan Kenlock (aged 35) and her two                tives during five separate transactions for
       sisters, Hyacinth (37) and Rose Marie (36),              $20,000. The defendants agreed to sell the
       ran a marijuana trafficking business from                detectives an additional 150 pounds of
       their storefront on East Gunhill Road.                   marijuana for another $70,000 but backed
       Their business attracted the attention of                out at the last minute.
       United States Postal Service inspectors and                    At the time of the defendants’ arrest,
       detectives from the Major Case Squad of                  officers seized $14,660 in cash. An addi-
       the NYPD’s Bronx Narcotics Division,                     tional $75,520 was seized, upon execution
       who were investigating shipments of large                of a search warrant, from a safe deposit
       quantities of marijuana primarily from                   box registered to Hyacinth Kenlock.
       California to various locations in the                   Finally, $107,134 was seized from a high
       United States, including the Bronx. This                 yield savings account in the names of the
       investigation was joined by the Bronx                    defendants.
       District Attorney’s Narcotics Bureau and                       Ringleader Joan Kenlock, a second
       Asset Forfeiture Unit.                                   felony offender based on her prior convic-
              The defendants and another sold 30                tion for possession of a loaded firearm,



                                                                                                               19
Annual Report 1998
                  The Kenlock Sisters
                         continued

       pleaded guilty to Criminal sale of marijua-                 participant in the drug activity, pleaded
       na in the first degree. She was sentenced                   guilty to Possession of marijuana in the
       to an indeterminate term of imprisonment                    fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor and
       having a maximum of six years. She will                     is awaiting sentence.
       not be eligible for parole for at least three                     As part of the plea agreement, the
       years. Accomplice Hyacinth Kenlock also                     defendants waived all right, title and inter-
       pleaded guilty to Criminal sale of marijua-                 est in the more than $197,000 in confiscat-
       na in the first degree, a class C felony, but               ed property representing proceeds from
       was sentenced to five years probation.                      their illegal enterprise. u
       Rose Marie Kenlock, a relatively minor



                                  DRUG SALES NEAR SCHOOLS

       New York State law provides       grounds, and the Bronx District          felony convictions by plea and 32 by
enhanced penalties for those who         Attorney continues to focus special      verdict, resulting in a 93% felony
sell drugs within 1,000 feet of school   attention on these cases. This year,     conviction rate. Only 63 defendants
                                         funding from the City Council            (3%) were acquitted or had charges
                                         Speaker’s Drug Initiative and an         against them dismissed. Six defen-
                                         Edward Byrne Memorial Grant              dants died before their cases were
                                         helped establish a specific unit to      disposed. One hundred seventy-six
                                         target prosections resulting from        of the convictions were replaced
       “In 1998, 2,984                   these sales                              with Youthful Offender adjudica-
         felony school                         In 1998, 2,984 felony school       tions because of the age of the
         drug arrests                    drug arrests were screened for pre-      defendants and their history. (For
                                         sentation to a grand jury for indict-    defendants younger than 19,
        were screened                    ment 57% more than in 1997. Of           Youthful Offender status allows the
                for                      these, 810 defendants agreed to be       court to impose a more favorable
      presentation to a                  prosecuted by superior court infor-      sentence than would otherwise be
        grand jury for                   mation instead of indictment, an         allowed and avoids the stigma of a
                                         increase of 44% over last year.          criminal conviction.)
          indictment.”                   Another 2,095 were indicted by the             Two notable cases in which
                                         grand jury, a 63% increase over the      the defendants were charged with
                                         previous year.                           selling drugs near schools are
                                               Of 2,073 school case disposi-      described below.
                                         tions, the bureau obtained 1,893


                                                                                                                   20
Annual Report 1998
                  Crack Sales near
             St. Mary Margaret School
                                                                 grounds, and Criminal possession of a
             Ralph Roman and Marcial Santiago                    controlled substance in the third degree.
       sold vials of crack to an undercover police                     Both defendants were convicted after
       officer in exchange for pre-recorded buy                  a jury trial. Roman was sentenced to an
       money. The officer subsequently observed                  indeterminate term having a maximum of
       Roman make a sale to another individual.                  six years and a minimum of two years in
       Both transactions took place within 1,000                 state prison. Santiago, who had a history
       feet of St. Mary Margaret School. Roman                   of drug convictions, was sentenced to an
       and Santiago were arrested and indicted                   indeterminate term having a maximum of
       on class B felony charges of Criminal sale                15 years in state prison. He will not be eli-
       of a controlled substance in or near school               gible for parole for at least 7½ years. u




        Heroin Sales near P.S. 1, P.S. 29 and
             Alfred E. Smith Schools
         Felix Rodriguez was arrested after he sold heroin to a group of people that included an undercover offi-
   cer. The sales occurred on a basketball/handball court in a Melrose housing development and were within
   1,000 feet of three different schools. After a five-day trial, he was found guilty of Criminal sale of a con-
   trolled substance in the third degree. He was sentenced to an indeterminate term having a maximum of nine
   years in state prison. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 4½ years. u




                         MAJOR CASE /H OUSING TASK FORCE

      The Bronx District Attorney’s    apartments to conduct criminal           ciently to attack drug activity and
Major Case/Housing Task Force has      enterprises. Using information           the violence associated with it.
taken proactive measures to stem       obtained through community net-
the tide of violence throughout the    works has proven to be a particular-     COORDINATION WITH
county. A primary focus of the Task    ly effective approach for the Task       OTHER AGENCIES
Force is identification and prosecu-   Force. These contacts provide the
tion of those persons habitually       Task Force with detailed knowledge              The investigations conducted
engaging in criminal activity. This    about individuals committing             by the Task Force are enhanced
often requires intensive pre-arrest    crimes and the extent of their oper-     through collaboration with a num-
investigations and wiretaps of drug    ations. The Task Force uses this         ber of local and federal law enforce-
dealers, gangs and others using        information systematically and effi-     ment agencies. Analyses of intelli-

                                                                                                                 21
Annual Report 1998
gence data submitted by the Major         within the NYPD, including the                     In 1998, these collabora-
Case Squad of the NYPD are evalu-         Narcotics Division and Gang               tions resulted in the prosecu-
ated and turned over to the Federal       Intelligence, and with other agen-        tion of twenty-four different
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) when        cies, such as t h e F B I , N e w Yo rk   c a s e s p r i m a r i l y i nvo l v i n g
appropriate. In investigations of city-   C i t y Department of Correction,         gang-related crimes. The Task
wide gang activities, the Office also     the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and      Force recently completed an
works with the Office of the U.S.         other district attorneys’ offices. Such   11-month-long wiretap investi-
Attorney for the Southern District of     sharing of information often leads to     g at i o n d u bb e d “ O p e r at i o n
New York. The Task Force shares           major investigations.                     Malpractice.”
information with a number of units


                Operation Malpractice

                                                                     Criminal sale of a controlled substance in
              The Task Force, working in conjunc-                    the second degree. They were sentenced to
       tion with the NYPD’s, Bronx Narcotics                         indeterminate terms having a maximum of
       Division and Major Case Unit, conducted                       life imprisonment and a minimum period
       an 11-month investigation using electronic                    ranging from three to five years.
       surveillance. A total of 24 telephones were                          Twenty defendants pleaded guilty to
       intercepted through court-authorized wire-                    charges of Conspiracy in the second
       taps during the course of the investigation,                  degree or Criminal sale of a controlled
       which culminated in the indictment of 48                      substance in the third degree. All of these
       individuals and dismantled a very prof-                       defendants were sentenced to state prison;
       itable drug operation on Manida Street in                     the periods ranged from one-to-three years
       Bronx County. The masterminds of this                         to six-to-twelve years.
       drug organization, Cuban immigrants who                              Eighteen other defendants pleaded
       arrived in the United States during the                       guilty to felony charges. Most of them
       Cuban Flotilla, supplied dealers each year                    were sentenced to state prison.
       with heroin and cocaine having an esti-                              This investigation not only crippled
       mated value in excess of $2 million.                          a major drug organization in Bronx
       (Operation Malpractice derived its name                       County, but had a salutary effect on other
       from the brand of heroin supplied by the                      states as well. Information obtained from
       drug organization, which was packaged in                      the Bronx wiretaps led to the seizure of
       envelopes stamped “Bad Medicine.”)                            narcotics destined for Nebraska, as well as
              Of the 48 defendants indicted, 43 have                 numerous arrests for drug sales prosecuted
       pleaded guilty, three are awaiting trial and                  by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in that state.
       two have outstanding arrest warrants. The                     Other intercepted information provided
       five leaders of the drug organization entered                 assistance to law enforcement officials in
       guilty pleas to Criminal possession of a con-                 New Haven, Connecticut concerning a
       trolled substance in the second degree or                     murder investigation. u


                                                                                                                       22
Annual Report 1998
                         DRUG TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES


                                          While the treatment options             The DTAAD representative
     Since 1993 the District        and alternative dispositions and        ensures that the defendant under-
Attorney has offered certain        sentences vary with the defen-          stands the benefits of the pro-
substance-abusing defendants        dant’s age and prior record, the        gram, as well as the conse-
who have been charged with          process is similar for all defen-       quences—including incarcera-
narcotics offenses the opportuni-   dants considered for drug treat-        tion—if he or she fails to complete
ty to enter an alternative-to-      ment as an alternative. Each can-       it. A defendant found suitable for
incarceration (ATI) drug treat-     didate for treatment undergoes a        DTAAD enters a plea of guilty.
ment program. The first popula-     thorough screening and evaluation       The case is then adjourned for
tion to be offered this option in   to determine whether he or she is       sentencing, and the defendant is
the Bronx was 16-to-19-year-        eligible for a drug treatment pro-      placed in a treatment program.
old, first felony drug abusers.     gram. Among the factors consid-         DTAAD monitors the defendant’s
However, over the years the         ered in the evaluation are the          participation in group counseling,
option has been offered to older    defendant’s age, criminal record,       compliance with program rules
offenders and those with a prior,   history of substance abuse and          and urinalysis reports, and evalua-
non-violent felony conviction.      suitability for rehabilitation.         tions are reviewed at each sched-
                                                                            uled court appearance. When a
                                    DRUG TREATMENT                AS        defendant is terminated from a
                                    AN ALTERNATIVE                          program or leaves without autho-
                                    DISPOSITION                             rization, DTAAD is notified, an
                                    (DTAAD)                                 arrest warrant is issued and
      “Each candidate                                                       Detective Investigators are dispatched
       for treatment                       The Drug Treatment as an         to execute the warrant. Once the
         undergoes                  Alternative Disposition (DTAAD)         defendant is apprehended, he or
         a thorough                 program, in operation since 1993,       she is sentenced to state prison.
       screening and
                                    was the first such program to be              First-time felony offenders
       evaluation to
                                    implemented by the Bronx District       between the ages of 16 and 19 are
         determine
       whether he or                Attorney’s Office. The DTAAD            placed in residential treatment pro-
     she is eligible for            staff identifies, refers and places     grams such as Phoenix House
     a drug treatment               first felony offender drug abusers in   Academy. DTAAD also offers treat-
         program.”                  rehabilitative programs. As of          ment to certain older offenders.
                                    December 31, 1998, a total of           Many of these individuals receive
                                    1,241 defendants had been sen-          outpatient treatment, with the same
                                    tenced to ATI drug treatment            conditions and consequences as
                                    through the DTAAD program.              participants in residential programs.


                                                                                                           23
Annual Report 1998
DRUG TREATMENT FOR                        of 1998, the Office had approved        by the federal Drug Court
DEFENDANTS WITH                           1,478 offenders for placement into      Programs Office (DCPO) in the
PRIOR FELONY
                                          drug treatment through the TASC         spring of 1997, and thereafter staff
CONVICTIONS
                                          Program, 730 in 1998 alone.             from this Office actively participat-
                                                Bronx participants in the         ed in the planning process. They
       As noted, this Office initially
                                          TASC program are required to            met regularly with representatives
offered ATI drug treatment only to
                                          plead guilty to a class B felony. If    from OCA, the Legal Aid Society
first-time       felony      offenders.
                                          they complete the program, their        and treatment professionals. They
However, treatment may also be
                                          felony plea is set aside, and they      also attended DCPO training con-
appropriate for certain highly moti-
                                          are permitted to plead guilty to a      ferences in San Diego, Kansas City,
vated, non-violent second-felony
                                          misdemeanor. However, those             Rochester and Washington. This
offenders, and ATI has been
                                          defendants who withdraw or fail to      intensive planning process pro-
extended accordingly. Offering such
                                          complete the program satisfactori-      duced agreements regarding the
offenders treatment for their drug
                                          ly receive a sentence having a max-     issues critical to successful imple-
problems is expected to reduce the
                                          imum term of nine years in prison.      mentation of a drug court, and in
likelihood that they will return to
                                          Such defendants are not eligible        early 1998 an application was sub-
drugs and crime.
                                          for parole for at least four and one-   mitted to the DCPO for funds to
       Since late 1995, this Office has
                                          half years.                             implement a Bronx Drug Court.
placed offenders with prior non-vio-
                                                                                        The grant was awarded, the
lent felony convictions in an alterna-
                                          DRUG COURT                              planning process continued and the
tive to incarceration through the
                                          PLANNING                                Bronx Drug Court is expected to
Treatment Alternative to Street
                                                                                  open in early 1999. By diverting
Crime (TASC) program. The TASC
                                               In late 1996 the Office began      appropriate defendants to drug
model involves: (1) identification of
                                          working with staff from the New         treatment, this court has the poten-
drug-involved offenders, (2) assess-
                                          York State Office of Court              tial to reduce drug use and crime.
ment of the offender’s drug and alco-
                                          Administration (OCA) on prepar-         Certainly, that would be an enor-
hol treatment needs, (3) referral to
                                          ing and submitting a proposal to        mous benefit for all those who live,
appropriate treatment and (4) contin-
                                          obtain a Drug Court Planning            work or visit in the Bronx.
uous case management. By the end
                                          Grant. These funds were awarded


                  USING CIVIL ENFORCEMENT                              TO    FIGHT DRUGS

                                          other approaches as adjuncts to         Asset forfeiture deprives drug deal-
      In addition to criminal prose-      prosecution. These included civil       ers of profits made through criminal
cution of drug offenses and diver-        enforcement proceedings and pre-        enterprise, and evicting them (or
sion of appropriate offenders to          vention programs. Two civil enforce-    those who house them) removes
drug treatment programs, the              ment methods used by this Office        their base of operation.
District Attorney successfully used       are asset forfeiture and eviction.

                                                                                                                24
Annual Report 1998
ASSET FORFEITURE                                When state law does not pro-        and forfeiture proceedings are initi-
                                          vide a legal basis for forfeiture or      ated. In 1998, a total of some
        The Asset Forfeiture Unit works   federal law would make forfeiture         $25,543,062 was seized as the result
with the Office’s Narcotics and           easier, the case is given to one of the   of investigations conducted by the
Investigations        Bureaus,      US    various federal agencies to initiate      task force.
C u s t o m s, F B I , D E A , t h e      forfeiture proceedings. The unit
Department of the Treasury,               referred 58 cases to agencies for         EVICTION
Internal Revenue Service, and the         federal forfeiture actions that
NYPD’s Forfeiture Unit to ensure          totaled $479,746.                                The Narcotics Evictions Unit ini-
that drug offenders do not profit                                                   tiates civil action to remove tenants
from their activity. The unit con-        ELDORADO TASK                             from premises where drug activity
ducts investigations aimed at expos-      FORCE                                     has taken place. This civil action is
ing criminal enterprises and tracing                                                complementary to the Narcotics
revenue flow into and out of these              In addition to referring cases      Bureau’s criminal action and pro-
operations. These investigations can      to federal agencies on an “as need-       ceeds independently of the criminal
produce evidence incriminating            ed” basis, the Asset Forfeiture Unit      case. Evicting offenders deprives
higher-level suppliers and financiers     is a member of an ongoing effort          them of the site from which they
and identify income and property          known as the Eldorado Task Force.         conducted their criminal activity
derived through criminal activity.        The other members of the task             and thus improves the quality of life
Both federal and state statutes allow     force are the NYPD, US Customs,           in the community. Even when crim-
for confiscation of such assets.          the Offices of the District               inal prosecution of a drug dealer
        In 1998, the unit forfeited       Attorneys        in      Manhattan,       fails to result in a conviction, evi-
$1,653,977 in assets pursuant to          Brooklyn, Queens and Staten               dence obtained through search war-
Article 13-A of New York State            Island, the Special Narcotics             rants in a narcotics investigation
Criminal         Procedure         Law.   Prosecutor, the Internal Revenue          can still be used appropriately to
According to New York State law,          Service and the New York State            justify an eviction request in
a major share of forfeited assets         Banking Commission. The task              Housing Court.
must be distributed to the New            force’s main focus is to investigate             All narcotics cases are
York State Office of Alcohol and          drug dealers who attempt to laun-         reviewed by the Narcotics Evictions
Substance         Abuse       Services    der drug money.                           Unit to determine whether they
(OASAS) for drug treatment, edu-                Cases are generated through         meet the criteria for eviction. Once
cation and prevention programs.           informants providing information          it is shown that eviction from a pri-
This year, the Office contributed         about drug dealers to one or anoth-       vately-owned building is warranted,
$539,632 to OASAS, bringing our           er of the member agencies. In addi-       the unit sends a Demand Letter
total OASAS contribution over the         tion, the task force investigates         informing the landlord that crimi-
past 12 years to $2,678,625. The          known drug dealers to determine           nal activity is occurring in a partic-
NYPD received a portion of the            where and how they are transport-         ular apartment. The landlord must
forfeited funds, totaling $658,473        ing money. Once someone has been          then take action in court to evict the
in 1998.                                  arrested, his or her assets are seized    appropriate tenant(s).

                                                                                                                    25
Annual Report 1998
      The Narcotics Evictions Unit      evidence in its case before Housing     source of narcotics activity. The
assists landlords in these court        Court. In 1996, this time-consum-       Narcotics Eviction Unit also works
actions by advising them on matters     ing requirement was modified by         with community groups and tenants
of procedure and providing evi-         Federal District Court, making it       associations to rid these premises of
dence and witnesses to substantiate     practical for the Housing               narcotics activity, enabling law-
the charges that led to the request     Authority’s attorneys to litigate       abiding citizens to live in a drug-
for an order of eviction. The           their own eviction actions. The         free environment.
Demand Letter is usually effective      District Attorney continues to iden-          In 1998, there were 301 drug
in eliciting the cooperation of land-   tify apartment units in public hous-    locations closed by the unit, an
lords who might be apprehensive         ing developments being used as          increase of 13% over last year. Of
about initiating such proceedings on    drug locations and investigates for     these, 111 were closed through evic-
their own.                              purposes of eviction the individuals    tion action taken against the tenant,
      In the past, the unit also        carrying out this activity.             a 33% increase over 1997. In 168
brought cases on behalf of the New            T he unit continues to            cases the tenant vacated the
York City Housing Authority. This       work closely with the New York          dwelling voluntarily. In the remain-
was necessary to expedite evictions     City Department of Housing              ing 22 instances, the tenant was
of predatory tenants because the        Preservation and Development and        allowed to remain upon his or her
Housing Authority was required to       the NYPD Legal Bureau’s Civil           stipulation to the court that the
follow an exhaustive administrative     Enforcement Unit to assist in the       offender had left and illegal activity
process prior to presenting the same    identification of premises that are a   from the premises would cease.




                                                                                                               26
Annual Report 1998
                                           V iolent Crime

        The reduction in violent crime in recent years has been dramatic. However, the level of violence in the Bronx
is still too high. This violence takes many forms, in some instances so extreme that it results in the death of the vic-
tim and constitutes a “homicide.” The severity of these crimes is determined by the degree of injury and other fac-
tors, including the perpetrator’s state of mind (e.g., intentional, reckless or negligent) and whether the perpetrator
was armed, particularly with a gun.
        Especially heartbreaking acts of violence are those done to the elderly by other family members; those done to
children by their parents or other caretakers (often discussed under the general rubric of “child abuse”); and those
done by husbands to their wives (one form of domestic violence).

                                             INTRODUCTION


FELONY/HOMICIDE                          ADA, the Video Unit will record the        circumstances of the crime, the
DUTY                                     interview. This prompt deployment          weight of the evidence and the
                                         of resources and attention to detail       defendant’s prior record. If a case is
      On every day of the year,          improves the quality of the case and       appropriate for indictment, it is pre-
around-the-clock, assistant district     reduces the risk of mistake or loss.       sented to the Grand Jury as quickly
attorneys are available to direct        Supervising attorneys subsequently         as possible.
criminal investigations. Virtually all   debrief the felony and homicide                  If a case does not merit felony
of these investigations involve felo-    duty ADAs and assign the cases for         prosecution, it is reduced to a lesser
nious conduct, and a significant         investigation and prosecution.             charge. Of course, if the evidence
number involve homicides. To max-                                                   does not support any criminal
imize effectiveness and efficiency,      GRAND JURY AND                             charges, the District Attorney will
and depending on experience, assis-      EVALUATION BUREAU                          decline to prosecute.
tant district attorneys are assigned                                                      In many cases the most appro-
to investigate the former (felony              When a felony arrest is              priate disposition is a pre-indict-
duty) or the latter (homicide duty).     brought to court we screen it very         ment felony plea. This is accom-
A separate supervisory staff is also     carefully. An ADA from the Grand           plished through the filing of a supe-
assigned to each.                        Jury and Evaluation Bureau speaks to       rior court information (SCI), which
      Upon notification by tele-         the victim, studies the facts of the       can only be used if the defendant
phone or pager, the assistant district   case and determines whether to             waives prosecution by indictment
attorney (ADA) on felony or homi-        seek an indictment. Effective              and consents to be prosecuted by
cide duty responds immediately to a      screening of cases at this very early      information. The benefits of an SCI
crime scene or police precinct and       stage is critical to efficient case pro-   are discussed under our Restrictive
takes appropriate action. Such           cessing and ensures that only those        Plea Policy on page 8.
action includes interviewing wit-        cases that merit felony prosecution
nesses and suspects and supervising      continue along that path. The fac-
the gathering and preservation of        tors that determine whether a crime
evidence. If a suspect speaks to an      is prosecuted as a felony include the

                                                                                                                   27
Annual Report 1998
TRIAL DIVISION                          assigned to the Trial Division work as    vide critical feedback. By coupling for-
                                        part of a prosecution team and receive    malized litigation training with the
       The Trial Division has primary   close monitoring and guidance. When       observation of more experienced col-
responsibility for prosecuting crimes   preparing to try cases, these ADAs are    leagues, the ADAs learn the basic and
including homicides, robberies and      paired with a more experienced attor-     specialized skills they need to be effec-
assaults. Once assigned to a trial      ney as a “second seat.” Each ADA          tive trial attorneys. Those cases that
bureau, ADAs are given thorough “on-    must second-seat two times before try-    are particularly serious, sensitive or
the-job” training to complement the     ing a case as the primary attorney or     complex are prosecuted by the highly
formal instruction provided by the      “first seat.” He or she then has a sea-   experienced trial attorneys assigned to
Litigation Training Unit. ADAs newly-   soned attorney as a second seat to pro-   the Senior Staff.

                               VIOLENCE AMONG STRANGERS

                                        HOMICIDE                                  and skillful prosecution. This is par-
      The random nature of violent                                                ticularly true with homicide cases
acts committed by strangers makes             In 1998, the Office filed 119       which, because of their very serious
them particularly frightening. In       indictments charging homicide (and        nature, receive specialized handling
addition to homicide, other crimes      another 165 indictments and two           in the District Attorney’s Office.
categorized as “violent” include        SCIs charging attempted homicide).        Among the homicides prosecuted by
assault, robbery, burglary and rape.    There were 115 homicide cases dis-        this Office in 1998, some stand out
Violent crime, in any form, contin-     posed during the year, with 85            as particularly brutal. One such
ues to be a top priority for the        (74%) resulting in convictions,           case was successfully prosecuted by
Bronx District Attorney, and he has     either at trial (40) or through guilty    one of the Office’s homicide experts
established procedures to investi-      pleas (45).                               who employed cutting-edge DNA
gate and prosecute it as effectively          Obtaining a conviction in any       technology to prove his case.
and efficiently as possible.            case requires thorough investigation


                  Out, Damned Spot

                                                                   tank and slashed her with one of the bro-
             Richard Rodriguez served time on                      ken pieces. Her battered body was found
       his burglary conviction, was paroled, vio-                  wrapped in sheets the next day under a
       lated his parole and was re-paroled in                      platform bed in the motel. A bank video-
       November 1995. Six months later, he                         tape showed that, on that same day,
       went with a woman to a motel. While                         Rodriguez made three separate cash with-
       there, he tortured her for her credit card                  drawals from the dead woman’s account.
       PIN number, strangled her with a belt, hit                        Meanwhile, the defendant asked the
       her over the head with the top of a toilet                  manager of the motel, a retired detective,



                                                                                                                   28
Annual Report 1998
                   Out, Damned Spot
                         continued
       for an extension on his room rental. At the                   distinctive as fingerprints.) The prosecutor,
       same time, he requested an additional                         who is the District Attorney’s Deputy
       room to accommodate a second woman.                           Chief of Homicide, utilized specialists to
       That woman would later testify that she                       link the victim to the blood traces through
       saw Rodriguez carry a bottle of bleach in                     a new technique called Short Tandem
       their room. Cleaning staff who later testi-                   Repeats, which is capable of analyzing
       fied noted missing bedding in the defen-                      samples of DNA as small as one one-bil-
       dant’s room and observed him place a                          lionth of a gram.
       plastic bag in a nearby dumpster. The staff                         The jury found the defendant guilty
       also testified that they observed that                        as charged. The judge, finding that
       Rodriguez’s first room had been cleaned                       Rodriguez should “be deprived forever of
       with bleach, a product not used by the                        any further contact with law-abiding
       staff. When police responded, they found                      members of a civilized society,” sentenced
       the bag contained a shower curtain, pillow                    him to imprisonment for life without any
       cases and a ceramic shard stained with                        possibility of parole.
       blood. Detectives questioning Rodriguez                             This case is used by the New York
       saw three pinhead size bloodstains on his                     Prosecutor’s Training Institute (NYPTI)
       white pants. Thereafter, he was indicted by                   as a model for teaching District
       the grand jury for murder in the first                        Attorneys and their assistants about the
       degree, robbery and related charges.                          new technology. The prosecutor, now a
              The crucial evidence at trial was the                  recognized authority on the subject, has
       cutting-edge DNA analysis of the blood on                     lectured for NYPTI and shared his
       the defendant’s pants. (DNA is genetic                        expertise with individual prosecutors in
       material containing patterns that are as                      and out of New York. u



      As a case moves through its var-   vivors” (a term used to describe family    involving a former college basketball
ious stages, staff from a number of      members of homicide victims), advo-        star charged with a brutal murder
bureaus and units are likely to be       cates from the Office’s Crime Victims      illustrates our efforts to couple effective
involved. Because of the extreme trau-   Assistance Unit are often called upon to   prosecution with equally effective vic-
ma experienced by “homicide sur-         provide support for them. A case           tim assistance.

              From Basketball Court to
                  Supreme Court
                                                                     Basketball Association. He pleaded guilty
            Richard “Richie” Adams was arrest-                       to a felony and was sentenced to proba-
       ed and charged with grand larceny and                         tion. Three years later, he pleaded guilty
       criminal possession of stolen property in                     to robbery and received an indeterminate
       1985, just one day after he was drafted to                    term in state prison with a maximum of
       play professionally in the National                           nine years. His worst crime was still ahead.



                                                                                                                       29
Annual Report 1998
             From Basketball Court to
                 Supreme Court
                         continued                                        Crime Victim Assistance. The
             On October 15, 1996, a 15 year old                    prosecutor referred the victim’s mother to
      high school student was found dead in the                    the District Attorney’s Crime Victims
      fifteenth floor hallway of the building in                   Assistance Unit for help dealing with her
      which Adams lived on the sixteenth floor.                    terrible loss. The mother Rosa M. (pseudo-
      According to the Medical Examiner, the                       nym), received counseling and referrals
      girl’s severe head and neck injuries were                    from a victim advocate, beginning days
      the result of being stomped.                                 after the arrest. From then until the time
             At trial, the prosecutor, a highly experi-            the defendant was found guilty, nearly two
      enced member of the District Attorney’s                      years later, the victim advocate met with
      Senior Staff, connected Adams to the killing                 Rosa regularly and accompanied her to
      in two ways. First, an eyewitness testified that,            each court appearance.
      through her peephole, she saw Adams pulling                         In addition, the advocate provided
      the victim’s hair in the hallway at about the                Rosa her application to the New York
      time of death (the witness did not actually see              State Crime Victims Board for costs asso-
      the killing). Second, the prosecutor established             ciated with the burial of her daughter. She
      through DNA evidence that it was the victim’s                was also referred to “Justice for Children,”
      blood on the bottom of a sneaker found out-                  a support group founded by a group of
      side the building where she died. The prose-                 parents, each of whom survived the death
      cutor further established that this sneaker was              of a murdered child.
      the mate to one found in Adams’s apartment                          In some cases the trauma of losing a
      by showing that they were the same size,                     loved one to violence is so severe that it
      made by the same manufacturer, that they                     results in hospitalization for the survivor.
      reflected the same wear-patterns and that the                So it was in this case. The mother’s anxi-
      shoelaces were tied in the same way.                         ety attacks required that she be hospital-
             On September 26, 1998, the jury                       ized. While there, she missed a scheduled
      convicted Richard Adams of                                   appointment with her Human Resources
      Manslaughter in the first degree. The                        Administration (HRA) caseworker, result-
      court accepted the prosecutor’s recom-                       ing in a change in her welfare benefits.
      mendation that Adams be sentenced to a                       The victim advocate intervened on her
      determinate term of imprisonment for 25                      behalf to restore her benefits under the
      years, the maximum permitted by law.                         original terms. u



CRIME VICTIMS                              and services to victims of all        victimization and must be offered
ASSISTANCE UNIT                            crimes, but work most closely with    assistance in recovering from the
                                           homicide survivors, and with vic-     trauma associated with the crime.
    The 16 staff members of the            tims of domestic violence and sexu-   CVAU addresses the emotional and
Crime Victims Assistance Unit              al abuse or assault. Crime victims    concrete needs of its clients
(CVAU) provide essential support           have multiple needs resulting from    through a combination of support-

                                                                                                                  30
Annual Report 1998
ive counseling, other direct services    hospitals, welfare centers and other              In 1998, under a grant from
and referrals.                           public and private agencies.               the New York State Crime Victims
      Services are provided at no               Following an initial interview,     Board, the unit was able to expand
cost to the client and no appoint-       CVAU formulates a plan that                its new sexual assault program and
ment is necessary. Victims and wit-      addresses the victim’s needs, and          hired a full-time certified social
nesses are usually referred to CVAU      also puts victims and their families       worker to provide short and long
by assistant district attorneys. These   in touch with the larger network of        term counseling to victims of sexu-
referrals may take place at any stage    city, state and community services.        al assault. The addition of quali-
of a case, but most frequently occur     Although some clients need only            fied therapists to the CVAU staff
at the victim’s initial contact with     one appointment, most require              fills a gap in the Bronx community,
the District Attorney’s Office.          numerous contacts and services to          which had lacked services for the
CVAU also receives referrals from        address a variety of issues. (See          adult sexual assault survivor.
other sources including the NYPD,        Figures 9 and 10.)


            Crime Victims Assistance Unit
            Contacts By Type of Service Provided
            Total 1998 Client Contacts: 33,337


                       Crisis Counseling              Emergency Assistance              CVB Application
                                     3%                      16%                        & Affidavits
         Info & Referrals                                                               3%
                                                                                                Support
                    27%                                                                         Counseling
                                                                                                25%

                                                                                             Criminal Justice
                                                                                             Advocacy
                     Transportation                                                          3%
                               12%
                                            Personal Advocacy 11%                  Court Accompaniment
                                                                                   1%
     S o u r c e : O ff i c e o f t h e B r o n x C o u n t y D i s t r i c t A t t o r n e y
     Figure               9



            Crime Victims Assistance Unit
            Contacts By Type of Crime
            Total 1998 Client Contacts: 2,534

                                             Other Violent Crimes                 Homicides
                   Child & Elder Abuse
                                                    10%                           11%             Domestic
                                   1%
                                                                                                  Violence
                                                                                                  15%



                                                                                                   Sex Crimes
                                                                                                   Adults
                                                                                                   6%
           Robbery/Assault                                                        Sex Crimes
                      42%                                                         Children
                                                                                  14%
     S o u r c e : O ff i c e o f t h e B r o n x C o u n t y D i s t r i c t A t t o r n e y
     Figure               10



                                                                                                                31
Annual Report 1998
GUN VIOLENCE                             Division of Criminal Justice              an illegal firearm — “mere” mean-
                                         Services to further its efforts to        ing that the defendant is not also
      While gun crime has                identify and prosecute gun traffick-      charged with committing another
decreased steadily for the past five     ers. Defendants under arrest for          offense at the same time. This belief
years, it remains a serious problem.     felony gun possession are inter-          has a two-fold basis.
In 1998 the NYPD received 393            viewed specifically regarding the               First, the “mere” possession of
official complaints of shooting inci-    circumstances of their possession         a gun can provoke or escalate a per-
dents in the Bronx involving 453         and generally regarding their             sonal confrontation with serious
victims. One of the most distressing     knowledge of illegal guns and gun         injury or death — to another par-
consequences of this violence is that    suppliers. The information obtained       ticipant or an innocent bystander
it encourages the spread of firearms     in these interviews is used to initiate   — as the likely outcome. Second, a
for self-protection among a popula-      gun investigations in conjunction         gun may create the opportunity for
tion that feels vulnerable. The avail-   with the NYPD, obtain search war-         or be an aggravating factor in the
ability of guns, particularly to chil-   rants and conduct surveillance dur-       commission of a future crime, par-
dren, in a highly tense and fragile      ing buy operations.                       ticularily since guns are often pos-
social environment ensures the con-            The District Attorney believes      sessed by individuals with a history
tinuation of the cycle of violence.      strongly in seeking the tough penal-      of criminal conduct. Sometimes, as
      This year the Office received a    ties provided by New York State law       in the case of Cliff Jones, that his-
legislative grant from the NYS           for so-called “mere” possession of        tory catches up.



                  A Day of Reckoning

                                                                  into custody upon producing a fraudulent
             In May 1991, police stopped a car on                 driver’s license.
       Boston Road for a traffic infraction; the tail-                  In June 1998, a jury found Jones guilty
       light was broken. Cliff Jones was the sole pas-            as charged. Ordinarily, seven years is the max-
       senger in the rear seat. As the officers stood             imum term of imprisonment for the class D
       at the car, one of them heard a thud and                   felony of which he was convicted. However,
       noticed a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol               at the time of the crime, Jones had prior con-
       at Jones’s feet. Jones was arrested for                    victions for robbery and assault and had been
       Criminal possession of a weapon in the third               sentenced to state prison on each — the last
       degree and indicted for that crime.                        time for an indeterminate term having a max-
             While the case was pending, Jones                    imum of ten years. Based on his record, the
       failed to show up for a scheduled court                    court ruled that Jones was a persistent violent
       appearance and a bench warrant was issued                  felony offender and sentenced him to an inde-
       for his arrest. He remained at large until                 terminate term of imprisonment having a
       1997 when he was stopped for speeding by                   maximum of life. Jones will not be eligible for
       the New York State Police. He was taken                    parole for at least 15 years. u



                                                                                                                    32
Annual Report 1998
      In addition to its own vigor-    without a prior conviction. This      felonies and certain misde-
ous efforts to eradicate gun vio-      year that collaboration was           meanors involving child abuse,
lence, this Office collaborates        expanded to include cases in          sexual misconduct or violence by
with the U.S. Attorney for the         which a defendant under an order      a family member. Because of the
Southern District of New York to       of protection is arrested with a      nature of these crimes, the ADAs
determine whether a particular         gun. In 1998 the Office of the US     assigned to this bureau are very
case is best prosecuted in state or    Attorney accepted 11 gun cases        carefully selected and receive spe-
federal court. Defendants who are      that the Office of the Bronx          cialized training. DVS works
over the age of 18 or have entered     District Attorney had referred for    closely with the New York City
the country illegally, and have a      prosecution in federal court.         Police Department to investigate
prior felony conviction, are eligi-                                          and prosecute cases of sexual
ble for federal prosecution in gun     SEX CRIMES                            abuse and assault, and the
cases. Furthermore, if the weapon                                            bureau’s efforts are supported by
has been defaced, the defendant              The Domestic Violence/Sex       the Crime Victims Assistance
can be prosecuted federally even       Offense Bureau (DVS) prosecutes all   Unit (CVAU).


      The Case of the “Cardboard” Rapist
                                                               spotted a man matching the description of
             Between March 1996 and November                   the rapist enter the park with a bag and sit
       1997, a serial rapist attacked six women                in a dark, wooded section. The officers
       and attempted to rape three others. Three               approached the man, later identified as 56
       of the victims were also robbed, three                  year old Andres Martinez, and asked per-
       were raped and sodomized and one was                    mission to examine the bag he had placed
       sodomized, robbed and raped.                            between his legs. The bag contained a
             The rapist, who was masked, would                 knife, a curly black wig and a mask. When
       grab his victims from behind at knife point             investigators later executed a search war-
       and sexually attack them on a piece of                  rant on Martinez’s home, they recovered a
       cardboard he had previously prepared.                   Bible taken from one of his victims.
       The attacks occurred once each on West                        The defendant, who had no prior
       174th St., Jessup Ave., Undercliff Ave. and             criminal record, pleaded guilty to each of
       University Ave.; twice in the same vicinity             the incidents, and was sentenced to an
       on Mosholu Parkway; and three times on                  indeterminate term of imprisonment hav-
       Sedgwick Ave. (twice in the same vicinity).             ing a maximum of 40 years. The defen-
       The eldest victim was 50 years old. The                 dant will not be eligible for parole for at
       youngest was raped on the eve of her fif-               least 20 years, at which time he will be
       teenth birthday.                                        nearly 80. In view of the defendant’s guilty
             Anti-crime police officers were on                plea, each of the victims was spared the
       stake-out at Knox/Gates Park when they                  ordeal of a public trial. u



                                                                                                              33
Annual Report 1998
                                         VIOLENCE         IN THE          HOME

                                          According to the New York State            ma in cases involving sex offenses, the
      As frightening as it is to be       Division of Criminal Justice Services      bureau assigns one ADA to handle the
assaulted by a stranger, family vio-      (DCJS), in 1997 (the most recent           case from intake through disposition.
lence is everybody’s nightmare.           year for which statistics are available)          The Domestic Violence/Sex
From a victim’s standpoint, being         reports of domestic violence offenses      Offense Bureau (DVS) collaborates
brutalized by one’s own spouse, par-      in Bronx County increased nearly           extensively with other units within
ent or child is often more destructive    15% over the previous year to              the Office and with agencies outside
than being similarly assaulted by a       11,646, representing 25% of all such       the Office. Departments within the
stranger. For the prosecutor, family      cases in New York City.                    Office include the Crime Victims
violence cases present special chal-                                                 Assistance Unit, the Detective
lenges requiring a combination of         DOMESTIC                                   Investigators, the Child Abuse
vigorous prosecution and extraordi-       VIOLENCE/SEX                               Response Unit and the Bronx
nary sensitivity. To meet these chal-     OFFENSE BUREAU                             Multidisciplinary Team on Child
lenges, the prosecutor must draw                                                     Physical and Sexual Abuse. Agencies
upon other resources in the District             For close to 20 years, the Bronx    outside the Office include the
Attorney’s Office and work collabo-       District Attorney’s Office has had a       NYPD (particularly its Special
ratively with outside agencies.           bureau that specializes in prosecut-       Victims Squad), the Administration
                                          ing domestic violence, sex offense         for Children’s Services (ACS),
TYPES OF FAMILY                           and child abuse cases. Assistant dis-      schools and the Office of the
VIOLENCE                                  trict attorneys assigned to this           Medical Examiner.
                                          bureau must be adept at handling
      Family violence can be divided      the issues unique to these cases, such            .
                                                                                     S.T.O.P VIOLENCE
into two basic types. “Domestic vio-      as victim and witness reluctance to        AGAINST WOMEN
lence” includes violence between          testify against a family member.
past or present spouses; persons                  These ADAs receive special-               Although ADAs may look to oth-
related by blood and marriage; per-       ized training in-house and may also        er agencies for assistance when prepar-
sons who have a child in common           attend conferences and seminars on         ing a domestic violence case, prior to
and persons who are or were living        topics related to domestic violence        this year there were no formal partner-
together in a family-type relation-       and child abuse. For example, this         ships in this area. In January 1998 the
ship. “Child abuse” refers to crimes      year staff from Pace University’s          Bronx District Attorney’s Office was
against children, usually involving       Battered Women’s Justice Center            awarded a federal grant, administered
physical or sexual assault, committed     provided training on “marital rape”        through the New York State Division of
by a parent or other adult caretaker.     to 30 ADAs in this Office.                 Criminal Justice Services under the
      Despite continuing reductions              Each time a victim has to           S.T.O.P. (Services •Training •Officers
in violent crime in recent years,         recount the details of a horrifying        •Prosecutors) Violence Against Women
domestic violence remains a very          experience, he or she experiences addi-    Grant Program. Three other agencies (the
serious problem in the Bronx.             tional trauma. To minimize such trau-      NYPD, the New York City Department of

                                                                                                                     34
Annual Report 1998
Probation and Victim Services) received    court to break the pattern of vio-       For example, a plea condition may
similar funding to provide an early,       lence. One highlight of this             require that a defendant attend a
coordinated response to misdemeanor        approach is the emphasis on prose-       batterer’s program. That defen-
domestic violence cases in Bronx           cution of crimes early on at the mis-    dant must periodically report to
County. The goal of the District           demeanor level when injury is still      the compliance part so that his
Attorney’s S.T.O.P. grant is to improve    relatively minor.                        attendance and completion of that
prosecution of domestic violence cases                                              program may be monitored. The
and increase the safety of domestic vio-   DOMESTIC VIOLENCE                        compliance part will also receive
lence victims.                             COURT COMPLEX                            information from the batterer’s
      Representatives of the four                                                   program itself concerning the
agencies meet monthly to design                  Recognizing the importance         defendant’s attendance and com-
and implement new procedures for           of a coordinated criminal justice        pletion of the program.
improving interagency communica-           response, the Office of Court                  The criminal court domestic
tion, victim outreach and contact          Administration created a court           violence complex is staffed entirely
and the quality of information and         complex to handle misdemeanor            by the ADAs in DVS assigned to
services provided to victims. In           domestic violence cases. The court       prosecute misdemeanor domestic
addition, this Office provides train-      complex consists of three interre-       violence cases. Approximately 35
ing to police officers on how to           lated court “parts” or courtrooms.       ADAs are in the bureau and about
improve collection of evidence and               The first is an “all-purpose”      half are assigned to these cases. The
quality of follow-up investigations        part, where any and all misde-           assignment of a particular case to
in domestic violence cases.                meanor domestic violence cases are       one of these ADAs is generally
      These cases often follow a           sent after the defendant is arrested     made after a defendant is arraigned
pattern. One partner, typically            and arraigned. (An arraignment is        and before he is scheduled to
the male, tries to control the oth-        the formal judicial process at which     appear in the all-purpose part. On
er. The controlling partner strikes        the court acquires control over the      the first date that a particular
the other but the injury is rela-          defendant and notifies him of his        domestic violence case is scheduled
tively minor. Over time the                rights and charges.)                     in the all-purpose part, the assigned
assaults become more constant,                   If the defendant does not          ADA will meet with the victim to
the injury more serious and the            plead guilty in this part, his case      evaluate the case. This first meeting
climate of terror unbearable.              is sent to the “trial” part. Like the    takes place in the “victim/witness
Nevertheless, the injured partner          all-purpose part, the trial part is      reception center,” which is staffed
is often unable or unwilling to            presided over by a single judge          by counselors from Victim Services.
leave the home (or the relation-           who conducts both judge and              After the victim meets with an
ship) and is reluctant to instigate        jury trials.                             ADA, she is immediately referred to
or follow through on efforts to                  Once a defendant pleads            a counselor for whatever services
prosecute the offender.                    guilty or is found guilty, his case is   she may require.
      Despite these challenges, the        sent to the “compliance” part to               Even when circumstances
District Attorney works hard with          ensure that he complies with the         work against early intervention,
the police, service providers and the      terms and conditions of his plea.        there is still time to save a life.

                                                                                                                  35
Annual Report 1998
                Stopping the Violence

                                                                which resulted in a Family Court petition
              The complainant Mary C’s (pseudo-                 and an order of protection. Mary won
       nym) relationship with Robert Figueroa began             custody of their young son but Figueroa
       early in 1992. She became pregnant later that            got visitation rights. The violence would
       year and their baby was born the following               soon reach a whole new level.
       May. It was then that Figueroa’s behavior                      Later that year, Mary dropped the
       changed. If Mary was late from work, he                  child off at Figueroa’s home but refused
       would strike her. He erased messages from                his request to come inside. Figueroa went
       her answering machine, forbade her from                  after Mary at the elevator, pulled her into
       going anywhere alone and threatened to kill              the apartment, locked the door, raped her
       her if he saw her with anyone else.                      and beat her unconscious.
              The first time Mary called the police                   When Mary awoke, she found herself
       was after Figueroa repeatedly punched her                naked, with cellophane in her mouth and
       in the face and head and kicked her while                wrapped around her head. She called 911,
       she lay on the ground. Mary did not press                grabbed some of the defendant’s clothes,
       charges but, on the urging of her employ-                climbed the fire escape and fled to the
       er who noticed her bruises, she obtained a               nearest precinct in a cab.
       Family Court order of protection.                              Robert Figueroa was indicted by the
              In September 1994, Figueroa choked                Grand Jury for attempted murder and
       and beat Mary causing a black eye and                    rape. At trial, a jury found the defendant
       numerous bruises. She again obtained a                   guilty as charged. He was sentenced to
       Family Court order of protection.                        consecutive indeterminate terms of
              The next year, after Figueroa                     imprisonment having an aggregate maxi-
       punched Mary in the head, banged her on                  mum of 36 years. The defendant will not
       the floor and kicked her, Mary called the                be eligible for parole for at least 18 years.
       police and finally left the defendant. After             He is now serving that sentence.
       living in several battered women’s shelters,                   Throughout this ordeal and thereafter,
       Mary moved into her own apartment.                       the Crime Victims Assistance Unit advocate
              In 1996, Figueroa followed Mary to                provided support to Mary and her young
       her home and threatened to blow her up,                  son. She is now on the road to recovery. u



CRIMES AGAINST                           victims of crime. Although most       charged as crimes. These are pros-
CHILDREN                                 instances of child abuse can be       ecuted by the District Attorney.
                                         resolved suitably by the Family            The nature (and range in
     The District Attorney gives         Court and the Department of           severity) of crimes against chil-
top priority to the safety and wel-      Social Services without interven-     dren often requires that the
fare of children, and responds           tion by law enforcement agencies,     District Attorney’s Office collabo-
appropriately when children are          some are serious enough to be         rate with other city and state


                                                                                                                36
Annual Report 1998
agencies. The District Attorney’s         established to ensure appropriate      gators from this Office who have
ability to protect the children of        law enforcement review of allega-      been specially trained to handle
Bronx County most effectively             tions of child abuse occurring in      child abuse cases.
from abusive situations is depen-         the Bronx and reported to the New            This year the unit reviewed
dent upon such collaboration.             York State Central Register of         2,443 reports from the state central
                                          Child Abuse and Maltreatment           register alone, 22% more than in
CHILD ABUSE                               (also called the “child abuse hot-     1997. Following investigations, it
RESPONSE UNIT                             line”).                                actively participated in the arrest
                                                The unit now also receives       and prosecution of 338 alleged
      The Child Abuse Response            and reviews reports of abuse from      child abusers, an increase of 60%
Unit is part of DVS and consists of       schools, hospitals and members of      over last year.
five investigative aides, four detec-     the community. Upon review, the              Perhaps the most difficult part
tive investigators and one coordina-      unit refers appropriate cases to the   of prosecuting child abuse cases is
tor (who is a supervising assistant       Special Victims Squad of the           bearing witness to the horrors per-
district attorney). The unit was          NYPD or to Detective Investi-          petrated on those so utterly helpless.


        “Shocking Beyond Comprehension”

                                                                   the course of the beatings, which occurred
             Those were the words the District                     over a period of weeks, the defendant
       Attorney used to describe the conduct of                    failed to seek medical attention for her
       Jocelyn Bennett, a 29 year old mother who                   injured child who was semi-conscious
       pleaded guilty to murdering her young son                   when he was finally taken to the hospital.
       by starving and beating him to death.                       Five year old Daytwon weighed just 35
             The New York City Medical                             pounds at the time of his death. He had
       Examiner determined that Daytwon                            been forced to steal milk from his one year
       Bennett died as a result of “fatal child                    old sister’s bottle and retrieve scraps of
       abuse syndrome and neglect with starva-                     food from the garbage can.
       tion, malnutrition and multiple blunt                             Following the defendant’s plea of
       impact injuries.” The defendant had tied                    guilty, the court sentenced her to imprison-
       the child to a chair and beat him with a                    ment for life. She will not be eligible for
       broomstick causing numerous bruises and                     parole for at least 17 years. u
       lacerations on his head and body. During



                                          hospitals and child advocacy centers   Office, an ACS representative, a
     This year the District               throughout the Bronx. Forensically     medical provider and a social work-
Attorney’s Office participated in the     trained child abuse teams consisting   er conduct interviews of abused
ACS Instant Response Protocol by          of an ADA, NYPD Detective or a         children in child friendly locations
sending assistant district attorneys to   Detective Investigator from this       to screen cases. The participation of

                                                                                                                  37
Annual Report 1998
the District Attorney’s Office in on-    hospitals which are the sole medical    Teams/Joint Interviews.” It was
site interviews has proven valuable      providers in their communities, but     presented by a panel consisting of a
in the investigation and prosecution     most do not have an on-site unit for    social worker from the Montefiore
of child abuse cases and is the only     child abuse victims. The multidisci-    Child Protection Center and three
collaboration of its kind in New         plinary team assists hospital person-   members of the District Attorney’s
York City.                               nel in identifying and treating vic-    staff: the Team coordinator, the
      When a case is referred to the     tims of child abuse, and acts as a      coordinator of the Child Abuse
Child Abuse Response Unit, and           network for further referrals.          Response Unit and a supervising
there has not yet been a medical               Through its participation in      Detective Investigator.
examination or police investigation,     the multidisciplinary team, the               Members of the team also
the unit notifies the Multidiscipli-     Office has significantly improved its   made a presentation at the
nary Team Coordinator of the inci-       ability to prosecute child abusers      Northeast      Regional       Child
dent so that she may initiate a coor-    effectively while addressing the        Maltreatment Conference in
dinated response.                        needs of child abuse victims.           Providence, Rhode Island, spon-
                                                                                 sored by the Massachusetts Society
MULTIDISCIPLINARY                                  Training                      for the Prevention of Cruelty to
TEAM ON CHILD                               Workshops/Presentations              Children, the Northeast Regional
PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL                                                              Children’s Advocacy Center and
ABUSE                                              Members of the Multi-         Tufts University School of
                                         d i s c i plinary Team on Child         Medicine. The workshop was titled
       The Multidisciplinary Team is     Physical and Sexual Abuse provided      “Multidisciplinary Teams In An
a coalition of representatives from      training workshops to New York          Urban Setting: The Bronx
the Office of the Bronx District         City agencies on topics including       Multidisciplinary Team on Child
Attorney, Bronx hospitals, mental        identifying child abuse, interviewing   Physical and Sexual Abuse.”
health service providers, school dis-    techniques and responding to an
tricts, the Administration for           allegation of abuse.                             Joint Interviews
Children Services, the New York                    One of these workshops was
City Corporation Counsel, the            sponsored by the Bronx Borough                 In the three years since the
NYPD and the Juvenile Rights             President’s       Office.    Entitled   team began doing joint interviews,
Division of the Legal Aid Society. Its   “Creating a Community of Care:          the number conducted each year has
purpose is to improve communica-         Being Part of the Solution for          grown. This year members of the
tion among participating agencies        Children and Families,” the event       Multidisciplinary Team conducted
and coordinate their involvement in      brought together 200 parents, city      151 joint interviews of child victims,
child abuse cases. The primary ben-      agencies, policy makers, advocates      five times more than were conduct-
efit of this multidisciplinary           and other community leaders to          ed last year. Those present at these
approach is the minimization of sys-     analyze key issues related to the       interviews may include a detective,
tem-induced trauma to the victim.        problem of child abuse. The Team’s      an ADA with the Office’s Child
The team’s network includes several      topic was “Multidisciplinary            Abuse Response Unit, a case worker


                                                                                                                38
Annual Report 1998
from the Administration for             available to all participants by        ries, including details forgotten or
Children’s Services, a social worker    affording them the opportunity to       inadvertently omitted, and having
or crime victim advocate, and a doc-    be present to ask questions at the      victims becoming tired and uncoop-
tor or nurse practitioner. One of the   victim’s first interview. Second, it    erative. This process ensures that
participants is designated to conduct   minimizes the additional trauma to      participants are able to gather infor-
the interview, while the rest observe   which the victim is subjected by        mation essential to investigating the
from behind a two-way mirror.           having to revisit incidents that may    allegations, prosecuting those
      This team approach affords a      have been emotionally devastating..     responsible for abuse and providing
number of benefits. First, it           Third, it avoids problems associated    the child with understanding, sup-
enhances the quality of evidence        with having victims repeat their sto-   port and follow-up services.




                                                                                                               39
Annual Report 1998
            Or g aniz ed, Of ficial and Economic Crime


     The Rackets Bureau prosecutes organized crime and crimes committed in correctional facilities. The
Arson/Economic Crime Bureau prosecutes auto theft and various frauds.
     Staff members work very closely with the other investigative units within the Office, particularly the Detective
Investigators and the Office’s Detective Squad. They also collaborate with various city, state and federal agencies.

                                          ORGANIZED CRIME


                    The Gotti Case

                                                                  OCTF and later as a Special Assistant
              In 1994, this Office began an investi-              United States Attorney.
       gation into a gambling operation in the                          The criminal activities under investi-
       Bronx. Over time the investigation grew,                   gation included conspiracy to commit
       both in terms of the types of crimes and                   murder, labor racketeering, extortion,
       in the number of persons being investigat-                 loansharking, gambling and fraud in the
       ed; in the words of District Attorney                      telecommunications industry. Legal issues
       Johnson, “The initial probe mushroomed                     and the scope of the interlocking criminal
       into a massive multiagency undertaking.”                   enterprises led Mr. Johnson and the other
       Early this year a Federal grand jury                       prosecutors to decide that justice would
       returned four indictments charging John                    best be served by prosecuting these defen-
       A. “Junior” Gotti, an alleged “capo” and                   dants on the federal level.
       acting head of the Gambino Organized                             John A. Gotti pleaded guilty in feder-
       Crime Family, with federal racketeering                    al court to charges involving racketeering
       and other offenses. Forty-one other defen-                 conspiracy, gambling, mail fraud, loan-
       dants were also charged with racketeering                  sharking and tax fraud. Under his plea
       and other offenses.                                        agreement, Gotti may be imprisoned for
              During the investigation, we worked                 up to a maximum term of 7¼ years. He
       in close partnership first with the New York               will also forfeit $358,000 in cash that was
       State Attorney General’s Organized Crime                   seized during the execution of a search
       Task Force (OCTF) and later with the U.S.                  warrant, an additional sum of $1,000,000
       Attorneys for the Southern and Eastern                     and two parcels of real estate.
       Districts of New York. The investigation                         With Gotti’s plea, 35 of the 41 indi-
       also involved the NYPD, the Office of the                  viduals originally arrested in this and relat-
       Inspector General of the New York City                     ed cases now stand convicted of federal
       School Construction Authority, the FBI,                    crimes. The other defendants’ cases
       the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S.                     remain pending. Total forfeitures as a con-
       Secret Service and this Office’s Detective                 sequence of the joint investigation involve
       Investigators. One Bronx assistant district                about $5,000,000, representing a portion
       attorney worked on the investigation from                  of the illicit revenue generated by Gotti
       its inception, and was cross-designated as                 and his co-defendants through their racke-
       an Assistant Deputy Attorney General at                    teering activities. u



                                                                                                                   40
Annual Report 1998
   OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT: CRIME                                IN   CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES

      When people we trust to          issues of excessive force by and               The case below illustrates
enforce the law, such as police or     corruption among them are seri-           how an investigation by the
correctional officers, subvert it      ous. While the vast majority of           Rackets Bureau led to a successful
to their own advantage, the pub-       officers deserve the public’s             prosecution of a veteran correc-
lic’s faith in government is           trust, the District Attorney vig-         tion officer for trying to smuggle
undermined. Given the degree of        orously prosecutes those who              contraband into jail.
power these officers exert, the        betray it.


                  Smuggler’s Island

                                                                  “buy money” from an undercover investi-
             Malverse Willingham had been a                       gator to deliver to an inmate what
       correction officer for eight years. At that                Willingham believed to be one-half ounce
       time, a confidential informant told the                    packages of cocaine. The packages, which
       Inspector General for the New York City                    actually contained a harmless white pow-
       Department of Correction that                              der, were delivered to the inmate.
       Willingham was smuggling contraband                              Willingham pleaded guilty to
       into Rikers Island.                                        Attempted criminal sale of a controlled
             Following up on this tip, the                        substance in the third degree, a class C
       Inspector General, in conjunction with the                 felony, and was sentenced to an indetermi-
       Rackets Bureau, set up a sting operation.                  nate term of imprisonment having a maxi-
       Thereafter, Willingham was videotaped                      mum of six years. He will not be eligible
       twice in 1996 outside the Cotton Club in                   for parole for at least two years. u
       Harlem accepting $400 in pre-recorded



                                              AUTO CRIME

      In 1998 there were over 7,000    addition, Bronx County continues          sold later, it is often stored in a park-
complaints of grand larceny involv-    to have the highest rate in New York      ing garage (to insulate the thief if
ing automobiles in the Bronx           State of motor vehicle thefts per         the car is armed with Lojack).
(NYPD, 1999), 12% fewer than in        100,000 registered vehicles (3,299        Eventually, the car is “revinned.”
1997, less than half the number        in 1997, the most recent year for         Revinning means the vehicle identi-
made five years ago and nearly 69%     which such data are available).           fication number (VIN) is changed to
less than in 1990. Nonetheless,              Basically, thieves steal cars for   legitimize the stolen car, and new
there were still nearly 600 such       two purposes: to sell intact or to sell   paperwork is produced to make the
thefts per 100,000 population. In      as parts. When a car is stolen to be      car ready for the market. Many

                                                                                                                  41
Annual Report 1998
vehicles that are too “hot” to sell       islative grants (obtained with        recovered pursuant to arrests
locally, or for which there is no local   instrumental help from Senator        being made and/or search war-
market, are shipped overseas to for-      Guy Velella), the Office of the       rants being executed.
eign markets.                             Bronx District Attorney has                 Grant funds have enabled the
      Vehicles stolen for parts are       operated the Bronx Anti-Auto          Office to acquire sophisticated
also frequently stored in parking         Theft Program. The project was        technology (Lojack and surveillance
garages prior to being transported        designed to increase the number       equipment) which is used by
to local “chop shops.” At these           of successful prosecutions of         trained investigators. The Anti-
shops the vehicles which are not          defendants charged with grand         Auto-Theft Program uses this tech-
“altered” for resale are dismantled       larceny of a motor vehicle, crim-     nology, investigators and assistant
and sold in pieces.                       inal possession of stolen proper-     district attorneys dedicated to pros-
                                          ty, illegal possession of a vehicle   ecuting these cases.
BRONX ANTI-AUTO -                         identification number, auto strip-          The Detective Investigators
THEFT PROGRAM                             ping and/or unauthorized use of       have collaborated for several years
                                          a vehicle. The program was also       with the DMV in an operation tar-
     Since October 1995, with             expected to result in an              geting public parking garages for
resources provided by yearly leg-         increased number of stolen cars       the purpose of recovering stolen
                                                                                vehicles. This partnership with the
                                                                                DMV continues to yield positive
                                                                                results. A total of 32 parking facili-
                                                                                ties were searched in 1998, resulting
                                                                                in the recovery of 31 vehicles, val-
           “The Detective Investigators                                         ued at $582,000.

         and the Detective Squad have                                           INVESTIGATORS

                 used the sophisticated                                               The Detective Investigators
                                                                                and the Detective Squad have used
                 surveillance equipment                                         the sophisticated surveillance equip-
                                                                                ment purchased with grant funds to
         purchased with grant funds to                                          conduct highly successful operations.
                                                                                In 1998 the DIs and the Squad con-
               conduct highly successful                                        tinued their investigations into “chop
                                                                                shops” and illegal dismantling loca-
                            operations.”                                        tions, obtained seven search war-
                                                                                rants, made 27 arrests and seized 26
                                                                                vehicles. These investigations and
                                                                                arrests led to seven felony and six
                                                                                misdemeanor convictions.

                                                                                                               42
Annual Report 1998
      Individuals in the business of      ized equipment and detective           Eisland’s office on the Focused Auto
dismantling stolen cars and selling       work; the Bronx Anti-Auto Theft        Crime Effort (FACE). This initiative
the parts often run highly sophis-        grant has provided the resources       coordinates work by the NYPD, the
ticated and lucrative businesses.         necessary to put the two together.     District Attorney’s Office and the
To apprehend these thieves and                  The Office has also enhanced     community, and includes regular
close down their businesses               its efforts to fight auto crime by     meetings with community leaders to
requires a combination of special-        working with Councilwoman June         identify “hot spots” for auto theft.

                                                        FRAUDS

                                          circumstances, may be more vul-        ods for dealing with this problem.
      Perpetrators of fraud usually       nerable than others to becoming        The committee is comprised of
target individuals who are unable or      victims of such crimes. One group      staff from the Arson/Economic
unwilling to complain, large corpo-       that may be particularly vulnera-      Crime Bureau, the Community
rations and municipalities.               ble is the elderly. The District       Affairs Unit and the Crime Victims
                                          Attorney has established a com-        Assistance Unit. The case below
CRIMES AGAINST               THE          mittee on elder abuse to explore       illustrates how an elderly couple
ELDERLY                                   the extent to which the “seniors”      was bilked out of more than a
                                          who live in Bronx County are           $100,000 for home repairs that
      Some individuals, because of        abused, either physically or finan-    were never performed.
their particular characteristics or       cially, and to assess the best meth-


                  Crime Doesn’t Pay
                                                                   foundation, apply waterproofing, repair
             Lewis Gruenewald was 88 and his                       the seal on the chimney, seal the roof ” and
       wife Mary was 91 when they met defen-                       make other repairs.
       dants Dan Parks Sr., 71, and his 51-year-                         The costly scam came to light after
       old son, Dan Jr. The defendants first                       the elderly couple’s son reviewed his par-
       approached the Gruenewalds at their                         ents’ financial statements and became con-
       home in June 1996, and identified them-                     cerned about the payments to the defen-
       selves as contractors who were working on                   dants. The son contacted a Supervising
       another house in the area. The two con                      Inspector for the New York City
       men convinced the victims that their home                   Department of Consumer Affairs. He con-
       was in need of substantial repair. During                   cluded that many of the repairs claimed to
       the course of the scam, the Gruenewalds                     be necessary were not, and that those
       paid the defendants more than $87,000 to                    which were needed, either were left
       fix “the ventilation system, stop leaks, rein-              uncompleted or never performed at all.
       force the front of the home, repair the                           The District Attorney, calling the



                                                                                                                  43
Annual Report 1998
                  Crime Doesn’t Pay
                        Continued
                                                                   repay every penny they stole.
       ongoing victimization of the trusting and                         In November, each defendant was
       vulnerable elderly retirees unconscionable,                 sentenced to a conditional discharge. At
       allowed the defendants to plead guilty to                   that time, they turned over to the court
       petit larceny to spare the couple the long                  $87,368.92 representing full restitution to
       ordeal of a trial, but only if they agreed to               the victimized couple. u


CRIMES AGAINST                           exploitation are immigrants, partic-     In the following case, the wives of
IMMIGRANTS                               ularly those who have entered the        Rikers Island inmates were swin-
                                         country illegally. Illegal immigrants    dled by a pair who charged them
      Another segment of the popu-       who commit crimes, even minor            fees that would allegedly prevent
lation vulnerable to financial           ones, may be subject to deportation.     their husbands’ deportation.

               Selling Empty Promises

             Virginia Crichlow, 46, claimed to                     of the inmates came forward. Charges were
       have access to the files and computer                       filed against the defendants following an
       records of the Immigration and                              investigation and sting by undercover detec-
       Naturalization Service and the New York                     tives from the New York City Department
       City Department of Correction. She also                     of Investigation, who worked with the
       claimed to be able to alter the records and                 Immigration and Naturalization Service.
       delete deportation orders that had been                            The defendants each pleaded guilty
       lodged against inmates on Rikers Island.                    to the felony of Scheme to defraud in the
             The inmates’ wives contacted                          first degree. Crichlow, who had no prior
       Crichlow after being approached by her 32-                  record, was sentenced to five years proba-
       year-old boyfriend Thomas Castro, who                       tion. Castro, who had one prior conviction
       orchestrated the scam and was serving time                  for a felony and at least 16 convictions for
       for unauthorized use of a vehicle. When                     misdemeanors, was sentenced to an inde-
       inmates were deported despite payment of                    terminate term having a maximum of four
       between $1,500 and $3,000 each to                           years. He will not be eligible for parole for
       Crichlow for her alleged services, relatives                at least two years. u



INSURANCE FRAUD                          ance fraud costs Americans $20 bil-      coordination between the District
                                         lion annually. One of the most com-      Attorney’s Office and the NYPD
     The National Insurance              mon types of insurance fraud is          Arson and Explosives Squad in
Crime Bureau (NICB) estimates            arson-for-profit. The case below         investigating and prosecuting this
that property/casualty-based insur-      demonstrates the importance of           type of criminal activity.

                                                                                                                   44
Annual Report 1998
                 The Fine Fare Fire

                                                               Lanfranco of Insurance fraud in the sec-
            The Fine Fare Supermarket was                      ond degree, a class C felony, and
      destroyed by fire in October 1994. An                    Attempted grand larceny in the second
      investigation by the NYPD Arson and                      degree, a class D felony. He was sentenced
      Explosives Squad determined that the                     to indeterminate terms having a maximum
      supermarket was losing money. A fire mar-                of 13 years on the insurance fraud and a
      shal testified that the blaze was caused by              maximum of seven years on the attempted
      a flammable liquid and started on the sec-               theft. He will not be eligible for parole for
      ond floor of the two-story brick building.               at least 4 years. Additionally, while these
      The policy, issued to storeowner                         sentences will run concurrently to each
      Bienbenido Lanfranco, was valued at one                  other, they will run consecutively to the
      million dollars.                                         18-month prison term that Lanfranco is
            In November, a jury convicted                      now serving on unrelated felony charges. u



     Another common type of            Fortunately for the people of          not competent enough to carry it
insurance fraud starts out under       Bronx County, some of those            out successfully.
the guise of auto theft.               involved in this type of fraud are

                 The Gang that
              Couldn’t Steal Straight
                                                                     Nieves agreed to cooperate, and
            One of our Detective Investigators,                revealed that the owners of the Galant,
      who is an expert on auto crime, had confi-               which was worth about $17,000 before
      dential information that motor vehicles                  it was cut in half, had engaged him to
      were being dismantled in a city-owned lot.               “steal” the car so that they could get
      With the help of the informant and his                   the insurance money. Michael Lynch
      own personal observations, the DI had                    and his wife were charged with filing a
      kept the lot under surveillance. In August,              false insurance claim — for which they
      the informant notified the DI that one                   obviously were not paid — and a false
      Manuel Nieves had brought a car into the                 police report. This Office agreed to dis-
      lot. When the DI arrived at the lot, the car             miss the case against the wife when
      was not visible but Nieves was getting into              Lynch admitted full responsibility for
      a U-Haul truck. A subsequent investiga-                  the scam and agreed to plead guilty to
      tion revealed that the truck contained one-              the felony of Insurance fraud in the
      half of a 1997 Mitsubishi Galant; the oth-               third degree. He was sentenced to a
      er half was in an abandoned milk truck                   conditional discharge. u
      elsewhere on the lot.



Annual Report 1998                                                                                             45
WELFARE FRAUD                         married and supported by her hus-        to falsely notify the Department of
                                      band who was employed. The               Social Services that she was sick and
      Welfare fraud is committed by largest single theft of some $81,000       unable to appear for eligibility recer-
recipients who knowingly fail to dis- over six years was allegedly commit-     tification interviews. These defen-
close critical information about ted by a defendant who failed to              dants also pleaded guilty, three to
their circumstances to officials, and report her full- and part-time           class E felony charges and two to
thereby receive benefits to which employment at a coffee shop and              class A misdemeanor charges.
they are not entitled. Fraud and who concealed her ownership of a                     Later in the year, seven individ-
abuse of public assistance programs car and $60,000 in winnings from           uals were charged with defrauding
is costly and deprives individuals of the lottery. All eight defendants        New York City of more than
the resources they so desperately pleaded guilty, four of them to class        $240,000 in welfare benefits. The
need. In 1998, this Office’s investi- E felonies and the other four to class   largest single theft of some $64,000
gations of welfare fraud resulted in A misdemeanor charges.                    over seven years was allegedly com-
approximately 40 arrests involving          In another group, five defen-      mitted by a woman who used an alias
more than one million dollars in dants, including a city worker at             and who also collected social securi-
public assistance claims. Some Harlem Hospital and two people                  ty benefits. Another defendant
examples follow.                      employed by the Board of                 allegedly collected nearly $63,000
      In one group of cases, eight Education, were charged with                over eight years by concealing her
individuals, including a winner of defrauding the city of more than            husband’s employment and presence
the Puerto Rican Lottery, were $232,000 in welfare benefits. The               in the household. Five of these
charged with defrauding New York largest single theft of more than             defendants pleaded guilty to felony
City of more than $200,000 in wel- $72,000 over nearly six years was           charges (one to a class D felony and
fare benefits. Six of the defendants allegedly committed by the hospital       the remainder to class E felonies) and
allegedly obtained public assistance worker who not only concealed her         two pleaded guilty to class A misde-
while holding down jobs. One defen- employment as a case worker, but           meanor charges.
dant collected benefits although also used official hospital stationery




                                                                                                               46
Annual Report 1998
                                 Quality of Lif e Of f enses

      Certain behaviors that some may consider to be merely minor annoyances, are major problems for others and
their community. The term “quality-of-life offenses” is generally used to describe conduct that demoralizes commu-
nity residents and business people because it involves acts that create physical disorder (e.g., graffiti or vandalism) or
reflect social decay (e.g., prostitution). These acts may also be accompanied by nuisances that affect the community’s
health and safety, such as noise and public urination. While not serious enough to result in felony charges or to be
the focus of large-scale enforcement operations, these misdemeanors and violations cause a great deal of misery to
community residents. The Criminal Court Bureau has major responsibility for the prosecution of persons arrested for
those offenses.

                                     ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING

                                          ber of providers and the range of         for distribution to homeless shel-
      This year the Criminal Court        services defendants can be assigned       ters for the Hunts Point ware-
Bureau handled close to 53,000 mis-       to perform. This service saves            house of Food for Survival. This
demeanor cases, an increase of 11%        money and improves the quality of         year defendants were sentenced to
over 1997. There were also an aver-       life in the Bronx.                        perform 232,240 hours of com-
age of nearly 7,000 cases disposed               Once defendants are found to       munity service, an increase of
per month in Bronx Criminal Court.        be suitable for alternative sentenc-      37% over 1997.
Defendants convicted of non-violent       ing, the coordinator uses a comput-             Defendants are closely moni-
offenses (e.g., graffiti) often receive   erized database to match them with        tored by placement agencies,
some form of “alternative sentence”       appropriate placements. Such              which submit status reports to the
(not involving incarceration). As         placements vary depending on the          Criminal Court Bureau’s coordi-
conditions of these sentences, defen-     defendant’s current offense, previ-       nator. If a defendant fails to
dants may be required to perform          ous record and history of drug            appear at the assigned placement,
community service, enter substance        abuse. In the past, services per-         the case is restored to the court’s
abuse programs or batterer’s pro-         formed included cleaning roadways,        calendar and the defendant is sub-
grams, make restitution or partici-       parks and subway stations.                ject to incarceration.
pate in mediation.                               In 1998, the Department of               Some defendants promise, as
      Community service sentences         Correction became a community             part of a guilty plea, to make resti-
are coordinated through the               service provider, thus adding four        tution to their victims. If the terms
bureau’s Community Service                clean-up sites. Defendants as-            of the plea are acceptable to the
Program. A member of the District         signed there are required to do           victim and the prosecution, the
Attorney’s staff serves as the liai-      painting, sweeping and light con-         ADA accepts the plea, and the case
son between the court and any             struction. Defendants continue to         is referred to Victim Services, the
authorized public or private              be assigned to do office work at          agency that oversees restitution. If
agency providing community ser-           Air Force Recruitment Centers             a defendant reneges on his or her
vice. This eliminates the need for        and       the    Department       of      promise, the case is also restored to
providers to have representatives in      Transportation. Others have               the calendar and the defendant is
court, thereby increasing the num-        worked collecting and boxing food         subject to incarceration.

                                                                                                                   47
Annual Report 1998
                 INCREASED PROSECUTION                                 OF    GRAFFITI OFFENSES

                                                 assistant district attorneys from this   prosecution of repeat offenders.
      Graffiti, defined in the Penal             Office). This past summer graffiti       This was accomplished by assigning
Law as, “the etching, painting, cov-             vandals at one such location, P.S. 83    a Criminal Court Bureau supervisor
ering, drawing upon or otherwise                 in the 49th Police Precinct, were        to oversee the prosecution of these
placing of a mark upon public or                 apprehended with the aid of state-       cases and serve as a liaison to the
private property with intent to dam-             of-the-art video surveillance cam-       NYPD. When prosecuting first-time
age such property,” is a sign of dis-            eras installed in the schoolyard. The    offenders on graffiti charges, assis-
order that can be very distressing to            cameras, obtained by a community         tant district attorneys will often try
community residents. In neighbor-                group with the assistance of State       to obtain a guilty plea with an
hoods where graffiti is particularly             Senator Guy Velella, also supply         agreement that the sentence involve
common, residents may consider                   valuable evidence that enhances          community service. In cases involv-
the problem serious enough to war-               prosecution of these cases.              ing repeat offenders, however, jail
rant raising the issue at Precinct                     In 1998, this Office and the       time is the only sentence we recom-
Community Council meetings                       NYPD worked closely to target            mend upon conviction.
(which are attended regularly by                 graffiti offenses and enhance the

                                                 DISPUTE RESOLUTION

                                                 Individuals are interviewed by                 This year, Bronx CDRC cases
        This year the Criminal Court             CDRC and given referrals to vari-        represented 75% of the city’s total
Bureau continued to work closely                 ous courts or other agencies, includ-    selected by District Attorney’s
with the New York City Court                     ing professional mediation and arbi-     Offices to be prosecuted in
D i s p u t e Re s o l u t i o n C e n t e r s   tration services. Mediation provides     Criminal Court. This high rate of
Program (CDRC), which assists                    a friendly forum that allows partici-    prosecution reflects the District
thousands of people each year with               pants to vent their feelings openly,     Attorney’s continued commitment
quality-of-life disputes involving               something they cannot do in court,       to improving the quality of life for
family members, neighbors, land-                 and often removes a major obstacle       Bronx residents.
l o rd s a n d l o c a l m e rch a n t s.        to finding a solution.




                                                                                                                         48
Annual Report 1998
  Of f enses In v olving Dri ving Under the Inf luence of
                      Alcohol or Dr ugs

                                         meanor cases and in all of the 21 dis-         The bureau also participates
      Persons driving while intoxicat-   posed felony cases.                      in the New York City Department
ed (DWI) pose a threat to the entire           The bureau continued to work       of Transportation’s Stop DWI
community. In 1998, the Criminal         with the DOT in the state-funded         Criminal Justice Task Force that is
Court Bureau continued its collabora-    Stop DWI Program, which operates         comprised of representatives from
tion with other government agencies      throughout New York City. The            each District Attorney’s office and
such as the NYPD and the New York        program is dedicated to fighting         the NYPD. The Task Force coordi-
City Department of Transportation        drunk driving through public edu-        nates citywide DWI prosecutions,
(DOT) to help obtain convictions in      cation and also assists law enforce-     thus ensuring consistent responses
DWI cases. This year, 663 individuals    ment with monetary, technical, leg-      to a variety of emerging problems.
were arrested in the Bronx and           islative and legal support. To           The Task Force also participates in
charged with misdemeanor offenses        improve coordination of statewide        citywide training of police officers
involving driving under the influence    DWI prosecutions, the Criminal           involved in DWI enforcement. The
of alcohol or drugs, and 32 were         Court Bureau shares its arrest and       bureau’s involvement in this pro-
charged with felonies. (A person can     conviction data with the DOT. As         gram has allowed it to make use of
only be charged with the felony if he    part of its comprehensive involve-       DOT community service programs,
or she is currently charged with DWI     ment in DWI issues, the Office sent      when appropriate, as an alternative
or driving while impaired by drugs,      representatives to the “Stop DWI”        sentencing option for persons con-
and has a prior conviction within the    Enforcement          Prosecution         victed of DWI offenses. In addition,
past 10 years for one of these offens-   Conference that promotes coopera-        some DWI offenders are referred
es.) This Office obtained convictions    tive prosecution efforts among the       for treatment to Bronx Lebanon
in 95% of the 547 disposed misde-        region’s counties.                       Hospital’s Stop DWI Program.




                                                                                                               49
Annual Report 1998
                                                 A ppeals

      Beyond prosecuting cases in       Division and lost only three cases.    won more appeals than defendants
New York State Supreme Court and        Moreover, while defendants won         did, a remarkable accomplishment
the New York City Criminal Court,       only three of their 277 appeals        considering the fact that defen-
the Office of the District Attorney     (1%), the bureau won 10 of its 12      dants appealed cases over 20 times
has responsibility for litigating in    appeals to overturn lower court rul-   more often.
the higher courts of the state and in   ings favorable to felony defendants.         One of the 10 won by the
the federal judicial system.                  This was the third consecu-      People, an appeal of a ruling by a
      In 1998, the Appeals Bureau       tive year that the total number of     Bronx Supreme Court Justice
won an impressive 99% of the 277        successful appeals by defendants       who suppressed evidence, is
appeals by defendants to overturn       went down. It was also the third       described below.
felony convictions in the Appellate     consecutive year that the People

               People v. Keith Boswell
                                                                 making random stops. As such, the court
             As part of the NYPD’s Taxi Livery                   ruled, the police needed reasonable suspi-
       Task Force, a sergeant and police officer                 cion to stop the cab. The court found such
       parked their vehicle at a fixed checkpoint.               reasonable suspicion absent and sup-
       Their plan was to stop every third cab and                pressed the evidence.
       hand out safety literature. When they                            The Appellate Division, First
       observed the third cab, they pulled out,                  Department, reversed the order of the
       pursued the cab and stopped it. As they                   hearing court, holding that the police were
       approached the vehicle, they saw a passen-                in a fixed location and made a proper stop
       ger kick a bag under the seat. When asked                 pursuant to a uniform and non-discrimi-
       about the bag, the passenger denied own-                  natory plan under the guidance of a police
       ership. The police searched the bag and                   supervisor. The court also held that the
       recovered drugs, money and walkie talkies.                minimal pursuit involved did not render
       The passenger was arrested for possession                 the stop constitutionally impermissible.
       of drugs.                                                 Finally, it held that the defendant had
             The hearing court ruled in essence                  abandoned the bag when he disclaimed
       that when the police pursued the cab, they                ownership and that the abandonment was
       were functioning more as a roving patrol                  not caused by illegal police conduct. u




                             MODERNIZING LEGAL RESEARCH


                                        research. Our CD ROM-based             on-line research service was
     In 1998, the Office continued      legal research service was expanded    upgraded to keep pace with the lat-
its efforts to modernize legal          to include state statutes, and the     est software developments. In addi-


                                                                                                               50
Annual Report 1998
tion, the Office entered into an        of legal issues that are maintained   available for the entire Office.
arrangement with the New York           on a computer network. This Office    Judging by the Appeals Bureau’s
Prosecutors Training Institute for      has also been a prime contributor     continued success, the moderniza-
access to its “Brief Bank,” a collec-   of model briefs to the Brief Bank.    tion and expansion of our legal
tion of written arguments in sup-       These enhancements have expand-       research tools are certainly well
port of appeals (briefs) on a variety   ed the range of research resources    worth the resources invested.




                                                                                                         51
Annual Report 1998
                         Community Outreach

      The public often thinks of District Attorneys solely as courtroom advocates. Prosecution of criminal cases,
however, is only part of the job of a modern District Attorney. The Bronx District Attorney and his staff actively
participate in a variety of programs and community activities to better serve the residents of the county.
Furthermore, it has become increasingly clear that collaborative efforts among law enforcement, service providers
and the community greatly enhance each group’s efficacy in preventing crime and improving quality of life.

OPERATION WEED                           fickers, gang members and robbery       Crime Victims Assistance Unit col-
AND S EED
                                         perpetrators in the Weed and Seed       laborated with other Bronx-based
                                         area. The “seeding” strategies          providers of victim services, to cre-
      In 1998, the District Attorney’s
                                         include after-school and evening        ate and organize the annual dis-
Office entered into partnership with
                                         activities for area youth in the pro-   play of the Bronx Clothes-Line
the Office of the U.S. Attorney for
                                         ject’s “Safe Haven,” located in a       Project. This year the event was
the Southern District of New York,
                                         school within the area, and working     held in June as part of “Bronx
the NYPD, Community School
                                         with existing community organiza-       Week 98.” The massive visual dis-
District 8, the Bronx Borough
                                         tions to identify, recruit, train and   play was presented to the public in
President’s Office, other city agen-
                                         organize community leaders.             the Rotunda of the Bronx
cies, the New York State Office of
                                                                                 Supreme Courthouse building.
Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
                                         THE BRONX CLOTHES -                          The rows of t-shirts on the
Services, the Bronx YMCA, Kips
                                         LINE PROJECT                            Clothes-Line provide a window into
Bay Boys and Girls Club, Pathways
                                                                                 the painful lives of those individu-
for Youth, the Bronx Lions Club, and
                                               For the third consecutive         als who are often lost in statistical
community residents to develop and
                                         year, the Bronx District Attorney’s     anonymity. The shirts are decorat-
implement a “Weed and Seed” pro-
gram in the Watson/Boynton,
Soundview and Bruckner neighbor-
hoods of the 43rd Precinct. Weed
and Seed is a federally-funded strate-
gy designed to “weed out” drug traf-
fickers and violent gangs while
“seeding” the community with feder-
al, state and local resources to
improve the quality of life.
      The law enforcement strate-
gies that are part of this collabora-
tion have combined federal and
local resources to identify, target,
arrest and prosecute narcotics traf-


                                                                                                                52
Annual Report 1998
ed with messages, poems, pho-           them in their struggle to heal, and    alizes the issue of public safety.” He
tographs and drawings, created by       is an ongoing source of support and    went on to emphasize that “in edu-
members of a homicide victim’s          inspiration to other victims trying    cating the general public about the
family and by those who have suf-       to come to terms with their abuse      magnitude and challenge of the
fered child abuse, rape and assault.    or loss.                               crime problem, it is important to
The project provides an opportuni-            District Attorney Johnson        illustrate the impact that it has on
ty for these survivors to make their    described the display as a “powerful   individual victims, their families,
voices heard by others who support      and moving experience that person-     friends and neighbors.”

                                    Educa ting the Pub lic
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS                                    KAPOW                           The New York State Mock
UNIT                                                                           Trial Competition is a statewide
                                              KAPOW (Kids and the Power        competition sponsored by the New
      The Community Affairs Unit        of Work) is a program developed by     York State Bar Association.
serves as a liaison between the         the National Child Labor               Assistant district attorneys volun-
District Attorney and the residents     Committee. Fourth graders from         teer their time and are assigned as
of Bronx County. The Office of the      P.S. 95 are exposed to the world of    “team trainers” to various
Bronx District Attorney makes itself    work by staff volunteers from the      parochial and public high schools in
more accessible to the public           Bronx District Attorney’s Office.      the Bronx.
through a variety of community          These volunteers visit the school            The Mentor Program is
outreach activities. These include      monthly and teach students about       designed to make students more
providing speakers and tours of the     various aspects of careers, the        aware of the impact of law on their
courts; offering educational pro-       world of work, etc. The program is     daily lives, increase students’
grams; participating in interagency     highlighted by a visit of the stu-     appreciation of the legal system
committees; attending community         dents to the Office of the Bronx       and provide information on possi-
meetings; and interacting regularly     District Attorney.                     ble careers in law. This office serves
with community residents, neigh-                                               as a “mentor pair” with Morris
borhood leaders and others. This         N.Y.S. High School Mock Trial         High School to work closely with
unit also keeps residents informed of     Competition and the Mentor           the students.
the status of a case as it progresses              Program
through the criminal justice system.                                                       S.T.A.R.
Issues of importance to the commu-           Administered by the Justice         (Students Together Avoiding
nity can be brought to the attention    Resource Center, these programs                     Risk )
of the District Attorney for discus-    offer unique opportunities for
sion and resolution by contacting       high school students to learn               Funded by the federal govern-
the Director of Community Affairs.      more about the legal profession.       ment, the S.T.A.R. program is a


                                                                                                               53
Annual Report 1998
multifaceted approach to battling      District Attorney’s Office to par-         Explorers Legal Program
narcotics and violence. Office staff   ticipate in mock trials. Incidents
participate in a three-part commu-     involving violations of school rules          The Explorers Legal Program
nity outreach program for fifth and    are brought before the mock             provides motivated students with an
sixth grade students and their par-    court, and the children act as          opportunity to explore a career in
ents. The program provides age-        defense counsel, prosecutor and         law. The Office works with the Boy
appropriate information on the         court officer. With help from assis-    Scouts of America to reach out to
staff and operations of the Bronx      tant district attorneys, the partici-   Bronx male and female high school
District Attorney’s Office and the     pants learn how trials are pre-         students who have expressed an
criminal justice system. This pro-     pared and conducted. The pro-           interest in the field and may be
gram also features an anti-violence    gram also assists the students by       interested in participating in such a
and a “say no to drugs” component.     helping them develop effective          program. Explorers meet with assis-
                                       communication skills while learn-       tant district attorneys to discuss
       Constitution Works              ing about the complexities of the       legal careers and the criminal jus-
                                       judicial system.                        tice system. Students are then
     The assistant district attor-                                             divided into teams, each of which
neys conducting this program                   Project J.U.M.P.                has an assistant district attorney
provide high school students            (Juvenile Mentoring Program)           serving as a coach or mentor. The
with a guided tour through the                                                 students use debating techniques to
three branches of government.                Sophomores, Juniors and           develop their advocacy skills. The
Participants learn to spot legal       Seniors from the Law, Justice and       program culminates in a moot
issues, read and understand case       Public Service Academy at               court competition.
law, apply the law to facts and        Theodore Roosevelt High School are
communicate effectively. The           matched with volunteers from the         Precinct Community Council
program provides the students          Bronx District Attorney’s Office on a          Representatives
with leadership, critical thinking     one-to-one basis. In 1998, 66 of
and public speaking skills. They       these volunteers served as mentors to         There are 12 precinct commu-
also receive exposure to a range       provide students with much needed       nity councils in the Bronx that meet
of professions and the opportu-        support and inspiration. Traveling to   monthly. Each of these has an assis-
nity to visualize themselves in        the Office to meet with their mentors   tant district attorney who has been
those roles.                           provides the participants with first-   assigned to attend the meetings and
                                       hand experience of the mentors’         keep abreast of all issues and con-
    People’s Court Program             work environment and how the            cerns of that particular precinct.
           (P.S. 156)                  criminal justice system operates.       The community representatives
                                       Project J.U.M.P. is sponsored by the    ensure that the District Attorney is
     Elementary school students        United Way of New York and Pius         kept informed about issues of signif-
from P.S. 156 travel to the Bronx      XII Community Services.                 icance to the community.


                                                                                                              54
Annual Report 1998
       Tours and Speakers                 way for the District Attorney to        easy to navigate. It also includes a
                                          educate Bronx residents (and oth-       1998 Fact Sheet and the District
      The Community Affairs Unit          ers) about the work of the Office.      Attorney’s viewpoints on selected
coordinates requests for tours and        The site is organized into four basic   issues. A hard copy version of the
speakers. Assistant district attorneys    areas: “About the Office,” “Fighting    Annual Report may also be printed
address community, religious, civic       Crime,” “Press Releases” and            from the site.
and student groups regarding the          “Community Outreach.”                         Press Releases includes all
criminal justice system. Speakers               About the Office includes a       releases issued in 1998 and 1999.
discuss a variety of issues of interest   biographical sketch of the District     The section is organized chronolog-
to the community. In addition, assis-     Attorney; an explanation of the         ically with case summaries and is
tant district attorneys are available     office structure and departments;       text searchable.
to conduct tours of the courthouses       sections on recruitment and litiga-           Community Outreac h
and explain how a case proceeds           tion training; a printable copy of      includes an on-line version of the
through the criminal justice system.      the employment application for          Office brochure: “Victims and
                                          assistant district attorneys; and       Witnesses - Your Day in Court.”
BRONXDA.NET                               directions for contacting and travel-   This section also contains a descrip-
                                          ing to this Office.                     tion of the varied and interesting
     The office has extended its                Fighting Crime is essential-      educational programs which the
community outreach by going on-           ly an on-line version of the Bronx      office supports.
line with an informative website.         District Attorney’s Annual Report,            The website address is:
The website provides an additional        using “hypertext links” to make it      BRONXDA.NET.




                                                                                                                55
Annual Report 1998
                             Worldwide Outreach
                                   Expanding the Comm unity

                                           extends worldwide. The Office is       America, the Caribean and Europe
      While the prosecutorial juris-       visited by prosecutors from differ-    visited to observe our approach to a
diction of the District Attorney is        ent areas within the United States     number of criminal justice issues.
confined to the borders of Bronx           and from other countries. In 1998,
County, the Office’s outreach effort       delegations from Africa, South


                                               UNITED STATES


                                           of the Felony Trial Division of the    and statements of defendants;
       In October District Attorney        Cook County State Attorney’s Office,   they also learned how videotaping
Robert Johnson, members of his             and Thomas P. Needham, General         preserves such evidence for later
Executive Staff and other senior lev-      Counsel to the Superintendent of the   use in court. The Cook County
el assistant district attorneys met with   Chicago Police Department.             State Attorney’s Office and the
representatives of the Cook County              The delegation toured the         Chicago Police Department will
State Attorney’s Office and the            District Attorney’s Video Unit,        use the information gathered from
Chicago Police Department to dis-          which has made more than 25,000        meetings with the District
cuss video technology as an aid to law     video recordings since its incep-      Attorney to determine whether
enforcement. The delegation was            tion in 1976. The participants         and how to implement a videotap-
headed by William T. O’Brien, Chief        viewed videotaped crime scenes         ing system in their jurisdiction.


                                               INTERNATIONAL


DOMINICAN REPUBLIC                         Johnson and a member of the            with the police department. It also
                                           Office’s Senior Staff to a meeting     included site visits and meetings
      The District Attorney invited        of the New York State District         with senior staff at the New York
the District Attorney from Santo           Attorneys Association.                 City Medical Examiner’s Office, the
Domingo, Francisco Dominguez                     In May, Dominican prosecu-       NYPD Crime Lab and the Police
Brito, to visit the Bronx to share         tors Bolivar R. Sanchez Veloz and      Academy. The agenda was devel-
information and expertise. Mr.             Fran Soto Sanchez were sent to the     oped by this Office’s Executive Staff
Brito’s January visit was part of an       Bronx to attend an eight-day work-     and the Chief of Litigation
ongoing effort to forge more coop-         shop that was coordinated by           Training, and included an extensive
erative working relationships with         Administrative Assistant District      review of state-of-the-art scientific
law enforcement officials from             Attorney Alice Velasquez. The          and investigatory tools. The lawyers
other countries. During Mr.                workshop topics focused on investi-    from Santo Domingo are developing
Brito’s visit he accompanied Mr.           gation, prosecution and working        a new specialized investigations unit

                                                                                                                 56
Annual Report 1998
within the Procuraduria Fiscal Del           Mr. Ngcuka is charged with        six-member team of legal, techni-
Distrito Nacional (Office of the       creating a unified and more efficient   cal and financial aides to Sweden’s
District Attorney of the Federal       system of prosecuting criminals. His    top prosecutor was headed by for-
District of the Dominican Republic).   responsibilities include supervision    mer prosecutor Kristina Tollback.
                                       of South Africa’s 11 provincial         Ms. Tollback’s current assignment
SOUTH AFRICA                           Attorneys General and review of         is to develop a more sophisticated
                                       prosecutorial decisions they make to    computer technology system for
       In    September,    District    ensure compliance with whatever         Sweden’s 700 prosecutors (who
Attorney Johnson met with a dele-      uniform policies and guidelines are     have an annual caseload of
gation of prosecutors from South       ultimately adopted.                     350,000 cases).
Africa, headed by their govern-              In addition to Mr. Ngcuka, the          The visitors toured several
ment’s chief law enforcement offi-     South African delegation included       bureaus and examined software
cial, the Honorable Bulelani           Advocate Andre de Vireos SC,            applications; learned about investi-
Ngcuka, National Director of           Attorney General, Johannesburg;         gations into auto theft and other
Public Prosecutions. Mr. Johnson       Advocate Leonard McCarthy,              economic crimes; were informed of
and members of his Executive,          Deputy Attorney General, Northern       a pilot program to prosecute
supervisory and Senior Staff dis-      Cape; Advocate Lungisisle Mahlati,      domestic violence cases more effec-
cussed the organization and admin-     Deputy Attorney General, Eastern        tively; and were provided with an
istration of the Office. The topics    Cape; Advocate Joy Thokozile            overview of the Office’s case man-
presented to the delegation includ-    Majokweni, Deputy Attorney              agement system.
ed vertical prosecution, case pro-     General, Transkei; Hermione                   A highlight of the tour was
cessing, training, investigations,     Cronje, Special Assistant, Office of    the video teleconferencing system
domestic violence/sex crimes, com-     the National Director; Michelle         linking the Complaint Room at the
munity affairs, crime victim assis-    India Baird, Director, Bureau of        Bronx District Attorney’s Office
tance and public information.          Justice Assistance; Lungisa             with each of the borough’s 12
       The meeting was part of a       Dyosi, Senior Planner, Bureau of        police precincts. This system per-
federally-funded, joint project of     Justice Assistance.                     mits police and civilian witnesses
the South African Ministry of                                                  to be interviewed via live, closed-
Justice and the Vera Institute of      SWEDEN                                  circuit television and also facili-
Justice in New York, whose staff                                               tates the preparation, editing, and
arranged the meeting with Mr.                A delegation of high-ranking      signing of accusatory instruments
Johnson. The project was initiat-      administrators from the office of       through which criminal charges
ed to reform and restructure the       Sweden’s Prosecutor General met         are lodged against defendants. The
South African criminal justice         in May with the District Attorney       system has generated significant
system to reduce crime and build       and members of his staff to discuss     savings in time and money by
the public’s trust in the prosecu-     how computer technology is used         allowing arresting officers to
torial service.                        to fight crime in the Bronx. The        return to patrol duty faster.


                                                                                                            57
Annual Report 1998
COLOMBIA                             visit the Office. Topics of discus-    Haiti. This program was designed
                                     sion included the American judicial    to provide emergency training to
     Rafael Lamo-Gomez, the          system and a detailed discussion of    increase the competence of magis-
Consul General of Colombia, met      the video system that Mr.Gomez         trates (a term applied to both pros-
with Mr. Johnson in August. Mr.      had viewed earlier.                    ecutors and judges), and to boost
Gomez toured the District                                                   the public’s confidence in Haiti’s
Attorney’s Complaint Room and        HAITI                                  judicial system. In 1997 the assis-
viewed the automated video system.                                          tant became the project’s Resident
Their meeting was also attended by        In 1995 a Haitian-born assis-     Legal Advisor and was charged
an attorney from the Consul          tant district attorney from this       with establishing and operating the
General’s Legal Office, Robert J.    Office was selected by the United      constitutionally-mandated
Hantman; an Executive Assistant      States Department of Justice,          Magistrate School. He developed a
District Attorney; and Assistant     Criminal Division, to participate in   full-time, seven-month program to
District Attorney Milton Flores      the     overseas      Prosecutorial    train Haitian lawyers to be magis-
who had initially received the       Development, Assistance and            trates; the first class of 60 graduat-
request from the Consul General to   Training (OPDAT) program in            ed in May of this year.




                                                                                                            58
Annual Report 1998
                             Behind the Scenes
                                           Suppor t Ser vices

      Successful prosecution of any type would not be possible without a great deal of “behind the scenes” support
services. These services and programmatic approaches, which include the traditional stenographic services, process
servers and administrative support, enable the Office to process cases efficiently. The Office also relies on inves-
tigative support from its Detective Investigators and the District Attorney’s Detective Squad. Furthermore, each
year technological innovation plays an expanded role in improving the efficiency with which we process cases.


                               TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS

                                        including the case tracking and         resulted in greater system stability.
      The primary goal of the           the Witness Notification systems.       The arrest processing program used
Automation, Communication and           Many of the programs that               in the Complaint Room was also
Infor mation Technolog y Unit in        Office staff have depended upon         enhanced to allow staff to print
1998 was to prepare for the tran-       are too old to be upgraded and          defendant case folders and merge
sition to the new millennium.           will be replaced.                       them with the affidavits signed elec-
This effort included working to               This year the unit enhanced a     tronically in any of the 12 Bronx
ensure Year 2000 compliance for         number of the systems used by           precincts. Personal computers are
all personal computers in the           assistant district attorneys and sup-   now used in the courtroom to col-
Office. To pave the way for a           port staff to process cases. The        lect data in “realtime” during
smooth rollover to the new centu-       Complaint Typing system was com-        arraignment, thus reducing the
ry, staff programmers completed         pletely revised to operate in a         time required to obtain information
changes to mainframe programs,          Windows 95 environment, which           on-line.

                                RECRUITMENT                AND     TRAINING

RECRUITMENT                             for all new assistant district attor-   successful completion of the first
                                        neys in the Bronx. The process          interview, the applicant may be
      The goal of the Recruitment       begins during the fall of each year     invited to return for a panel inter-
Unit is to provide the Office with a    with visits by Office recruiters to     view. The final interview is with
well-qualified staff whose diverse      more than 35 law schools in the         District Attorney Johnson. Most
backgrounds reflect an ability to       northeast, and to regional, national    offers of employment are extended
relate to the community as well as      and minority job fairs.                 by mid-December.
strong interest and achievement in            Bronx County assistant district         In 1998, 1,221 individuals
the fields of criminal law and public   attorneys are selected in a “three      from 141 law schools applied for the
service. To achieve this goal, the      tier” process. First-round interviews   position of Bronx assistant district
unit’s staff supervise and coordinate   are conducted by selected individual    attorney. Of these applicants, 894
the application and hiring process      assistant district attorneys. Upon      (73%) had first-round interviews,

                                                                                                               59
Annual Report 1998
466 (38%) had second (panel) inter-     determined         by       available   the courts of Bronx County and
views, and 169 (14%) were inter-        resources.                              New York State. It also provides
viewed by the District Attorney. Mr.          Student Legal Assistants.         continuing legal education for more
Johnson appointed 67 (5%) of the        The Office employs full-time            experienced ADAs and gives train-
original applicants as assistant dis-   Student Legal Assistants who help       ing seminars designed to assist
trict attorneys.                        attorneys prepare cases for trial.      police officers in becoming better
       The Recruitment Unit makes       Only those students who are             witnesses and investigators.
a special effort to attract applica-    enrolled in evening law school and            The Basics. New assistant
tions from qualified women, peo-        are in their 2nd or 3rd year are con-   district attorneys participated in
ple of color and others from            sidered. A number of Student            the      Orientation         Training
diverse backgrounds. As a result,       Legal Assistants have been appoint-     Program, during which lectures,
minority representation on the          ed to be assistant district attorneys   workshops and hands-on simula-
legal staff of the Office has           after their graduation.                 tions are presented to teach them
increased over the years. In 1989,                                              about the stages of criminal pros-
24% of the legal staff were people      TRAINING                                ecution. This program includes
of color. At the end of 1998, there                                             training in professional ethics and
were 132 Bronx assistant district             The Office’s Litigation           a range of technical skills, such as
attorneys who were people of col-       Training Unit has been certified by     interviewing witnesses, evaluating
or, 32% of the legal staff.             the Continuing Legal Education          evidence to charge defendants
Furthermore, 37 of the 67 assis-        Board of the New York State             appropriately, proper disclosure to
tant district attorneys hired in        Office of Court Administration as       the defense, preparing accusatory
1998 were women; and as of              an Accredited Provider of continu-      instruments, plea negotiation,
December 31, 1998, 52% of the           ing legal education in New York.        making a proper record and
legal staff were women.                 This privilege and responsibility is    appropriate courtroom behavior
       Internships. During the          particularly significant since both     and demeanor. Participants also
fall and spring semesters, the          newly recruited and veteran attor-      receive specialized training on
District Attorney provides oppor-       neys are required to obtain speci-      penal and procedural law and
tunities for law students to work       fied amounts of continuing legal        instruction on reading a criminal
as interns in the Office for acade-     education credit on an on-going         history report (“rap sheet”).
mic credit. These interns help          basis to qualify for registration as          The new ADAs also hear from
assistant district attorneys pre-       an attorney admitted to practice in     members of the Bronx community, a
pare cases for trial. Additionally,     this state.                             member of the NYPD, members of the
each summer the Office conducts               The unit conducts a variety of    defense bar, and the Administrative
an eight-week internship program        programs to enhance the skills of       Judge of Bronx Criminal Court. Upon
for law students. The interns in        newly hired assistant district attor-   completing orientation, most new ADAs
this program receive a small            neys and familiarize them with          are assigned to the Criminal Court
stipend, the amount of which is         methods and practices particular to     Bureau to prosecute non-felony offenses.


                                                                                                                 60
Annual Report 1998
      Criminal Court Trial               bureaus. Despite the extremely rig-             Police Recruit Training.
Advocacy. In 1998 this training          orous nature of the program, par-        This year, as in years past, the
was provided to 86 assistant district    ticipants consistently give it high      District Attorney personally lec-
attorneys in various bureaus who         marks for being effective and useful.    tured all new police recruits
prosecute misdemeanor charges in               The program uses a combina-        assigned to Bronx County. This lec-
the New York City Criminal Court.        tion of lecture, demonstration and       ture was supplemented by presenta-
Through this component, partici-         mock exercises to help build trial       tions at the Police Academy by sea-
pants are drilled in case and witness    preparation skills and courtroom         soned assistant district attorneys.
preparation and learn about all          technique and to guide participants      To prepare police recruits for court-
stages of a trial, from jury selection   through the difficult process of try-    room testimony, the unit presented
to jury charge. Training sessions        ing a felony case. A simulated trial     periodic lectures and workshops on
meet for two hours, three after-         folder, constructed for trial training   effective presentation of evidence
noons per week, over a three-week        by an in-house committee, infuses        in the courtroom.
period. Since the ADAs are in court      the exercise with an extraordinary              The Co-Counsel Program.
during the earlier part of the day,      degree of realism.                              When assistant district attor-
they can quickly put into practice             The participants focus on          neys start trying low-level felony
what they learn in their training and    witness preparation, motion              cases and when they “graduate”
receive feedback from training staff.    practice, rules of evidence and          to trying homicides, they benefit
      Grand Jury Practice.               discovery, with special emphasis         particularly from very close super-
Upon assignment to the Grand             on the importance of disclosing          vision. As a result, the Bronx
Jury and Evaluation Bureau or to a       evidence necessary to the                District Attorney developed a pol-
felony caseload in one of the spe-       defense. The program prepares            icy that requires a “junior” assis-
cial bureaus (i.e., Investigations,      them to conduct specialized              tant to have a “second-seat” (co-
Domestic Violence/Sex Crimes or          aspects of a trial by focusing on        counsel) prior to trying his or her
Appeals), ADAs attend lectures           jury selection (voir dire), direct       first case (or first homicide) in any
regarding all aspects of grand jury      and cross examinations, opening          felony trial bureau.
practice. They get additional prac-      statements, summations and sup-                 Basically, the Co-Counsel
tical training through assignment        pression hearings.                       Program works like this. The junior
to “shadow” a more experienced                 The Litigation Training Unit       assistant first sits as “co-counsel”
prosecutor within the bureau.            continues to have staff personally       through a veteran prosecutor’s trial.
This year 30 ADAs received               consult with each Bronx judge            A veteran will then sit as co-counsel
Grand Jury training.                     assigned to try felony cases to get      for the junior assistant first trying
      Felony Trial Advocacy.             that justice’s ground rules regarding    his or her own case. If a particular
The unit provided training in            jury selection. The unit then com-       junior assistant requires further sec-
felony trial advocacy to 46 assistant    piles these rules and distributes        ond-seating, it will be provided. As
district attorneys who had recently      them to the program participants         noted, some “junior” assistants are
been assigned to felony trial            and the rest of the legal staff.         actually veterans about to try their


                                                                                                                  61
Annual Report 1998
first homicide case. The increased        Law Enforcement, and Police/Citizen       one through homicide and losing
level of difficulty makes appropri-       Encounters.” Additionally, 17 mem-        one through natural causes, and on
ate the assignment of a veteran           bers of the supervisory staff received    the clinical support needs of the
homicide prosecutor as co-counsel.        training on recognizing and reporting     survivors of homicide victims.
      The program, which is coor-         child abuse.                                      Survivors’ Bereavement:
dinated by the District Attorney’s                Homicide Survivors                Their Own Stories was facilitated
Chief Trial Counsel, uses a com-          Tr a i n i n g P r o g r a m              by faculty drawn from the staff and
puterized database to make appro-                 This program, designed to help    featured a panel of survivors who told
priate match-ups of junior and vet-       assistant district attorneys understand   the stories of the murder of their
eran assistants.                          and deal appropriately with people        loved ones; the impact the homicide
      Other Training. In addition         whose loved ones were homicide vic-       had and continues to have on their
to legal education, training for legal    tims, was offered by the Office for the   lives; their interaction with the crimi-
and some support staff is provided        first time in 1998. It was divided into   nal justice system; and the support sys-
either in-house or at other facilities.   the following three segments:             tems they used in the recovery process.
For example, 31 ADAs drawn from all               Psychodynamics of                         Prosecution and Sur-
bureaus attended a seminar at St.         Bereavement was presented by              vivors: Meeting the Needs was
John’s Law School entitled “Terry v.      psychiatric professionals. This seg-      presented by experienced prosecu-
Ohio Thirty Years Later: A                ment focused on understanding the         tors to help improve their colleagues’
Conference on the 4th Amendment,          difference between losing a loved         skills in interacting with survivors.




                                                                                                                     62
Annual Report 1998
              Organizational Glossary
        Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County

Department               Description
ADMINISTRATION AND   Administration and Support Division staff prepare budgets, payrolls, grants,
SUPPORT DIVISION     statistical analyses and planning reports; recruit, hire, train and evaluate support
                     staff; administer fringe benefits; file and store records; renovate, enhance and
                     operate office space; purchase and distribute supplies and office equipment;
                     maintain telecommunications and automated systems; provide accountability to
                     federal, state and city officials; meet all production needs and generally further
                     the effective and efficient prosecution of crime.
APPEALS BUREAU       Appeals Bureau is primarily responsible for litigation in the appellate courts of
                     the state and at all levels in the federal judicial system. The bureau also litigates
                     whether defendants who have been found not responsible by reason of insanity
                     at trial are ready for release from psychiatric hospitalization.
ARSON/ECONOMIC       See Investigations Division
CRIME BUREAU
                     See Investigations Division
ASSET FORFEITURE
UNIT
AUTOMATION           Automation, Communication and Information Technology Unit operates the
COMMUNICATION AND    data processing applications and information system databases within the office.
INFORMATION          The most widely used of these technologies are the mainframe defendant data-
                     base (BXDA/AJIS) that tracks cases and provides information for statistical
TECHNOLOGY UNIT
                     reports and the in-house personal computer applications that have automated
                     most functions in this office. The Office’s video teleconferencing system links all
                     12 Bronx police precincts and certain police drug enforcement units to the
                     District Attorney’s Complaint Room. Staff also have direct access to legal data-
                     bases, judicial decisions and citations through CD-Rom libraries and modem
                     (telephone) linkage.
CHILD ABUSE          See Domestic Violence/Sex Offense Bureau
RESPONSE UNIT
CITIZEN COMPLAINT    See Investigations Division
UNIT
COMMUNITY AFFAIRS    Community Affairs Unit serves as a liaison between the District Attorney and
UNIT                 the Bronx community. The Office of the Bronx District Attorney makes itself more
                     accessible to the public through participation in interagency committees, atten-
                     dance at community meetings and consistent interaction with community resi-
                     dents, neighborhood leaders and others. This unit is also able to keep residents
                     informed of a case’s status as it progresses through the criminal justice system.
                     Issues of importance to the community can be brought to the attention of the
                     District Attorney for discussion and resolution by contacting the Director of
                     Community Affairs.
CRIME VICTIMS        Crime Victims Assistance Unit (CVAU) provides Bronx crime victims with a
ASSISTANCE UNIT      wide variety of services. The major categories of services provided by the CVAU

                                                                                                    63
Annual Report 1998
              Organizational Glossary
        Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County

Department               Description

                     are Emotional Supportive Services (e.g., crisis intervention, supportive counsel-
                     ing, short and long term on site therapy for sexual assault survivors and informa-
                     tion and referrals); Client Advocacy Services (including advocacy with communi-
                     ty-based organizations and government agencies); Emergency Assistance (e.g.,
                     relocation assistance and motel/hotel and shelter placements); Application
                     Assistance (primarily helping victims or their family apply for New York State
                     Crime Victims Board compensation benefits); Court Accompaniment (which
                     involves having an advocate accompany an individual to court for trial testimo-
                     ny); and Transportation Services (e.g., out-of-town travel or ambulette/ambu-
                     lance services). The Multidisciplinary Team on Child Physical and Sexual
                     Abuse is composed of representatives from this Office, the Administration for
                     Children’s Services, the Bronx Special Victims Squad of the NYPD, the Child
                     Sexual Assault Unit of Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, local hospitals
                     and school boards. The team’s activities are intended to improve prosecution
                     and provide services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse. The Team’s
                     coordinator is on the staff of the Office and is supervised by the Director of the
                     CVAU.
CRIMINAL COURT       Criminal Court Bureau is responsible for the prosecution of most non-felony
BUREAU               cases. The bureau also works closely with the local police precincts to respond
                     to quality-of-life conditions, such as prostitution, graffiti and marijuana locations,
                     that are disturbing to community residents. The Community Service Program
                     offers a productive alternative to incarceration for certain nonviolent defendants
                     convicted of misdemeanors. Defendants sentenced to community service per-
                     form meaningful work such as cleaning roadways, parks and subway stations of
                     dirt and graffiti. These services allow the defendant to “pay off” his/her offense
                     by helping to improve the quality of life in the Bronx. Educational Outreach pro-
                     vides an alternative to prosecution for certain nonviolent defendants charged
                     with misdemeanors. Defendants considered for the program are those individu-
                     als between the ages of 16 and 25 who have no prior felony convictions. Those
                     accepted are referred to a variety of community-based programs and the New
                     York City Board of Education.
DETECTIVE            Detective Investigators (D.I.s) are police officers employed by the District
INVESTIGATORS        Attorney. They conduct a variety of investigative and support functions related to
                     the proper working of the Office and to the prosecution of defendants arrested
                     and charged with crimes. In addition, the D.I.s and the Detective Squad (see
                     below) work as the investigative arms for the Rackets and Arson/Economic
                     Crime Bureaus.
DETECTIVE SQUAD      Detective Squad is comprised of detectives and supervisors from the New York
                     City Police Department, assigned to assist the District Attorney in the investiga-
                     tion of criminal conduct. In performing that assignment, the Detective Squad
                     works closely with the Detective Investigators (see above). The squad also
                     works cooperatively with assistant district attorneys from all bureaus in the Office
                     and with a variety of city, state and federal agencies.


                                                                                                     64
Annual Report 1998
              Organizational Glossary
        Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County

Department                Description
DOMESTIC              Domestic Violence/Sex Offense Bureau (DVS) prosecutes all felonies and misde-
VIOLENCE/SEX          meanors involving violence by a family member, sexual assault or abuse and
OFFENSE BUREAU        crimes against children. The chief, deputy chief and all supervisors in the bureau
                      are experienced trial attorneys. The Child Abuse Response Unit is comprised of
                      legal, support and investigative staff and is responsible for screening reports of sus-
                      pected child abuse and maltreatment referred by the Administration for Children’s
                      Services to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted.
EDUCATIONAL           See Criminal Court Bureau
OUTREACH PROGRAM
GRAND JURY AND        Grand Jury and Evaluation Bureau is responsible for the initial screening and
EVALUATION BUREAU     gathering of documentation on all non-narcotic felony cases in the Complaint
                      Room. The bureau then handles most of those cases, except for those prosecut-
                      ed by DVS and the Investigations Division, at the Grand Jury investigation
                      stage. During that stage, cases are further screened and carefully evaluated to
                      ensure that appropriate action is taken. The Grand Jury and Evaluation Bureau,
                      whose chief also functions as the District Attorney’s Chief of Homicide, oversees
                      all incoming homicide cases and all ongoing homicide investigations. The
                      bureau also prosecutes most of the homicide cases through the indictment
                      phase, after which they are sent to the Trial Division.
INVESTIGATIONS        Investigations Division consists of the Rackets Bureau, the Arson/Economic
DIVISION              Crime Bureau, Major Case/Housing Task Force, the Citizen Complaint Unit
                      and the Asset Forfeiture Unit. The division is responsible for investigating and
                      prosecuting a wide variety of criminal conduct and for making appropriate refer-
                      rals to other agencies when criminal prosecution is inappropriate. The primary
                      areas of responsibility of the Rackets Bureau are organized crime; official cor-
                      ruption; crimes committed in correctional facilities and excessive use of force by
                      police and correction officers. The Arson/Economic Crime Bureau has respon-
                      sibility for investigating and prosecuting arson, economic crime and auto theft.
                      The Major Case/Housing Task Force prosecutes homicides and violent felony
                      offenses committed in and around public housing developments in the Bronx.
                      The unit also investigates and prosecutes drug rings in Bronx County. The
                      Citizen Complaint Unit serves as liaison to the community by receiving and
                      investigating citizen complaints. In matters in which criminal jurisdiction is inap-
                      propriate, the unit serves as a referral agency to other organizations such as the
                      State Attorney General, administrative agencies and consumer protection
                      groups. The Asset Forfeiture Unit brings civil actions to recover assets which
                      are the proceeds of criminal activities. The unit works in conjunction with the
                      police department and federal agencies.
LITIGATION TRAINING   Litigation Training Unit has been certified by the Continuing Legal Education
UNIT                  Board of the New York State Office of Court Administration as an Accredited
                      Provider of continuing legal education in New York. This privilege and responsi-
                      bility in particularly significant since both newly recruited and veteran attorneys

                                                                                                       65
Annual Report 1998
              Organizational Glossary
        Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County

Department              Description
                     are required to obtain specified amounts of continuing legal education credit on
                     an ongoing basis to qualify for registration as an attorney admitted to practice in
                     this state. One obvious benefit of the District Attorney’s in-house, on-site training
                     is that the assistant district attorneys do not have to pay expensive fees or
                     waste considerable time traveling to receive it. Most importantly, though, it pro-
                     vides the assistants with programs tailored to meet their highly specialized
                     needs. For example, the unit conducts a variety of presentations designed to
                     familiarize the new ADAs with methods and practices particular to the criminal
                     courts of Bronx County and New York State. In addition to training the District
                     Attorney’s staff, the unit also gives training seminars to police officers to assist
                     them in becoming better witnesses and investigators.
MAJOR CASE/HOUSING   See Investigations Division.
TASK FORCE


MULTIDISCIPLINARY    See Crime Victims Assistance Unit.
TEAM ON CHILD
PHYSICAL AND
SEXUAL ABUSE


NARCOTICS BUREAU     Narcotics Bureau investigates and prosecutes felony offenses relating to pos-
                     session and sale of controlled substances, including heroin and crack cocaine.
                     The bureau’s Narcotics Eviction Unit utilizes the “bawdy house” provisions of
                     the New York State Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law to terminate the
                     leases of individuals who use their apartments or commercial premises to sell,
                     store or package illegal drugs.
RACKETS BUREAU       See Investigations Division.
RECRUITMENT UNIT     Recruitment Unit supervises and coordinates the application and hiring process
                     for all new Bronx assistant district attorneys.
TRIAL DIVISION       Trial Division investigates and prosecutes a wide variety of felonious criminal
                     conduct including homicide, robbery, burglary, illegal gun possession and
                     assault. The division is supervised by a chief and consists of four trial bureaus,
                     each headed by an experienced chief and deputy. Each supervisor in the divi-
                     sion is an experienced trial attorney.
VIDEO UNIT           Video Unit is primarily responsible for providing 24-hour support to assistant
                     district attorneys investigating homicides and other serious felonies. Technicians
                     record on videotape crime scenes and statements by defendants and witnesses,
                     and preserve them for use as evidence in court. In addition, the unit provides
                     valuable assistance to prosecution bureaus by obtaining videotaped statements
                     from hospitalized witnesses and victims.

                                                                                                    66
Annual Report 1998
           1998 Statistical Highlights
        Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County
Office-wide
     l For the third consecutive year, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office obtained more felony convictions`
       resulting in state prison sentences than any other district attorney’s office in New York State.
     l Had the lowest Supreme Court felony dismissal rate of the four largest counties in New York City.
Appeals Bureau
     l Won 99% of cases brought by defendants to overturn felony convictions.
     l Won 97% of all the cases it litigated.
     l While defendants convicted of felonies won only three of 277 cases they brought to challenge their con-
       victions, the bureau won 10 of 12 cases it brought to overturn rulings favorable to felony defendants.
Asset Forfeiture Unit
     l Subjected $1,653,917 in assets to forfeiture under New York State C.P.L.R. Article 13-A. The Office
       shared the money with various authorized recipients including the New York State Office of Alcohol and
       Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the City of New York and the NYPD.
     l Also subjected $479,746 in assets to forfeiture under federal law; money was shared with federal author-
       ities and the NYPD.
     l Over the past 12 years, this Office, pursuant to law, has provided OASAS with $2,678,625 for drug treat-
       ment and other rehabilitative services.
Crime Victims Assistance Unit
     l Provided initial services to 2,534 victims, witnesses and their families.
     l Major services provided by the unit include information and referrals (27%); supportive counseling
       (25%); emergency assistance (16%); personal advocacy (11%); transportation (12%); criminal justice
       advocacy (3%); crisis counseling (3%); Crime Victims Board applications and affidavits (3%); and court
       accompaniment (1%).
     l Services were provided to victims and witnesses in robbery or assault cases (42%); in homicide cases
       (11%); in cases of sex crimes involving children (14%) and adults (6%); in domestic violence cases (15%);
       in child or elder abuse cases (1%); and in cases involving other violent crimes (11%).
Criminal Court Bureau
     l Handled 49,041 misdemeanor cases.
     l Had lowest overall dismissal rate of any New York City county.
     l Achieved a 95% conviction rate in misdemeanor DWI cases.
     l Bronx defendants were ordered to perform 232,240 hours of community service, an increase of 37% over 1997.
     l Bronx Community Dispute Resolution Center (CDRC) cases represent 75% of the city’s CDRC cases
       selected by District Attorney’s Offices to be prosecuted in Criminal Court. All selected cases in the Bronx
       involved domestic violence.
Detective Investigators
     l Investigated 303 allegations of child abuse and made arrests in 45 of the cases.
     l Conducted 326 investigations involving location of missing, reluctant or additional witnesses.
     l Arrested 47 defendants who failed to return to court for sentence after conviction.

                                                                                                           67
Annual Report 1998
            1998 Statistical Highlights
         Of fice of the District Attor ne y, Br onx County
Detective Squad
      l Handled 1,007 service requests.
      l Transported 68 prisoners for extradition and other purposes.
      l Conducted over 63 lineups for assistant district attorneys.
      l Conducted 2,460 criminal history checks.
Domestic Violence / Sex Offense Bureau
      l Achieved an 86% felony conviction rate.
      l Screened in excess of 4,000 domestic violence cases.
Investigations Division
      l Achieved an 89% felony conviction rate.
      l Helped recover stolen automobiles valued at close to $600,000.
Narcotics Bureau
      l Responsible for 65% of the Office’s felony prosecutions.
      l Achieved a 95% felony conviction rate.
      l Sent 2,787 defendants to prison for felony drug charges, more than any other county in the state.
      l Felony narcotics prosecutions increased 16% over 1997.
      l 71.9% of defendants prosecuted for crimes involving controlled substances received, either a state prison
        or jail sentence ( 60.7 % and 11.2% respectively).
      l Since its inception, a total of 1,241 defendants have been sentenced to alternative to incarceration drug
        treatment through the DTAAD program; another 1,478 offenders have been placed in treatment
        through TASC.
      l The bureau’s Narcotics Eviction Unit closed 301 drug locations, an increase of 13% over 1997.
Recruitment Unit
      l Reviewed the applications of 1,221 candidates from over 140 law schools.
      l By the end of 1998, there were 132 Bronx assistant district attorneys who were members of a minority
        group.
      l 37 of the 67 assistant district attorneys hired in 1998 were women.
Trial Division
      l The trial division’s overall conviction rate was 80%.
      l Achieved a 100% conviction rate in felony DWI cases.




                                                                                                          68
Annual Report 1998

				
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