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Second suspect arrested in NYC gay wire robbery that leaves 2 dead – NBC News

Another suspect was arrested and charged with murder in connection with a string of drug-related robberies in New York City, New York, that included two deaths, two law enforcement officials told NBC on Monday.

Robert Demaio, 34, has been charged with murder, robbery, grand larceny, identity theft and conspiracy in connection with the death of John Umberger, a 33-year-old political consultant, and in a separate case in which an unidentified victim died. the police said.

Umberger and Julio Ramirez, a 25-year-old social worker, were both found dead after visiting a restaurant in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood last spring. Both had left bars with at least one unknown person before draining their bank accounts of thousands of dollars using facial recognition access on their phones, according to their families.

Last month, the medical examiner’s office ruled their deaths as homicides facilitated by “drug theft.” Multiple drugs were found in his system, including fentanyl, lidocaine and cocaine.

John Umbergercute clary

Two law enforcement officials said that police obtained security footage showing Demaio and Jayqwan Hamilton as one of three suspects police named in connection with the murders of Umberger and Ramirez—including leaving Umberger’s temporary residence on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

Through a search warrant, police also recovered two videos from Demaio’s phone that showed Demaio at the scene of Umberga’s death, police added. In one of the films, according to the two officials, Umberger appears to be unconscious, lying face down on his bed during his stay in New York City.

“A lot of these people speak volumes,” Umberger’s mother, Linda Clary, said of the roads. “That’s what I find very annoying and that’s why I don’t think we should allow these things between us.”

Demaio’s detention follows the arrest of Jacobi Barroso on Saturday. Barroso, 30, has been charged with murder, robbery, grand larceny and conspiracy in connection with Ramirez’s death and in a separate incident where the victim survived, police said Sunday.

Barroso was arraigned Monday in Manhattan Criminal Court on murder and robbery charges. He pleaded not guilty and the judge set bail at $3 million.

“He intends to fight the case vigorously,” said his attorney, David Krauss.

On Friday, police said they believe Demaio, Barroso and Hamilton are among them the perpetrators of a wider “urban robbery” that included at least 17 victims. The events — which include the Ramirez and Umberger robberies and deaths — took place between Sept. 19, 2021, and 28 Aug. 2022, the spokesman said.

The suspect was charged Monday afternoon with robbery, grand larceny, and identity theft charges in connection with the robberies. Andre Butts, 28, was caught on video surveillance buying sneakers with Ramirez’s credit card, according to prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Butts, who was arrested on Friday and pleaded not guilty, is being held on $100,000 bail after attempting to flee his arrest, prosecutors said.

Butts’ indictment follows last week’s proceeding against Shane Hoskins who was charged with felony robbery and identity theft charges in connection with the same string of robberies.

The indictment naming Hoskins, 31, and four other unidentified conspirators outlined an example where the victims were “incapacitated to the point of realizing the event could be reduced,” so the suspects could then steal the victims’ cellphones and credit cards. They use physical cards and information stored on victims’ phones to transfer money to themselves and make purchases.

More gay deaths and robberies in NYC

NBC News spoke with several gay men who said they survived similar incidents from December 2021 to October 2022.

The New York City Police Department confirmed to NBC News that several criminal groups are committing such crimes against people visiting the city. Police also said comparable crimes have been committed against bar patrons without any LGBTQ affiliation.

One separate group is suspected of committing similar crimes on 26 victims, two law enforcement officials told NBC News last week. Fashion designer Kathryn Marie Gallagher, whose death in July was ruled a drug homicide by the medical examiner’s office, is one of the victims following the group’s officials, said.

Last week, the New York medical examiner’s office confirmed it was also investigating “several deaths in similar circumstances” to Ramirez and Umberger. It is unclear if the dead were found after visiting the gay camp, or if they were connected to Demaio, Barroso and Hamilton.

A spokesperson for the medical examiner’s office said they are “no longer commenting due to ongoing criminal investigations.”

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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