Three members of a Bronx biker gang were arraigned in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, charged with kidnapping and robbing a cryptocurrency multi-millionaire at gunpoint, authorities said.
Ringleader Cesar (Fuego) Guzman, 38, Allan (Joker) Nunez, 36, and Darrell (Bishop) Colon, 37, joined their accomplice - Louis Meza, 35, in luring their victim into a fake Uber ride on November 4, 2017 where they held him captive for two hours with a hood over his head - demanding his keys and a memory stick linked to his Ether currency account, according to court papers.
The gang was able to bilk the man out of $1.8 million of Ether, a popular cryptocurrency.
The men each played a role in the heist, according to the NY Daily News:
Colon was hiding in the rear row of seats and popped out with what appeared to be a gun to threaten the victim for his Ether — a type of virtual money, prosecutors said.
Nunez drove the victim around for two hours at gunpoint until he coughed up the location of his 24-word passphrase. Meza, who was caught on surveillance camera, and Guzman, whose head is inked with tribal tats, broke into victim’s apartment where they nabbed his digital wallet and stole $1.8 million, prosecutor James Vinocur said at the men’s arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court. -NY Daily News
“The investigation revealed that Mr. Guzman recruited both of these individuals based on their shared involvement in a Bronx motorcycle crew or group,” Vinocur said. The victim's friend, Meza, was charged in December.
“I stuck the gun in the guy’s ribs and took his stuff,” confessed Colon, who said the weapon was a BB gun.
The victim was eventually able to escape, running terrified "for two blocks until he was able to reach a grocery store and call 911," according to the prosecutor.
Hilariously, the perpetrators' attorney, Rob Georges, invoked a "Harvey Weinstein" defense in a bid for bail for Nunez - saying that the disgraced producer was able to turn himself in as part of a prearranged bail package with the DA's office - a courtesy which wasn't afforded to the suspects.
“And he [Nunez] is not suspected of being nearly as violent,” added Georges. Judge Melissa Jackson ignored the Weinstein comparison before ordering Nunez held on $50,000 bail, Colon on $75,000 and Guzman on $100,000.
The three have pleaded not guilty to grand larceny, kidnapping and several other charges. They face up to 25 years in prison.