Man set to testify against MS-13 found murdered after New York releases witness list

A man who police say was the victim of a beating at the hands of MS-13 members in 2018 was found dead in New Cassel earlier this week.

Police identified Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez, 36, as the man found dead behind an abandoned home on Broadway Sunday.

Police say Rodriguez was one of three victims of a gang assault over a year ago. According to the Nassau District Attorney’s Office, Rodriguez was protecting someone who was being bullied in 2018 when he was beaten and stabbed by MS-13 gang members known to police as the “Gang of Nine.”

Rodriguez was a witness set to testify in a 2018 MS-13 assault case, according to police.

The DA’s office says as a result of the investigation into that case, nine MS-13 members were arrested for assault and witness intimidation. They are still behind bars.

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says the DA’s office had a hearing regarding the case going to trial in December of last year. He says at that hearing, it was decided that all information that had a protective hold on it would have to be turned over to the defense counsel days later. This included witness names and contact information.

“We don’t know if the defense counsel turned that information over to the defendants, but we do know that right after that time period, we started this pattern of intimidation,” says Ryder.

Ryder says on Jan. 30, one of the other witnesses was shot at. Two days later, he says Rodriguez was beaten but escaped. He was found dead the following day.

In relation to the case, Ryder said at a news conference that “common sense reform decisions need to happen now.”

Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said at a news conference that he blames the new bail reform law for the 36-year-old’s death. He says under the law, prosecutors must turn over all evidence against a defendant within 15 days of arraignment – including the identities of all witnesses and victims.

“We had a protective order that the DA put in place for over a year to protect that information, to protect our victims. That’s what we do,” says Ryder. “That protective order, because of the new changes in law, was lifted.”

In this case, Ryder says, as soon as Maldonado Rodriguez’s named was turned over to the defense team, he was found dead.

Ryder later released a statement, saying:

“As I indicted at my press conference there is no direct link between the death of Wilmer Maldonado Rodriguez and criminal justice reform. The information and facts of the case that I provided are accurate.”

In this case, Ryder says, as soon as Maldonado Rodriguez’s named was turned over to the defense team, he was found dead.

“The system failed. The system failed, this man is dead,” Ryder said.

The commissioner says since the new law took effect major crime has increased by 5%. He is pleading with lawmakers to make changes to the law before someone else dies.

“Justice reform is not taking care of our victims,” he stressed.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement that she will be asking Albany to enact changes.

“I am calling on Albany to take corrective action to fix criminal justice reform immediately. These new discovery requirements pose a threat to both the victims and witnesses of crimes,” she wrote.

Ryder is fortunate that his crime has only increased 5%. 28 miles away from New Cassel, in New York City, serious crimes are at a 5-year high.

Ask the NYPD, and you’ll get a straight answer.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon to figure this one out. There is one core reason why this number has escalated. And it is bail reform.  According to department data, there is an ongoing spike that officials attribute to the state’s new bail reform law.

The latest Compstat data, which covers the time frame from January 1st through the end of the month, shows that total overall serious felonies — such as homicide, burglary, robbery and auto theft — are up 16.4% over the same period in 2019. The increase is 6% when compared to 2015, the data shows.

Crime in the city had been on the decline in the past few years.

Now, NYC is seeing double digit increases in burglaries, grand larcenies and auto theft, the latter up 70% over 2019 for the January reporting period, while robberies and felonious assaults saw single digit increases. The data does show that homicides are down nearly 20%, while rapes decreased by 18%.

But those numbers do not reflect the legitimacy of the increase of overall crime in the city.

According to Newsday, serious felonies citywide continued to rise throughout the month. NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea is scheduled to talk about the overall upward trend Tuesday during his monthly crime briefing.

He is again expected to call on the legislature in Albany to tinker with the bail law, which took effect January 1st. The new law eliminates bail for most nonviolent crimes.

To reinforce Shea’s stance, NYPD officials are most likely to provide data that details the percentage of newly arrested suspects that were put back out on the street while not posting bail and walking away from an arrest and possible jail sentence.

Commissioner Shea spoke a few weeks ago with some alarm at the crime trends, which are affecting most areas of the city, particularly Queens and northern Manhattan.

“You are seeing the affects in a very quick time and that is why we are so concerned,” Shea said at the time.

Advocates of bail reform have been pushing back at Shea’s remarks, calling them asinine and thoughtless.

“From day one, law enforcement has been intent on erasing the progress we’ve made through fear mongering that distorts the impact of the laws,” said Nick Encalada-Malinowski.

He’s the civil rights campaign director of the justice advocacy group Vocal-NY.  He said in a recent statement:

“…threatening to take us back to a racist and unequal system that preyed upon Black, Brown and low income communities.”

Shea has said that he is a fan of bail reform, even doing away with bail altogether, but wants state judges to have the capability to set bail conditions based on a danger level to the community. With federal judges, they can set bail conditions, but their New York State counterparts are not allowed under the new state law.

Last week, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. backed Shea and voiced his support for a change in the law to allow state judges greater flexibility to set conditions for a suspect’s release.

Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan, said the entire bail topic suffers due to poor planning discussion at the legislative stage. They [criminals] know they don’t have to fear trying to make bail, he said.

“The bad guys know the [jail] consequences are remote from serious misconduct,” said O’Donnell. 

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Trump commented on the fact that criminals are being released in New York City without bail and put back out on the streets, even those who are in the country illegally.

The President even mentioned the following story.

An elderly woman was raped and murdered.  The man accused is an illegal immigrant.  And it is all thanks to New York politicians.  Here’s the deal.

In the United States, many of those illegally in the country are what are classified as visa overstays.

In Queens, New York, a disturbing murder of 92-year-old women reflects that even this demographic of illegal aliens poses a threat to the country.

The alleged self-admitted murderer was reported by Breitbart News to have been in the country illegally for several years, having remained far after his visa allotted.

Reeaz Khan is a 21-year-old illegal alien from Guyana who is at the center of this horrific murder. Khan is set to face a grand jury after being arrested and charged last week with sexually assaulting and murdering 92-year-old Maria Fuertes.

According to reports, the illegal alien had strangled the woman to death on a sidewalk in Richmond Hill, Queens.

Local residents within the area had spoken to the New York Post about Fuertes, describing her a “lovely lady”. The elderly woman was known throughout the community as being a kind individual who enjoyed feeding the neighborhood cats.

A law enforcement official had confirmed to Breitbart News that the illegal alien who allegedly murdered the woman had arrived in the United States back in May of 2016. Khan had entered the country under a B-2 visa, a common one used for foreigners to tour the U.S. for a short period of time.

Under the visa classification that Khan had entered the country under, he was meant to depart within months of his arrival. However, it’s apparent that he disregarded the stipulations of the attained visa, making him an illegal immigrant since the visa expired three year earlier.

Surprisingly, when the NYPD released surveillance footage of the suspect, Khan’s brother had called authorities saying the footage was of his brother.

During Khan’s initial sit-down with New York City detectives, he stated that the sexual assault that took place was just some sort of misunderstanding.

In a ridiculous summary of events from his perspective, he claimed that he simply fell down, which caused his belt to break and his penis subsequently landed near Feurtes’ vagina. Later on, during the interview with police, he did admit that while grounded he did lift up the victim’s skirt and tried to insert himself in her.

Since Khan was staying in New York, he was protected by the abhorrent sanctuary policies within the state that halted his deportation. Even though he overstayed his visa, the state shields illegal immigrants from being deported by not collaborating with ICE officials. This was evidenced when Khan was arrested roughly two months earlier in New York.

On November 27, the New York Police Department had arrested Khan for charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. ICE agents had caught wind of the arrest and had reached out to the NYPD, filing a detainer for Khan to be handed over to immigration officials.

The requests were completely ignored, and the police allowed Khan to walk back out onto the streets despite his illegal status. That act is what allowed Khan to allegedly murder Fuertes not even two months later.

Thomas Decker, an official from ICE, made a statement about New York’s inaction on acknowledging federal detainers:

“It is made clear that New York City’s stance against honoring detainers is dangerously flawed. It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back onto the streets after his first arrest included assault and weapon charges, and he now faces new charges, including murder.”

Khan has been officially charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault, sexual abuse, sexual abuse of a person incapable of consent, depraved indifference, and contact by forcible compulsion. He’s sitting inside the New York City jail and is being held without bail.

Let’s not forget that on September 11, 2001, 19 men hijacked 4 planes and orchestrated one of the darkest days in our nation’s history. Four of those terrorists came to the US on visas and then stayed after the expiration.

There was no accurate method for tracking overstays or their whereabouts. Nearly two decades after terrorists exploited the U.S. government’s inadequate, more than 700,000 foreigners with expired visas remain at large in the country.

The latest government figures, as reported by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), show 702,000 overstays in 2017.

It has been almost 18 years since that horrific event and the government still hasn’t found a way to accurately and adequately track visa over stayers. According to a Judicial Watch report, they obtained Department of Homeland Security (DHS) figures in 2015 showing that 527,127 foreigners with expired visas remained in the country.

Thousands of those are from nations with links to terrorism. Per that report, the breakdown is: 1,435 from Pakistan, 681 from Iraq, 564 from Iran, 440 from Syria, 219 from Yemen, 219 from Afghanistan and 56 from Libya.

Following the 9/11 attack, Congress created the U.S. Visitor and Immigration Status Indicator Technology system to track the entry and exit of foreign nationals by using electronically scanned fingerprints and photographs. Five years and $1 billion later, it still has serious flaws.

The GAO has since published a report that said nearly half of the nation’s immigrants who are no longer here legally, entered the U.S. legally and overstayed their visas undetected.

As stated by Judicial Watch:

In the years that followed the government did little to improve what has developed into a dire national security disaster.

In 2011 yet another federal audit confirmed that the U.S. had lost track of millions who overstayed their visas and two years later the crisis intensified when DHS lost track of 266 dangerous foreigners with expired visas.

The government determined that they “could pose a national security or public safety concerns,” according to the director of Homeland Security and Justice at the GAO.

You read the correctly. The Department of Homeland Security lost track of 266 dangerous immigrants with expired visas.

The latest GAO report shows that about 52.7 million non-immigrant admissions to the U.S. through air or sea ports of entry were supposed to depart in fiscal year 2017.

 Part of the problem is that DHS relies on third-party departure data. This includes commercial carrier passenger manifests. In other words, the government is depending on airlines and cruise ships to help it enforce visa violations.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>