Greenpoint

Three men sentenced for kidnapping, robbery in Greenpoint

February 11, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Francisco Graham. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn DA’s Office

Victim Tortured with Blow Torch, Forced to Reveal Where He Kept His Money

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson on Thursday announced that three men have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for kidnapping and subsequently robbing two men in Greenpoint. The defendants tortured one of the men with a blowtorch on his thighs and genitals and put out lit cigarettes on his face and neck to force him to tell them where he kept his cash.  

“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.”
 
The DA identified the defendants as Francisco Graham, 39, of 6523 Windsor St., Philadelphia, PA; Clarence Davis, 40, of 4703 Brentwood Road, Fredericksburg, Virginia; and Abdul Lopez, 23, of 70 Lenox St., Brooklyn. Davis and Lopez were sentenced Thursday to determinate terms of 13 years and 15 years in prison, respectively, following their guilty plea on Jan. 20 to first-degree robbery.

Graham was sentenced on Feb. 5 to an indeterminate term of 15 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree kidnapping on Jan. 20. All three defendants were sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Ingram.
 
The DA said that according to the investigation, on Dec.13, 2013 at approximately 5 p.m., Angelo Gonzalez and Jerry Tavarez were walking along Greenpoint Avenue when they were suddenly ambushed by the defendants. Displaying firearms and police shields, the defendants identified themselves as Drug Enforcement Administration agents, handcuffed the victims and threw them into a van.
 
The victims were driven to a location in Queens, blindfolded and held in separate basement rooms. Gonzalez was stripped of his pants and underwear and tortured with a blow torch on his inner thighs and genitals. The defendants also extinguished lit cigarettes on his face, neck and body as loud Christmas music played in the background, drowning out his cries for help. 
 
Gonzalez then told the defendants that he kept a stash of cash at home and gave them his home address and the alarm code for entry. Held overnight and under additional duress, he also told the defendants about a safety deposit box where kept more money. The defendants then, with Gonzalez in tow, proceeded to drive toward the victim’s Williamsburg home and instructed the victim to have his girlfriend deliver the deposit box key directly to the van. The victim’s girlfriend, utilizing the ‘Find My Phone’ application, alerted the police to her boyfriend’s location. Detectives arrived at the location and arrested the defendants. The second victim was later released.
 
A search of the home where the victims were kept led to the discovery of a fake badge and a firearm. The basement floor was covered in tarps, and a blowtorch, cigarette butts and a hacksaw were recovered.

-Information from the Brooklyn DA’s Office