ew York Gang Accused of Gambling Den Robbery, Cold-Bood Shooting

Posted on: February 6, 2024, 04:54h. 

Last updated on: February 6, 2024, 07:20h.

Two men accused of robbing an underground gambling den in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, New York, allegedly shot a man in cold blood as they fled. They each face 10 years in a federal prison, Queens Post reports.

Jamel Berry, Zhong Wang, Flushing, Queens, New York City, illegal gambling den, robbery
Flushing, Queens, above, has a large Chinese population and a relatively large number of illegal gambling dens, according to The New York Times. These can be a target for armed robbers. (Image: YouTube/James Andrews)

Just after midnight on July 19, 2023, Jamel Berry of Astoria, Zhong Wang, a Chinese national, and two accomplices whose names are redacted in court documents forced their way into the premises on Avery Avenue in Flushing, according to federal prosecutors.

They struck one man with a metal pipe before pulling out a firearm. Just minutes earlier, Wang had broken into the basement of the building, cutting the power, court filings claim.

The gang stole approximately $3,000 in cash and shot an innocent man in the stomach as they left, according to federal court documents. The individual was subsequently taken to the New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital and survived his injuries.

Flushing has a large Chinese population, and unlicensed gambling dens, often offering games like mahjong, are relatively common – or at least they were in 2011 when The New York Times reported on a spate of robberies on gambling parlors in the neighborhood.

The Times suggested the actual number of robberies in the area was much greater because many went unreported due to the illegality of the operations.

Accomplices at Large

Investigators found the gang had been caught on the security cameras of a staging area close to the illegal gambling den. The footage showed them approaching the property and later running from the location.

Berry and Wang were arrested February 1 and indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery, weapons possession, and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to court filings, their two unnamed accomplices remain at large, although federal authorities are aware of their identities.

Flight Risk

At a hearing in a Brooklyn federal courtroom on February 2, prosecutors asked that both suspects be held in pretrial detention because they were significant flight risks if released.

As a Chinese national with “significant ties” to his homeland, Wang posed the greater risk, they argued, emphasizing that the US doesn’t have an extradition treaty with China.

The judge ordered that Wang be held in custody and placed Berry under home detention.

Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges, although prosecutors are in the process of negotiating plea deals, according to court documents.

Berry has previous convictions. In 2020, he was convicted by federal authorities of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

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