Daily News from New York, New York on December 22, 2004 · 107
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Daily News from New York, New York · 107

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
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ft wi u m i nm m m mm m m m m W O Pfafflfi (feiiiafcm tFcrootra Putt Jog Media room is gift-rapped BY BOB KAPPSTATTER DAILY NEWS BRONX BUREAU CHIEF YO! SHE MAY have a better-looking ..posterior, but check this out: J.Lo has nothing on Fat Joe when it comes to remembering the old Bronx 'hood. The Grammy-nominated Latin rapper was back in Morrisania yesterday to return the favor to his old grammar rappers should excuse the expression school by donating a whole bank of computers and furnishing a new media room there. The donation to Public School 146 on Cauldwell Ave. was the rapper's idea and came out of conversations that he had with Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, a personal friend who accompanied him to the assembly and multimedia room unveiling. The media room will get repainted and get new furnishings, courtesy of Fat Joe, whose real name is Joseph Cartagena. In return, school Principal Darlene Stokes-McWhales agreed to rename the room after Joe's sister, Lisa Cartage- . na, who died during childbirth. Cartagena, who grew up in the Forest Projects at 165th and Trinity Sts. during the mid-1980s, said it made him feel "so grateful that I'm in a position to give back to the community that helped make me who I am today.". Stokes-McWhales said, "The children 3 ml - -".r- ; V i J V MARIELA LOMBARD Fat Joe shows hometown pride as he dons Yankees cap while visiting with kids at Public School 146, his alma mater. were .really excited because he, said they were in the same chairs and the same classrooms he had been in and he was just like them. That left an impression on them. I just think it's a tremendous gift and the beginning of an opportunity to have an ongoing relationship." "This is all coming out of his pocket and some friends at Atlantic Records," said Diaz (D-Soundview). "One day he called me and said while he was making all this money, he wanted to give something back." Diaz said the two met while he was giving a speech in Fat Joe's neighbor-. hood, "and he was in a car that almost ran me over. It's been a relationship ever since. Every time we call him to do community stuff, he's always been available." Diaz said he hopes the rapper "sets an example to all of those who have gone on to fame and fortune from the Bronx and don't give back to their "hood." Was he talking about a certain young Latina from Castle Hill formerly linked to actor Ben Affleck? No Comment. rttappsldtlef eiydaflynews.com lnusfi HA Si 3 BY BOB KAPPSTATTER DAILY NEWS BRONX BUREAU CHIEF A STOLEN car and chop shop ring operating across the city and suburbs picked the wrong customers to do business with, authorities said yesterday. Fourteen suspects and a corporation came under indictment after the customers turned out to be undercover cops running a sting operation. Officials said the ring's activities included stealing high-end cars for parts or for insurance claims. Ring members even sold a stolen tractor-trailer to the undercover agents, officials said. The investigation itself was high-tech, they said, with surveillance cameras, hidden microphones and even a Global Positioning System satellite tracking device that was planted in a van that alleged members of the ring regularly used for transportation to and from car theft locations, chop shops and delivery locations for stolen car parts. Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said that 11 of the defendants, who were charged with enterprise corruption, belong to a close-knit ring of thieves that specializes in auto theft and related crimes. Four other defendants are accused of participating in some of the criminal activities including having their cars "torched" for insurance money but were not charged with being part of the criminal enterprise that involved crimes covering the the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Rockland County. Johnson said the 161-count indictment was the result of a three-year-long joint investigation by his office, NYPD's organized crime investigation division and the New York City Business Integrity Commission, formerly the Trade Waste Commission. The automobile sound and security shop at 2655 Webster Ave. Auto Sports, Inc. was the nerve center of the alleged criminal enterprise, Johnson said, adding that it now has new owners with no connection to the criminal case. Members of the ring allegedly conducted business from the shop and various abandoned lots that were converted into chop shops to dismantle vehicles, alter vehicle identification numbers on parts, rebuild motor vehicles using stolen parts, take orders for them and arrange for the disappearance of vehicles in connection with the filing of fraudulent insurance claims. The most serious of the charges, enterprise corruption, is punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Investigators have identified the alleged ringleaders of the so-called Auto Sports Crew as Bronx residents Steven Lugo, 34, and Victor Estrella, 39. Among the alleged members of the ring were Stony Point residents Adalberto Marty, 35, and his wife. Carmen Marty, 38, the owners of Auto Sports Inc. rkappstatter&jyaa iVynews.com 3 cr to jo to o o

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