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HomeDaily NewsAt least 9 Rikers inmates freed by Hochul have been rearrested

At least 9 Rikers inmates freed by Hochul have been rearrested


At least nine Rikers Island inmates recently given a Get Out of Jail Free card by Gov. Hochul have been arrested again, The Post has learned.

Among those who fumbled the Sept. 17 free pass is a reputed gangbanger from Queens who not only was charged with possessing a loaded gun, but trying to bribe his way out of a return trip to the infamous jail, NYPD and law enforcement sources said.

Stepfane “Stephon” Gilliam, 26, is a member of the Queensbridge Houses crew called Team No Lackin’, and has multiple aliases and 43 prior arrests, including 23 felonies, sources said.

After just two weeks of freedom, Gilliam was pulled over by cops Sept. 29 at 9:45 p.m. at the corner of 31st Avenue and 21st Street in Queens, for alleged speeding and having too much tint on his 2004 BMW’s windows, authorities said. Responding cops found a warrant out for his arrest on a traffic violation, sources said. Cops then searched the BMW and recovered a .32 Colt revolver from the back seat.

Gilliam was charged with weapons possession, as was his passenger, 27-year-old relative Shawn Gilliam.

Stepfane Gilliam then managed to get himself in more trouble.

While being quizzed by 114th Precinct detectives about the gun, Gilliam said, “How can we make this go away?” cops said.

The arresting officer then met with Gilliam in the holding cells, where Gilliam allegedly offered cash “so you can drop the gun charge,” cops said. “I can get $20,000. I only got $3,000 cash on me. You can drive me home and I’ll go in and give it to you.”

He then allegedly tried to sweeten the offer: “I can sell drugs and give you a cut,” authorities said. The officer contacted supervisors and Gilliam was charged with bribery of a public servant.

Hochul said the ongoing crisis at Rikers meant there was no time to wait.
Paul Martinka

Gilliam’s release from Rikers came after the Sept. 17 order by Gov. Hochul to immediately release 191 of the jail’s inmates locked up for what she called “technical” violations of their parole from state prison.”

Hochul made the announcement before signing into law the “Less Is More Act” that will stop the state from putting ex-cons back behind bars for missing appointments with their parole officers, violating curfew or testing positive for drugs or alcohol. That measure is set to launch March 1.

Hochul said the ongoing crisis at Rikers meant there was no time to wait, calling reports of out-of-control violence and chaos at the massive jail complex “deeply disturbing.” She also ordered the transfers of around 200 inmates from Rikers to state prisons amid recent admissions by city Correction Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi that planned reform efforts can’t be achieved under the existing conditions.

Hochul said the inmates she was releasing “have served their sentences” for the crimes they committed and “do not need to be incarcerated.”

But the NYPD said at least eight other Rikers cons released under Hochul’s edict were re-arrested in the past three weeks.

Jerrell Edwards, 34, of Harlem, was collared Sept. 18 for petty petty larceny inside a Gramercy Park thrift shop, while Jerome Farris, 41, of Manhattan, was arrested Sept. 20 for the same charge at a Duane Reade in Penn Station, police said. A day later, Brooklyn’s Babatunde Wiggins, 51, was arrested in Midtown on a drug possession charge, and Danny Soto, 27, also of Brooklyn, was nabbed Sept. 24 for allegedly shoplifting in downtown Brooklyn, cops said.

On Oct. 2, David Porath, 55, of The Bronx, tallied three arrests for criminal contempt in connection with domestic violence, police said. Donald Stanley, 57, of Queens, was charged on the same day with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, drug possession, and operating a vehicle impaired by drugs, cops said. Michael Harris, 55, of Hempstead, L.I., was arrested Oct. 3 in Manhattan for allegedly pilfering items from Food Emporium, police said. John Henderson, 58, of Brooklyn, was nabbed in that borough Oct. 5 for petty larceny at a CVS, authorities said.

Mayor de Blasio has also released at least seven Rikers inmates in an early release program — separate and apart from Hochul’s early releases — as part of City Hall efforts to reduce the inmate headcount. Hizzoner insisted the they will set free jailbirds who, based on prior actions, are not likely to act violently. None of the seven have been re-arrested so far, officials said.

About 180 people in custody at Rikers are eligible to be let loose under Article 6A of the state Correction Law, which allows the mayor to discharge certain people into a supervised release program. The process that determines who is and isn’t likely to reoffend was to be completed last week.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has criticized plans to prematurely release dozens of Rikers Island inmates from the out-of-control jail — saying the detainees “worked awfully hard to get in there.”

Here are some of the Rikers inmates who were released early last month by politicians only to be re-arrested:

Gilliam's release from Rikers came after the Sept. 17 order by Gov. Hochul to immediately  release 191 of the jail's inmates locked up for what she called “technical” violations of their parole from state prison."
Stepfane “Stephon” Gilliam, 26, is a member of the Queensbridge Houses crew called Team No Lackin’.

Stepfane “Stephon” Gilliam, 26, of Queens

  • 43 previous arrests, including 23 felonies ranging from assault to weapon possession.
  •  12 days free before he was arrested again.
  • On the night of Sept. 29, Gilliam was pulled over by cops at 31st Avenue and 21st Street in Queens, for allegedly speeding and having too much tint on his 2004 BMW’s windows, authorities said. Police found a warrant out for his arrest on a traffic violation and searched the car, where they discovered a revolver in the back seat, sources said. Gilliam was charged with gun possession, then trying to bribe his arresting officer.
On Oct. 2, David Porath, 55, of The Bronx, tallied three arrests for criminal contempt in connection with domestic violence.
On Oct. 2, David Porath, 55, of The Bronx, tallied three arrests for criminal contempt in connection with domestic violence.

David Porath, 55, of The Bronx

  •  1 previous arrest for petit larceny in March 2020.
  • 15 days free before re-arrested.
  • On Sept. 28, he allegedly entered an apartment in the South Bronx, violating an order of protection, and punched and choked his unnamed victim, who had been sleeping, police said. On Oct. 2 he again violated the order by creeping into the apartment, police said.
Jerrell Edwards
Jerrell Edwards

Jerrell Edwards, 24, of Harlem

  •  22 prior arrests, ranging from grand larceny to burglary to robbery dating back to 2006.
  • Free one day before arrested again.
  • On Sept. 18 Edwards ws charged with petty larceny after allegedly swiping the bag of a 50-year-old woman in Gramercy Park, police said.
Babatunde Wiggins
Babatunde Wiggins

Babatunde Wiggins, 51, of Brooklyn

  • 21 priors, ranging from grand larceny to robbery, dating back to 1995.
  • Free four days before arrest.
  • On Sept. 21, Wiggins was nabbed at the corner of Eighth Avenue and West 44th Street while smoking a glass pipe, and was charged with drug possession, police said.



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