Two New York Men Face Federal Murder Charges
JUN 30 -- Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in Bridgeport has returned an Indictment charging ANDREW ZAYAC, 29, of Scarsdale, New York, and HERIBERTO GONZALEZ, also known as “Eddie” and “Pablo,” 29, of the Bronx, New York, with federal murder and other offenses in connection with the February 8, 2009 kidnap and murder of Edward Rivera, 37, of the Bronx. The Indictment was returned on June 16.
According to the Indictment and to statements made in court, on February 8, 2009, ZAYAC and GONZALEZ are alleged to have kidnapped Edward Rivera from the Bronx for the purpose of robbing him. ZAYAC and GONZALEZ then transported the victim from New York to Connecticut. During the course of the kidnapping and robbery, the victim was shot twice and died as a result of the gunshot wounds. ZAYAC and GONZALEZ then dumped Mr. Rivera’s body in Danbury, Connecticut.
The Indictment charges each of the defendants with one count of kidnapping resulting in death, one count of premeditated murder and one count of murder during the commission of a robbery. Each of these charges carries a mandatory lifetime term of imprisonment or death, should the Government seek the death penalty in this matter.
The Indictment further charges each defendant with one count of interference with commerce through the use of violence. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
The Indictment further charges each defendant with one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
Finally, the Indictment charges each defendant with the use of a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics trafficking offense. If convicted of this charge, each defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
ZAYAC has been detained in federal custody since February 28, 2009, on related narcotics trafficking charges. He appeared today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport and entered a plea of not guilty to each of the six charges.
GONZALEZ, who was arrested on June 17 at his residence, also has pleaded not guilty to each of the charges and is detained.