A pair of equine dope dealers on Wednesday pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to peddling drugs used to juice up racehorses.
Sarah Izhaki, 45, and Scott Robinson, 46, each copped to conspiring to unlawfully distribute adulterated and misbranded drugs used for doping racehorses.
“[They] represent the supply side of a market of greed that continues to endanger racehorses through the sale of performance-enhancing drugs,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss in a statement.
“Each of these defendants provided the raw materials for fraud and animal abuse through the sale of unregulated and dangerous substances.”
The duo conspired with others to produce, sell and ship millions of dollars worth of adulterated equine drugs — including performance-enhancing concoctions — that help steeds win races and coveted prize money, prosecutors said.
Izhaki’s drugs were smuggled into the country from Mexico and sold from cars in supermarket parking lots, while Robinson’s products were manufactured in shoddy facilities and peddled on direct-to-consumer websites, Strauss said.
The drugs included “blood builders” designed to increase red blood cell counts and the oxygenation of muscle tissue and pain relievers, both designed to improve a horse’s endurance.
But these unregulated drugs carried significant risks to the animals. In 2016, a dissatisfied customer sent Robinson a complaint.
”I give the injection and for about 36 hours afterwards both my horses act like they are heavily sedated, can barely walk,” the client wrote.
In a separate conspiracy, starting in 2018, Izhaki also sold amphetamines and a substance she called “the Devil” to mask the presence of drugs in the bloodstream.
The pair face up to five years in prison when they’re sentenced in the coming months.
Child found safe in NYC after Amber Alert sent over her abduction
A 7-year-old girl who was abducted in Pennsylvania — allegedly by her body-armor-clad estranged father — has been found safe in New York City, an NYPD spokesman said.
An Amber Alert had been issued Friday evening saying the girl, Giselle Torres, had been abducted at around 2:18 p.m. Friday in Elkins Park, and was believed to be heading to New York City with the dad.
Juan Pablo Torres, 41, Giselle’s biological father, who does not have custody of the child, wound up taking her to the 104th Precinct in Ridgewood, Queens, an NYPD spokesman said.
The Ambert Alert initially warned that Giselle was in imminent danger.
Woman arrested for injuring 2-year-old in road rage incident
Massachusetts police arrested a woman they said threw a cup of iced coffee at a sleeping 2-year-old boy in a road rage incident.
Emma Silva, 20, of Marstons Mill, Mass., was charged with assaulting a child with a dangerous weapon and negligent operation of a vehicle.
Barnstable police said the boy’s mother reported the road rage incident, which happened Wednesday afternoon on Cape Cod.
They said she told police “another woman operating a white Jeep Liberty was ‘riding her bumper’ and ‘laying on her horn’ while yelling at her.”
She said the suspect “threw a cup of iced coffee into her vehicle, striking her sleeping 2-year-old son in the face while he was seated in the rear of her car in his child safety seat,” police said.
The cup bloodied the boy’s face and nose, according to police.
Police said a short time later an officer made contact with Silva and she agreed to come to the police station. She was arrested after the boy’s mother identified her.
Silva was arraigned in Barnstable District Court Thursday morning, and released on $540 bail and is due back in court on Nov. 4.
AG Letitia James recommends NYPD no longer conduct traffic stops
The New York State Attorney General will not be filing charges against an NYPD sergeant for a 2019 police-involved shooting death but did recommend cops no longer arrest people during traffic stops if they have certain open warrants, an AG report released Friday states.
The report, completed by AG Letitia James’ Special Investigations and Prosecution Units, analyzed the death of Allan Feliz, 31, who was shot by Sgt. Jonathan Rivera during an October 2019 traffic stop in the Bronx.
Feliz had been pulled over for allegedly not wearing a seatbelt but instead of handing over his own ID when cops asked, he gave his brother’s license. The sibling had three open warrants for littering, spitting and disorderly conduct, which are all violations and not crimes.
Feliz was asked to step out of the car, but he soon got back into the vehicle and attempted to drive away, sending Rivera jumping into the vehicle from the passenger side.
Feliz refused to surrender to police and continued to try to drive the car away, eventually leading Rivera to discharge his weapon when he thought his partner had been run over, the report states.
The AG found no reason to charge Rivera but did say car stops such as the one with Feliz shouldn’t be performed by officers because “the vast majority of traffic stops — including this one — do not involve criminal conduct, yet the involvement of police in such situations can result in violent interactions.”
“The report also highlighted studies demonstrating disparities in the use of force during traffic stops against Black and Latino men. The untimely death of Mr. Feliz further underscores the need for this change,” the report continues.
If the NYPD does decide to continue conducting traffic enforcement stops, the AG said officers should not arrest motorists who have low-level warrants, such as a failure to appear on a summons or bench warrants for violations like littering.
“The OAG believes that such a policy properly balances the risks to the community and the public interest in avoiding unnecessary arrests during car stops. In addition, the OAG encourages state lawmakers to consider whether this issue might also be more fully addressed through legislation,” the report states.
“It is highly unlikely that the incident involving Mr. Feliz – whose warrants (Sammy Feliz warrants) were for the violations/offenses of spitting, littering, and disorderly conduct – would have escalated in the manner it did in the absence of this automatic arrest policy.”
However, following a search of Feliz’s car after his death, police found over nine grams of cocaine and 1.3 grams of methamphetamines in tablet form and determined he was on parole for a previous federal offense, the report states.
“Because Mr. Feliz was under federal parole supervision at the time of the incident, possession of these controlled substances would likely have violated the conditions of his release and, if convicted for possession of one or more felonies, subjected him to a mandatory New York State prison sentence.”
James called Feliz’s death a “tragedy” and said her office is “gravely concerned” by the actions of Rivera and the other responding officers.
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