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Migrant charged in cop-shooting allegedly told police he was recruited for Venezuelan gang’s NYC robbery crew: sources

The 19-year-old migrant charged with taking pictures two NYPD cops allegedly told police he was recruited by a violent Venezuelan gang’s Big Apple “coordinator” to hitch a crew of “snatch and grab” moped thieves, law-enforcement sources stated Wednesday.

Bernardo Raul Castro Mata — who illegally entered the US final July in Texas — allegedly stated he was inspired to get distinctive tattoos to indicate his allegiance to the infamous Tren de Aragua gang, the sources stated.

The “coordinator” for the brutal road gang supplies its members in New York City with mopeds, used in profitable cellphone robberies, he told police, in line with the sources.

Accused cop shooter Bernardo Castro Mata.
Bernardo Castro Mata, 19, was arraigned on tried homicide prices from his hospital mattress for allegedly taking pictures two NYPD cops. for New York Daily News

Mata, of Venezuela, arrived on the Queens shelter, a facility catering to households, with three different individuals however hadn’t been residing there since May 15, sources have stated.

In the next weeks, he’s suspected of participating in a sequence of grab-and-run moped robberies throughout the 5 boroughs, in line with the sources.

Mata was arraigned from a Queens hospital Wednesday on two counts of tried homicide and different prices for the taking pictures that left two police officers wounded.

​Cops have but to cost Mata with the robberies.

The sources additionally stated that Mata was believed to be a part of Tren de Aragua — whose members in Venezuela are inspired to shoot at police — due to a tattoo he has on one among his arms of a clock connected to an anchor and social media postings.

Tren de Aragua has been recognized to set up profitable rings of moped-riding bandits round cities such because the Big Apple to grab objects together with cellphones — usually whereas armed, sources have stated.

Cops pack courtroom for cop shooter's arraignment.
About 50 cops packed a Queens courtroom as accused chop shooter Bernardo Castro Mata was arraigned. for New York Daily News

The gun used in Monday’s cop-shooting, a .380-caliber Hi-Point pistol, was traced to a girl who purchased it in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2017, however who stated she had no concept that it had been stolen, law-enforcement sources stated Wednesday.

Mata can be being eyed by authorities in Nassau County for a May 22 robbery in Hempstead that left the sufferer with a gunshot wound to her arm when she tried to struggle off her attackers, sources stated Wednesday.

According to the sources, police tracked the lady’s stolen iPod to the shelter the place Mata had beforehand been staying with two suspected accomplices — who investigators imagine might have since skipped city for Texas.

Wounded NYPD cop Christopher Abreu.
NYPD cop Christopher Abreu after being wounded in a scuffle with a Venezuelan immigrant in Queens on Monday. Robert Mecea
Accused cop shooter Bernardo Castro Mata.
Migrant Bernardo Castro Mata was charged with taking pictures and wounding two NYPD cops throughout a scuffle in Queens. FNTV

In all, Mata faces 17 felony counts tied to the taking pictures of Officers Christopher Abreu and Richard Yarusso, each 26, at round 1:40 a.m. Monday in Elmhurst.

The cops tried to cease Mata after recognizing him driving a scooter the unsuitable means alongside Ditmars Boulevard with out a helmet or license plate on a pedestrian-filled sidewalk, prosecutors stated.

Mata ditched the scooter and took off working, with a 3rd officer, Sgt. Nicholas Condos, leaping on the two-wheeler and giving chase and catching up with the fleeing suspect — who then pulled out a gun, in line with prosecutors.

Despite being wounded, Abreau managed to shoot Mata in the ankle and he was taken into custody.

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