Updated 08/30/2012 06:47 PM
Syracuse lawyer charged with corruption, conspiracy
A Syracuse lawyer is indicted on charges ranging from enterprise corruption to conspiracy and tampering with a witness. Prosecutors say it's all in connection with a 2010 killing. YNN's Tamara Lindstrom has more on the investigation into what the District attorney is calling a "reign of terror."
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SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It was a shooting that launched a two year investigation into a criminal drug enterprise reaching from Syracuse's West Side all the way to Puerto Rico.
"On August the 21st of 2010, 25-year-old Luis Quinonez-Osorio was brutally gunned down at his home on 631 South Geddes Street," said Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.
Twenty-six-year old Emilliier Carrasquillo-Fuentes is awaiting trial for murder. In all, three men have been charged in the killing: Carrasquillo-Fuentes, 17-year-old Jesus Carmona and 22-year-old Dean Orlando Pizarro.
But prosecutors say it's a crime ring that goes deeper. On Thursday, four others were charged with a laundry list of crimes in an apparent attempt to silence witnesses.
"From on or about January 1st, 2010 to July 16th of this year, they participated in acts of murder, conspiracy and an attempt to subvert the criminal justice system in Onondaga County, as well as to terrorize the lawful residents and neighbors of the west side of the City of Syracuse," Fitzpatrick said.
The District Attorney called it a "reign of terror," saying the suspects used intimidation, assault and bribery to control the residents of the West Side.
"Among the overt acts supporting the charge of enterprise corruption are multiple instances of witness tampering and bribery, including instances of bribery that would have affected the trial of the murder of Luis Quinonez-Osorio," Fitzpatrick said.
Among those charged is Syracuse attorney Ezequiel Neuman. Investigators say he bribed witnesses in the case with cash and cocaine. Iris Restro, Paul Santiago and Johan Carrisquillo, were charged as well.
While the investigation may lead to more suspects, the DA said he hopes the arrests will give some measure of comfort to West Side neighbors.
"This still is, and always will be, our city," Fitzpatrick said. "This office will fight relentlessly for this city and pursue to the fullest extent of the law any person who attempts to pervert our system of justice by crimes such as those alleged in this indictment."
Fitzpatrick says some killings in Puerto Rico may be tied to the case as well, but those crimes are out of his jurisdiction.
The trial of Carrasquillo-Fuentes was slated to begin next month, but now prosecutors say they will ask for an adjournment while they sort through the indictments. If he's convicted of those charges, Ezequiel Neuman could face up to 25 years in prison.