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TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD This product covers Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut **TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS MOVING NORTHWARD ALONG THE EASTERN SEABOARD** NEW INFORMATION --------------- * CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - The Tropical Storm Watch has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning for Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Western Passaic * CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS: - A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Bronx, Eastern Bergen, Eastern Essex, Eastern Passaic, Eastern Union, Hudson, Kings (Brooklyn), New York (Manhattan), Northeastern Suffolk, Northern Fairfield, Northern Middlesex, Northern Nassau, Northern New Haven, Northern New London, Northern Queens, Northern Westchester, Northwestern Suffolk, Orange, Putnam, Richmond (Staten Island), Rockland, Southeastern Suffolk, Southern Fairfield, Southern Middlesex, Southern Nassau, Southern New Haven, Southern New London, Southern Queens, Southern Westchester, Southwestern Suffolk, Western Bergen, Western Essex, Western Passaic, and Western Union * STORM INFORMATION: - About 770 miles south-southwest of New York City NY or about 850 miles southwest of Montauk Point NY - 30.7N 80.1W - Storm Intensity 70 mph - Movement North or 360 degrees at 13 mph SITUATION OVERVIEW ------------------ Tropical Storm Isaias, located off the north Florida coast, will continue to move to the north this morning, turning north-northeast this afternoon along the southeast coast. Isaias will continue moving northeast tonight over Eastern North Carolina. Isaias will slowly weaken as it accelerates northeast on Tuesday, likely moving over our area Tuesday afternoon and evening. There is still some timing and intensity uncertainty with this storm. However, confidence continues to increase with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts. The main threats with this system involve heavy rainfall, strong winds, minor to moderate coastal flooding, along with high surf and dangerous rip currents. Locally heavy rain is expected with a widespread 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts up to 6 inches possible. The heaviest rain is most likely to occur across New York City, Northeast New Jersey and the Lower Hudson Valley early Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening, and eastern sections Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night. The strongest winds are likely to occur across Long Island, southern Westchester and southern Connecticut, and the New York City and New Jersey Metro areas. Dangerous marine conditions are likely across all of the coastal waters Tuesday and Tuesday night. High surf and dangerous rip currents are expected along the ocean beaches Monday through Wednesday. The effects from Tropical Storm Isaias are expected to diminish quickly from southwest to northeast across the area Tuesday night. POTENTIAL IMPACTS ----------------- * FLOODING RAIN: Prepare for life-threatening rainfall flooding having possible extensive impacts across northeast New Jersey, New York City, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Potential impacts include: - Major rainfall flooding may prompt many evacuations and rescues. - Rivers and streams may rapidly overflow their banks in multiple places. Small streams, creeks, canals, and ditches may become dangerous rivers. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed. - In hilly terrain, destructive runoff may run quickly down valleys, and increase susceptibility to rockslides and mudslides. - Flood waters can enter many structures within multiple communities, some structures becoming uninhabitable or washed away. Many places where flood waters may cover escape routes. Streets and parking lots become rivers of moving water with underpasses submerged. Driving conditions become dangerous. Many road and bridge closures with some weakened or washed out. * WIND: Prepare for dangerous wind having possible significant impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - Some damage to roofing and siding materials, along with damage to porches, awnings, carports, and sheds. A few buildings experiencing window, door, and garage door failures. Mobile homes damaged, especially if unanchored. Unsecured lightweight objects become dangerous projectiles. - Several large trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Several fences and roadway signs blown over. - Some roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. A few bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable. - Scattered power and communications outages, but more prevalent in areas with above ground lines. * SURGE: Prepare for locally hazardous surge having possible limited impacts across shoreline communities. Potential impacts in this area include: - Localized inundation with storm surge flooding mainly along immediate shorelines and in low lying spots, or in areas farther inland near where higher surge waters move ashore. - Sections of near shore roads and parking lots become overspread with surge water. Driving conditions dangerous in places where surge water covers the road. - Moderate beach erosion. Heavy surf also breaching dunes, mainly in usually vulnerable locations. Strong and frequent rip currents. - Minor to locally moderate damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. A few small craft broken away from moorings. * TORNADOES: Prepare for a tornado event having possible limited impacts across Southeast New York, Northeast New Jersey, and Southern Connecticut. Potential impacts include: - The occurrence of isolated tornadoes can hinder the execution of emergency plans during tropical events. - A few places may experience tornado damage, along with power and communications disruptions. - Locations could realize roofs peeled off buildings, chimneys toppled, mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned, large tree tops and branches snapped off, shallow rooted trees knocked over, moving vehicles blown off roads, and small boats pulled from moorings.

A.G. Underwood And State Police Superintendent Beach Announce Takedown Of Telephone Extortion Ring

LongIsland.com

Defendants Engaged in Elaborate Telephone Scam to Extort Money from Victims by Threatening to Shoot Their Relatives if They Did Not Pay Ransom.

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New York, NY - May 29, 2018 - Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood and State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II today announced the arrests of ringleader Giovani Ayala-Rodriguez, a.k.a. “George Peters,” 27, of Puerto Rico, and co-conspirators Eligio Jimenez-Correa, 40, of Syracuse, and Orlando Gonzalez-Rivera, 26, of Syracuse, for their roles in an elaborate telephone extortion scheme that operated in Onondaga and other counties throughout New York. The indictment, unsealed in Onondaga County Court, charges the defendants with multiple counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a Class “C” felony), attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a Class “D” felony), Coercion in the First Degree (a Class “D” felony), and Conspiracy in Fourth Degree (a Class “E” felony). 
 
“As we allege, the defendants engaged in a shameful scheme to terrorize and rob New Yorkers,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Today’s takedown should send an unmistakable message to those who seek to extort New Yorkers: you will not get away with it.”
 
“Our investigation uncovered a ruthless scheme designed to extort money from the victims through fear and intimidation, and this type of criminal activity simply will not be tolerated. I commend our Special Investigations Unit and our partners at the Attorney General’s Office for their hard work to hold these suspects accountable for their actions, and deliver justice for their victims,” said State Police Superintendent Beach.
 
The investigation has identified over 55 victims of this scheme, not only in Onondaga County, but also in Kings, Nassau, Oneida, Madison, Oswego, Cayuga, Niagara, Cortland, and Genesee Counties.
 
This case was the result of a joint investigation by the New York State Police (“NYSP”) and the New York State Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau. After multiple complaints from victims who received telephone calls from an individual claiming to have kidnapped or otherwise detained their family members, the NYSP and the Attorney General’s Office opened an investigation into an ongoing larceny by extortion scheme occurring in Onondaga County and elsewhere in New York State; in March 2018, the agencies issued a consumer alert warning New Yorkers of this scheme.  
 
According to the indictment filed in Onondaga County Court and statements made by prosecutors at arraignment, Ayala-Rodriguez, Jimenez-Correa, and Gonzalez-Rivera allegedly conducted an elaborate larceny by extortion scheme that operated as follows: Ayala-Rodriguez called victims and claimed that their close relatives were in a car accident that resulted in injury to his nephew. Ayala-Rodriguez claimed to have taken the victim’s sibling, spouse, or parent from the purported accident scene to a nearby residence. During the conversation, Ayala-Rodriguez demanded money from the victim, claiming that his injured relative did not have any insurance to pay related bills. Ayala-Rodriguez threatened to cause physical harm to the victims’ family members if a ransom was not paid. To further instill fear and compliance with his demands, Ayala-Rodriguez claimed that he was a drug dealer and/or gang member. When certain victims hesitated to comply with his demands, Ayala-Rodriguez threatened to shoot their relatives. 
 
As further set forth in the indictment and based on statements made by prosecutors, some victims were allegedly directed to pay the ransom money by following a series of instructions to deliver the money to specific locations, some in the vicinity of Westcott and East Fayette Streets, in the City of Syracuse. In other instances, victims were allegedly directed to pay ransom money using various forms of wire transfers to specific accounts in the United States and/or Puerto Rico, including Walmart-to-Walmart transfers. According to prosecutors, Jimenez-Correa and Orlando-Rivera participated in the scheme by picking up monies delivered by victims.
 
After paying the ransom money, victims were allegedly directed to area hospitals to pick up their relatives, only to learn that they were the victims of an elaborate and terrifying hoax, and that their relatives had never been in car accidents or abducted.
 
The Attorney General’s indictment charges the defendants with the following crimes related to five victims of the alleged extortion scheme: alleged ringleader Ayala-Rodriguez is charged with three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, three counts of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, three counts of Coercion in the First Degree, and one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. Jimenez-Correa is charged with two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, two counts of Coercion in the First Degree, and one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. Gonzalez-Rivera is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Coercion in the First Degree, and one count of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree.
 
Alleged ringleader Ayala-Rodriguez was apprehended last Friday in the Bronx, after flying to New York from Puerto Rico.  Ayala-Rodriguez was arraigned today on the indictment before the Honorable Judge Doran in Onondaga County Court; bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1,000,000 bond, and he was ordered to surrender his passport.  Ayala-Rodriguez is next scheduled to appear on June 21, 2018.  Jimenez-Correa and Gonzalez-Rivera were apprehended in Syracuse, and are scheduled for arraignment on May 31, 2018. 
 
If convicted of all counts charged, Ayala-Rodriguez and Jimenez-Correa face up to 10 to 20 years in prison; Gonzalez-Rivera faces up to 7 1/3 to 20 years in prison.
 
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
 
The NYSP and OAG investigation of additional crimes is ongoing. Any New Yorker who believes they may have been a victim of this scheme should immediately contact the New York State Police at 1-800-GIVETIP.
 
Attorney General Underwood reminds New Yorkers of the following tips to avoid falling victim to this type of extortion scheme: 
 
If the caller is a stranger, be alert. Be aware that this type of extortion scam depends on fear. The scammer knows they need to work quickly to obtain your money because you may try to take steps, even while on the phone with the scammer, to figure out if your relative is in actual danger. Scammers will try to keep you on the line. 
 
  • Never give out personal information to a stranger on the phone.
  • Never wire money through Western Union, MoneyGram, or any other wire service to a stranger.
  • Never purchase gift or money cards for the purpose of providing the gift card numbers to someone else.
  • Immediately contact the police if you get a call like the ones described here.
The Office of the Attorney General thanks the New York State Police, Syracuse Police Department, Port Authority Police Department, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, Manilus Police Department, Syracuse Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Department of Homeland Security for their invaluable assistance on this case.
 
The New York State Police investigation was conducted by Investigator Casey A. Cook, along with members from the State Police Special Investigations Unit and the Troop D Major Crime Unit.
 
The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Joel Cordone under the supervision of Deputy Chief Antoine Karam, with the assistance of Investigators Steven Pratt and Ismael Hernandez under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Michael Leahy and Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief Dominick Zarrella.
 
The criminal case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Andrew J. Tarkowski and John R. Healy of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Analyst Joseph Conniff and Supervising Legal Analyst Paul Strocko. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph G. D’Arrigo. The Criminal Division is led by Margaret Garnett, Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.