Guilty of extortion
Four defendants were found guilty last week of extorting money from drivers of private vans operating between Chinatown and Sunset Park, Brooklyn, over a 20-month period between July 2004 and May 1, 2006.
In addition to the extortion charge, one of the defendants, Hui Chen, was convicted of conspiracy to obstruct justice and witness tampering in the Manhattan federal court jury trial that concluded on May 2.
After her arrest in May of last year, Chen threatened and tried to persuade one of the driver victims to stop cooperating with federal investigators and asked another driver to testify falsely on her behalf.
Chen and her co-defendants, Heng De Oh-Yang, known as Ou Yang; Guo Chao Zhang, known as The Controller; and Yong Wang, known as Jackie, forced drivers of vans shuttling passengers between East Broadway and Market St. in Chinatown and Eighth Ave. in Brooklyn to pay monthly extortion fees of $200 to $400.
Zhang prevented drivers who did not pay from picking up and discharging passengers. Wang beat up two drivers and threatened others, according to evidence at trial. Chen and Oh-Yang were identified as bosses of the gang, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia. The New York Police Department and the F.B.I. investigated the case.
Judge Denny Chin ordered Chens bail revoked and had her held pending an Aug. 9 sentencing. The other defendants were put on home detention with electronic monitoring pending sentencing on Aug. 9.
A Brooklyn man, 22, told police that about four bouncers pushed him out of the Maritime Hotel bar, 369 W. 16th St., at 2:30 a.m. Sat., April 21, causing him to fall down the steps and continued pushing him against a wall on the street.
A police officer walking the beat on W. 17th St. and Ninth Ave. in the Robert Fulton Houses at 11:15 p.m. Sat., April 21, observed a man adjusting his waistband as if there was a weapon in it and stopped him to investigate. The suspect, Allen Bell, 19, was carrying a knife and ran after giving the officer fake ID, but he was soon apprehended, police said.