press conference to announce the indictments.Suspicions were raised last year following the deaths of two gay men. Social worker Julio Ramirez, 25, died in the back of a cab he shared with a group of men.
Relatives later said around $20,000 was gone from his bank account. His missing cell phone was used to make bank transfers and purchase sneakers.A post shared by the apothekari • by Karinina (@theapothekari)Political consultant John Umberger, 33, was found dead in a Manhattan townhouse.
Like Ramirez, he’d earlier been out at a gay bar. Witnesses said Umberger appeared severely incapacitated when he left. Again, money was missing from his account.Both men had fentanyl, cocaine and lidocaine in their bodies.Prosecutors allege the five men arrested targeted men at gay clubs, plied them with drinks, drugged them, and then took them back home to steal from them.“Their motive, we allege, was simple: to make money,” Bragg said Tuesday. “They approach people leaving bars and nightclubs late at night, engage them in conversation and offer them illicit and dangerous substances.“The defendants use these substances as weapons to incapacitate their victims, giving them an opportunity to steal their phones and credit cards in the subsequent hours and days after each incident.”Besides the two deaths included in these indictments, authorities believe the gang was responsible for other drug-related robberies.Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said, “There were numerous victims in this pattern of crimes.