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City Sues Street Gang


The Queens Plaza area is located at the foot of the Queensboro Bridge. A New York DWI Lawyer said it is one of the major entranceways to Queens and indeed to the rest of Long Island. In addition to being a conduit for the vehicular traffic to and from Manhattan over the bridge, the area is a major hub for public transportation, where all three subway lines serving the City meet and have stations. Several urban gangs had commandeered a residential neighborhood for their drug crime, taking over the streets, lawns and homes, making murder, attempted murder, drive-by shootings, assault and battery, vandalism, arson, and theft.

The City sues 21 named offenders, each of whom is described as a member or affiliate of a criminal street gang. It is alleged that the offenders, individually and collectively, have created and maintained an ongoing street prostitution operation which has overwhelmed the Queens Plaza area. It is alleged that the female offenders are prostitutes, and that the male offenders are the pimps who set up, control, and profit from their prostitution activities. It is further alleged that between the hours of 11:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. the activities are so intense, widespread, and pervasive within the Queens Plaza neighborhood as to have essentially taken it over, in that they slow vehicular traffic, block sidewalks, impede pedestrian traffic and entrance to the Queens Plaza subway station, and interfere with the operation of local businesses. It is alleged that the offenders’ activities lead to the routine solicitation of passersby for prostitution, to violent criminal acts related to the interaction of gang members with competing criminal elements, to the littering of the public streets with used condoms, to public urination, and to noise. It is alleged that the abovementioned activities constitutes a public nuisance which requires the court’s intervention. A New York DWI Lawyer said it is further alleged that all the activities is created by the offenders on behalf of, and for the financial benefit and support of, the gang. It is also alleged that none of the offenders reside or work in the Queens Plaza area other than as part of the prostitution operation.

The complaint is against the named individuals only. No claim is made against the gang as a group, or against any individual as offenders. No explanation is offered as to why those particular individuals were chosen for the action, and none was offered at the hearing or in the post-hearing memoranda.

The complaint alleges that continued and escalated law enforcement activities in the subject neighborhood have failed to date, to abate permanently the public nuisance created and maintained by offenders.

The affidavits of police officers in support of the application provide a number of supporting allegations beyond those specified by the complaint. It is alleged in those affidavits that the street prostitution activities lead to numerous other crimes, such as robbery, which go largely unreported.

It is alleged that the gang had established a thriving prostitution business in the East New York section of Brooklyn. Due to certain incidents with rival operators, described as a spate of violence against them by rival pimps, the gang moved their operation, literally overnight, to the Queens Plaza area. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said that the gang has allegedly laid a territorial claim to the Queens Plaza area, which it advertises by means of graffiti tags.

The allegation of the complaint as to the inability of the police to stop the criminal activity is fleshed out in the affidavits by allegations that the female offenders are hardened recidivists, who have already been arrested numerous times for prostitution activities and returned to them. It is claimed that the arrests are of little enforcement value for criminal law, since they are routinely disposed of through plea bargaining to a disorderly conduct charge and the imposition of a modest fine and release. The male offenders, the pimps, have allegedly escaped arrest because while they brazenly appear in the street and in a local donut shop, they are never seen taking money from the prostitutes, and a prostitute would be risking her life to testify against them.

In response to the situation, the City seeks numerous forms of injunctive relief against the named individuals. Of particular interest, and the focus of the City’s application, is the first demand for relief. The City seeks, nothing less than the civil banishment of the named individuals from the Queens Plaza area on particular hours. While the literal terms of the item only prohibit the offenders from appearing in public view, there can be no doubt that the offenders would be completely unable to comply unless they stayed out of the area entirely. If they were to be seen walking on the streets or driving to the Queensboro Bridge, or even taking the subway to Manhattan, they would be subject to a contempt proceeding.

Laws are made to protect everyone, regardless of one’s status in the community. The aim of Queens Criminal Lawyers from Stephen Bilkis and Associates is to protect every victim of crime who seeks justice. All Queens Drug Attorney’s objective is to defend every person caught in a drug crime related lawsuit.

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