Accomplice Remains On Lam
Prosecutors charged two Manhattan men last Tuesday, Mar. 18, with allegedly participating in a deadly Ozone Park home invasion back in September 2009 in which a 29-yearold man was gunned down while trying to protect his father, it was announced.
Law enforcement sources said Antoine Burroughs, 25, and Leon Whitfield, 23, allegedly killed Gerardo Antoinello, 29, during the Sept. 9, 2009 robbery at the victim’s North Conduit Avenue home.
According to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara, Whitfield was arrested and arraigned last Tuesday, while Burroughs remains at large as of press time. They are both charged with counts of murder, robbery conspiracy, attempted robbery and discharging a firearm.
Each defendant faces up to 60 years behind bars if convicted on all charges, it was noted.
Four other individuals connected to the deadly home invasion were previously convicted of their roles and are currently serving state prison sentences. They include 31-year-old Francis LaCorte, a reputed mobster from Ozone Park, who worked with another local resident-Vincent Mineo, 31-to plot and carry out the home invasion and two similar capers.
Also serving time in connection with the home invasion pattern are Jason Burrell, 41, of the Canarsie section of Brooklyn and Rashod Cowan, 39, of the Bronx.
As previously reported, the fatal home invasion occurred at 10:10 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2009, when Antoinello’s father-a local pizzeria owner- returned home from work. While attempting to enter, two masked perpetrators confronted and pistolwhipped him, then forced their way inside the residence.
Seconds later, authorities said, Gerardo Antoinello confronted the robbers in an effort to protect his father and became engaged in a physical struggle with them. During the fracas, law enforcement sources noted, one of the robbers shot Antoinello in the head; the crooks then fled from the scene.
Members of the 106th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the location. Antoinello died the following day at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
Bharara and FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos praised the investigative efforts of the FBI, the NYPD and the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Skinner and Rachel Maimin of the Southern District’s Organized Crime Unit are prosecuting the case.