Three men sentenced for 2013 Greenpoint kidnapping
Three men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for kidnapping two men in Greenpoint, and torturing one of them with a blowtorch, announced District Attorney Ken Thompson on Thursday, February 11.
Defendants Clarence Davis, 40, and Abdul Lopez, 23, were sentenced on Thursday to terms of 13 years and 15 years in prison respectively while Francisco Graham, 39, was sentenced earlier in the month to an indeterminate term of 15 years to life in prison.
According to trial testimony, on December 13, 2013, the three men ambushed Brooklynites Angelo Gonzalez and Jerry Tavarez as they were walking along Greenpoint Avenue and identified themselves as Drug Enforcement Administration agents. The defendants then handcuffed the victims and threw them into a van.
From there, the pair was blindfolded, driven to a location in Queens, and held hostage in separate basement rooms. There, Thompson said, Gonzalez was stripped, tortured with a blow torch and had lit cigarettes extinguished on his face, neck and body.
According to trial testimony, Christmas music was played at a loud volume so that the men’s cries for help were muffled.
The trio was apprehended by police after the victim’s girlfriend, who had been asked to deliver a safety deposit box key to the van to secure one of the victim’s stash of cash, used the Find My iPhone app to track the defendants and alerted authorities.
“These three defendants not only blindfolded and kidnapped the victims but also subjected them to brutal acts of terror and even torture with a blow torch,” said Thompson. “Such depraved acts of violence – all done for money – were cruel and simply inhumane and led to the lengthy prison sentences that they each got.”
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