Arrests Underway and Others May be Imminent
LostMessiah April 18, 2016
Several sources have contacted us to let us know that the arrests of Jona Rechnitz and Jeremy Reichberg may be imminent. We have not been able to independently verify our sources.
Today’s events included the arrest of Shaya “Alex” Lichtenstein, who is listed as a member of the Brooklyn Shomrim but the complaint has him living in Pomona, New York (Rockland County). Those cynics amongst us wonder if he also votes in Brooklyn and Pomona. According to the article from the New York Daily News regarding his arrest, federal prosecturo Kan Nawaday stated, “He was no less than an arms dealer for the community.”
Immediately preceding his arrest,
NYPD announced that the License Division’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Michael Endall, 48, was transferred from the unit into an administrative position “pending further review.”
The department also placed Sgt. David Villanueva, 42, and Officer Richard Ochetal, 36, on modified duty and moved them away from the unit, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement.
Lichtenstein, who has his own gun permit, is a member of the Borough Park Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer patrol. He was arrested Sunday in his Pomona, N.Y. home.
See the New York Daily News.
Regarding Mayor de Blasio’s response (or lack thereof) to the arrests today:
From the Observor’s Will Bredderman:
“Mr. de Blasio did say that he had not spoken with Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters—his 2013 campaign treasurer—before the commissioner recused himself on Friday evening from DOI’s part in the probe. Mr. Peters had previously resisted calls to abstain from involvement in the case, even though one of the men under investigation, Jona Rechnitz, “bundled”roughly $41,000 in contributions for Mr. de Blasio from multiple donors in 2013.
“I did not talk to Mr. Peters, but I’m glad he recused himself. That was the right decision,” the mayor said today.
The mayor vowed last week he would no longer take questions about the investigations. News broke during the press conference today that police arrested a man formerly involved in the Borough Park, Brooklyn shomrim—the ultra-Orthodox volunteer safety patrol—who allegedly promised to expedite NYPD pistol permits for people who paid him as much as $10,000.
Sources told the Observer the man in custody, Shaya Lichtenstein, has not been involved with the shomrim in several years and resides now in Rockland County, which falls under the jurisdiction of Mr. Bharara’s Southern District of New York.
No reporter had the opportunity to ask Mr. de Blasio about the arrest, because press secretary Karen Hinton called off the off-topic question-and-answer session shortly after queries turned to the scandal.”