The last of four Queens gang members who pleaded guilty to weapons charges last year in connection with a murder plot has been sentenced, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Michael Cortes, 25, of Jackson Heights, pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon in September 2017. He was brought back to court on June 19, where he was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years’ post-release supervision.
Cortes and his fellow co-defendants, Michael Aalil, Dionicio Castro and Francis Carias, are known members of the ABK (Always Bangin’ Kings) street gang. According to charges, in December 2016 a long-term investigation by the NYPD found that the defendants were heard on court-authorized wiretaps plotting to kill two rival gang members.
Police were able to stop the attack minutes before it took place and arrested the defendants.
In September 2017, Aalil, Castro and Carias all pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted criminal possession of a weapon. The following month, Aalil and Castor were sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by three years’ post-release supervision.
Carias, a violent predicate felon, was sentenced to seven years in prison followed by five years’ post-release supervision.
“All four defendants in this case pleaded guilty and are now incarcerated for their illegal acts,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “Illegal guns in the hands of criminals is a serious threat to everyone in Queens County. Let this be a warning to anyone who purports to arm themselves with illegal guns: When you are caught, you will go to prison.”