Flushing man busted in cigarette tax scheme


A Flushing man is accused of depriving the state in over $200,000 in cigarette tax revenue by selling untaxed cigarettes, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office says.

“Smokers may see untaxed cigarettes as a bargain, but it cheats everyone – other taxpayers and those who use state-funded programs that depend on tax revenue,” District Attorney Richard Brown said. “Cigarette smuggling to evade sales taxes is a multimillion dollar industry. It is a highly profitable tax-free, cash business for those involved. And the victims are taxpayers who must dig deeper into their pockets and pay higher taxes because of these kinds of schemes.”

According to Brown, Baocheng Zhang, a 33-year-old Flushing man, was observed on Monday, October 17 at 9:20 a.m. loading 22 cases of cigarettes into a Toyota Sienna, parked in front of 42-06 Bell Boulevard in Bayside. A warrant was issued and the subsequent search yielded 1,047 cartons of untaxed cigarettes.

Police also executed search warrants on storage units on College Point Boulevard, ultimately recovering an additional 2,152 cartons of cigarettes.

Zhang faces charges of second- and third-degree attempted grand larceny and violation of the New York State cigarette and tobacco products tax law. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.


Fatal collision at Prince and Northern


A car struck a pedestrian at the intersection of Prince Street and Northern Boulevard on Sunday evening, leading to the death of the 79-year-old victim.

Police say that at approximately 6 p.m., authorities responded to a call about the collision. When they arrived, cops found an unconscious and unresponsive 79-year-old man.

EMS arrived and took him to New York Hospital Queens, where he then succumbed to his injuries.

The intersection is particularly busy and filled with cars because it leads straight to the highway.

A preliminary police investigation revealed that the pedestrian tried to cross Northern Boulevard street against the traffic light. He was hit by a 2016 Ford Explorer that was also crossing Northern.

The driver remained at the scene of the incident.

The NYPD’s Highway Patrol Collision Investigation Squad is conducting an ongoing investigation.

Authorities say they will release the victim’s name after proper notification to his next of kin.


Bayside restaurants raise money for St. Mary’s


Starting today, restaurants all across Bayside are raising money to support critically ill and injured children at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.

The weeklong event features nine local restaurants that have agreed to donate a portion of their profits to the hospital.

“Families come to St. Mary’s in search of the best care possible, which we are proud to provide every single day,” said St. Mary’s CEO Eddie Simpser. “Every dollar raised this week will go toward critical care for children with special needs.”

Here’s the schedule of restaurants that will be donating parts of their profits this week:

  • Monday, October 17: Pizzeria Uno and Fiamma 41
  • Tuesday, October 18: Terrace Diner and Bourbon Street
  • Wednesday, October 19: Palazzo and Kalamaki GR
  • Thursday, October 20: Yogurt Couture and Monahan & Fitzgerald
  • Friday, October 21: Trattoria 35

For more information about St. Mary’s Week, contact Victoria Falcone at vfalcone@stmaryskids.org.


Fresh Meadows woman raped in early hours


It’s a nightmare scenario for anyone, but especially those who work early in the morning.

Police say that on Sunday, October 16, at approximately 6:22 a.m., a 51-year-old woman was walking to work along Horace Harding Expressway, near 60-07 168th Street, when an unknown man approached her from behind.

The man, pictured to the left, immediately placed her in a chokehold, which caused her to momentarily lose consciousness.

He threw her to the ground and “sexually assaulted her,” according to police.

Reports say she continued on to work and called her son, who reported the incident to authorities.

The suspect then got into his dark-colored 4-door began and fled westbound on Horace Harding.

Police say there are no arrests yet and the incident’s being investigated by the NYPD’s Queens Special Victims Squad.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.



Whitestone town meeting on Oct. 19


On Wednesday, October 19, at 7:30 p.m., the Whitestone community is having a town meeting at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church at 150-05 12th Avenue.

A representative from the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Members of the 109th Precinct will also be there to provide an update on safety in the neighborhood.

In addition, community members can sign up to receive a free smoke/CO detector alarm, courtesy of the FDNY and Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.


Doctor charged with manslaughter from botched abortion


A Flushing medical doctor was indicted on second-degree manslaughter charges as a result of a botched abortion that resulted in the death of a 30-year-old woman.

The arraignment alleges that 52-year-old Robert Rho, of Lake Success, New York caused the woman’s death by perforating her uterine wall and causing a disruption and transection of the uterine artery during a surgical procedure on July 9, 2016, at the Flushing health facility where he practices. He subsequently failed to provide her with appropriate and timely medical attention.

After the initial procedure, the arraignment states that the victim was bleeding profusely and underwent a second procedure. She was subsequently allowed to leave the Liberty Women’s Health Care of Queens, located at 37-01 Main St., with her sister, despite having collapsed and appearing disoriented.

On the way to her sister’s Bronx apartment, she reportedly fell unconscious. She was taken to a Bronx hospital where she was pronounced dead later that night after being given six units of blood.

If Rho is convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.



Watch thief steals $10K in valuables

2833-16-109-pct-9-28-16-2Police are looking for a thief who pocketed more than $10,000 worth of watches in Whitestone.

Cops say that on Wednesday, September 28, at 10:30 a.m., the man pictured on the left entered a Hallmark store at 153-75 Cross Island Parkway.

The suspect, somehow without anyone noticing, walked behind the register and removed a key.

He used that key to open a watch display case and took 30 watches, worth more than $10K.

He placed them in his black book bag and left the store.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM.