News Release
April 7, 2008

Erin Mulvey,
Public Information Officer

Member of Bronx Home Invasion Robbery Crew Sentenced to Life in Prison

APR 7 -- (Manhattan, NY) JOHN P. GILBRIDE, New York Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-In-Charge and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced that ALBERTO CASTELLANO, a member of a violent home invasion robbery crew, was sentenced April 3, 2008 to life plus 105 years’ imprisonment. United States District Judge ROBERT L. CARTER imposed the sentence in Manhattan federal court. In fall 2006, CASTELLANO was found guilty by a jury of murder, racketeering, robbery, drug distribution, and weapons offenses.

DEA Special Agent in Charge GILBRIDE stated, “The crimes associated with this sentencing exemplifies the perils associated with drug trafficking. From robberies to assaults, this crew was responsible for terrorizing our neighborhoods. Justice has been served.”

According to the evidence at trial: CASTELLANO was a member of the Freeman Street Robbery Crew (“the Robbery Crew”), which for years committed coordinated, carefully planned home invasion robberies, primarily of narcotics traffickers, in the New York metropolitan area. During the robberies, members of the Robbery Crew carried guns, and restrained, shot, beat and sometimes killed their victims. In particular, CASTELLANO was convicted at trial of the May 1, 2001, murder of RAUL FERREIRA during a robbery on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.

Members of the Robbery Crew conducted surveillance of targeted robbery locations in advance, made arrangements for equipment and personnel necessary to gain entry, and coordinated their efforts in order to maximize their chances of success. Members of the Robbery Crew, in all, robbed their victims of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and many kilograms of cocaine.

Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force which is comprised of Agents and Officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department and the New York State Police.

Assistant United States Attorneys JOAN LOUGHNANE, ALEXANDER J. WILLSCHER, DAVID S. LEIBOWITZ, and LAURIE A. KORENBAUM are in charge of the prosecution.