Two of the three men linked to the recent robbery of a Brooklyn preacher during a live stream of his Sunday service have been arrested and charged with armed robbery. The preacher has released a statement saying he wants the “judicial system” to work and hopes people will see that he, his family and the church are “victims and not the villains”.
On Wednesday, September 28, the DOJ released a statement saying that after the unsealing of an indictment regarding their role in the armed robbery of Bishop Lamor Miller-Whitehead at the Brooklyn branch of Leaders, Juwan Anderson and Say-Quan Pollack of Morning International Service at Remsen Ave. near Avenue D at about 11:15 a.m. on July 24.
The men, both 23 years old, were arraigned before US District Judge Ramon E. Reyes, Jr.
Three agencies worked together to advance this case, the US District Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (NY Division), and the NYPD.
US Attorney Breon Pace said, “As alleged, the defendants brought weapons into a place of worship and stole two members of the clergy, startling the congregation in the process.”
“I commend the special agents and detectives for their outstanding efforts in identifying the perpetrators who committed a crime that shakes conscience at its audacity,” added Pace. This office will always work with our law enforcement partners to protect our places of worship, prosecute those who engage in gun violence, and ensure the safety of all members of our community.”
Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said, “The indictment unveiled today reaffirms the NYPD’s unwavering commitment to work together across multiple law enforcement agencies to focus on the few individuals charged with violence in our city.”
Next: “I commend the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and all of our NYPD officers and detectives for investigating this important case and removing defendants from ours.” streets.”
“Armed robbery is an intolerable crime, but committing such an act during a church service is incomprehensible,” said ATF Special Counsel DeVito.
“The men and women of ATF stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of our partners to identify, investigate and apprehend those perpetrating such brazen acts of violence in our communities. These arrests are the result of excellent investigative work by the ATF/NYPD’s Strategic Pattern Armed Robbery Technical Apprehension (SPARTA) Group. I would like to thank the United States Attorney for their work in prosecuting this case.”
After the robbery went viral and the “flashy” pastor lay flat on his stomach when he was allegedly robbed for $1 million in jewelry, Whitehead received immediate backlash.
Much of the controversy surrounding him has centered not only on his designer clothes and luxury cars, but also on his criminal past and the current trial, in which a 56-year-old immigrant says he took her life savings and her promise to help her secure it help, not respected a house.
Pauline Anderson claimed that in November 2020 her bi-professional pastor (who also doubles as a real estate agent) told her she would help her fix her credit so she could get her dream home. She gave him a high five-digit cashier’s check, and he reportedly agreed to pay her $100 a month to support her budget.
However, he only gave her the $100 allowance once in January 2021. As a result, she filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn Superior Court in 2021, stating, “Whitehead fraudulently caused Ms. Anderson to liquidate all of her life savings to pay him the ‘investment’ of $90,000.00 and promised to do so Use money to buy and renovate a house for them.
“MS. Anderson was instead left with nothing but a vague promise from Mr. Whitehead to repay the monies in the future, followed by a claim that he was no longer obligated to do so,” the filing reads.
In the lawsuit, she also has screenshots of the bishop telling her if she doesn’t have a receipt, her money will be considered a donation.
The bishop wrote to Anderson in a text exchange on May 19, 2021: “And for the record, everything I’ve been given is a donation unless accompanied by a contract! I made investments, that’s what I do!”
In a recent stirring of dust, the bishop made the headlines when, during his Sunday service on Sept. 18, he called a woman from the back of his church and then grabbed her by the neck and accused her of assaulting his wife.
This argument was also recorded in the live stream.
He and the woman were both arrested by the NYPD, but only the woman, whose name is Tarsha Howard, was arrested for trespassing and disrupting a church service. Howard says she went to church not to disrupt the service but to do research for an upcoming book about “charismatic leaders in the black community.”
She and her lawyers believe the bishop should be charged with assaulting her.
“I am a born again Christian. So I started praying. And then, out of nowhere, he lunged at me, and you can see that on the video. He lunged at me and dragged me out of the church and there was no explanation as to why that happened,” she told the Daily News.
Whitehead said “higher authorities” had arranged for him to be released from custody within two hours without arrest. He is also friends with current New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Judge Simiyon Haniff, the judge on the case, said after Howard’s indictment, “Just for the record, this is probably the first time in my 20+ years that I’ve even seen these indictments. Not the charge of trespassing… interrupting or disrupting a church service, funeral, burial, or memorial service.”
According to a press release filed by Whitehead’s publicist, the pastor “was notified by team members from the NYPD and the ATF Robbery Task Force that two suspects have been taken into custody.”
Whitehead commended law enforcement for their work in making the case fair.
“Today is the beginning of healing. We will keep the justice system working as I continue to do what God has called me to do,” he said in the statement. “I want to thank my supporters and hope that those who didn’t believe in my innocence will understand that I, along with my family and church, am the victims and not the villains.”
A third defendant remains at large, and the DOJ clarified that the “charges in the indictment are allegations.”
“The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty,” the DOJ said. “If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.”
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/09/29/two-men-arrested-and-charged-with-robbing-flamboyant-brooklyn-pastor-during-sunday-church-service/ Two men arrested and charged with robbing flamboyant Brooklyn pastor during Sunday service