Mineola, NY - February 20, 2014 - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced that a jury found two men guilty today in a trial involving members of the violent “Rollin’ 60s” gang who were arrested as part of the largest gang bust in Nassau County history. The jury found a third defendant not guilty.
Kwame Lake, 22, of Hempstead; Derick Hernandez, 22, of Roosevelt; and Kurtis Phillip, 22, of Uniondale, were charged with one count of Robbery in the 1st Degree, one count of Robbery of the 2nd Degree, and one count of Robbery of the 3rd Degree.
Lake was found guilty of Robbery in the 2nd Degree (a C violent felony). Hernandez was found guilty of Robbery in the 3rd Degree (a D felony). Phillip was acquitted. The jury deliberated for 1-1/2 days.
Lake faces up to 3-1/2 to 15 years in prison. Hernandez faces up to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. Prosecutors are recommending the maximum sentence for both men. Sentencing for Lake and Hernandez is scheduled for March 14 before Nassau County Court Judge William Donnino.
“We respect the jury’s verdict in this first trial of the largest gang takedown in Nassau County history, and will be requesting the maximum sentences allowed,” DA Rice said. “Two brazen criminals will pay the price for their actions, and we will continue the prosecution of the other defendants.”
Prosecutors said the men lured a local business owner to a residential street in Hempstead in the early afternoon of Feb. 10, 2013. The men then robbed the victim of his wallet, ID, about $1,000 in cash and property worth over $2,000.
Lake and Hernandez are members of the “Rollin’ 60s,” a gang that is affiliated with the Crips and has been prosecuted for various offenses. Both men were arrested in April 2013 as a result of a year-long collaborative investigation between DA Rice’s office, the Nassau County Police Department and the FBI to take down the violent set of the Crips street gang that has been operating in Roosevelt since approximately 2001.
DA Rice’s Street Narcotics & Gang Bureau is prosecuting the case. Lake is represented by Christopher Graziano, Esq.; Hernandez is represented by Joseph Lo Piccolo, Esq.; Phillip is represented by Jeffrey Groder, Esq.