Queens, New York: Two Suspects Nabbed in Connection with Armed Robbery at Gambling Den

FBI Agents Apprehend Suspects in Violent Armed Robbery at Flushing Gambling Den

Two individuals have been arrested by FBI agents for their alleged involvement in a violent armed robbery at an illicit gambling establishment in Flushing, Queens, last July. The incident, which resulted in one person sustaining gunshot wounds, has led to charges against Jamel Berry from Astoria and Zhong Wang, a Chinese national.

According to authorities, the robbery took place on the night of July 19, 2023, when Berry and his accomplices stormed into the underground gambling den located on Avery Avenue. Prior to the robbery, Wang allegedly disabled the building’s power supply to aid in the execution of the crime.

Once inside, the perpetrators assaulted one individual with a metal pipe and brandished a firearm, coercing others to comply with their demands. The group then made off with approximately $3,000 in cash before firing a shot that struck an innocent bystander in the abdomen. The victim was rushed to New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital for medical attention and has since survived the ordeal.

Investigators managed to retrieve surveillance footage capturing Berry, Wang, and their accomplices congregating at a nearby location before proceeding to the gambling den. The footage also captured the suspects fleeing the scene following the robbery.

During a hearing at Brooklyn federal court, prosecutors argued that both Berry and Wang posed a significant flight risk if released. They emphasized Wang’s ties to China, pointing out the absence of an extradition treaty between the United States and China, which could complicate efforts to bring him to justice if he were to flee.

Consequently, Wang was ordered to be held in custody, while Berry was placed under home detention pending further legal proceedings. Both defendants have pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them, with negotiations for potential plea deals reportedly underway.

This is not the first encounter with law enforcement for Jamel Berry, as he was previously convicted in 2020 for attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

The incident sheds light on the prevalence of illegal gambling dens in neighborhoods like Flushing, which have historically been targeted by armed robbers seeking easy money. Despite efforts to crack down on such activities, the allure of illicit gambling continues to attract criminal elements, posing a challenge for law enforcement agencies tasked with maintaining public safety.