MINEOLA - State charges have been brought against a group accused of stealing from more than 50 commercial and residential properties by using high-tech devices.
Federal charges against some of the members were announced in November. The group includes Rafael "Ray" Astacio, who was an NYPD detective at the time of his alleged participation.
Nikitas "Nicky" Margiellos, of West Babylon, Gerard Camarano, of Valley Stream, and Trung Lu, of Ridgewood, are also accused of being part of a group that Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice calls a "brazen crew of professional burglars." The defendants have been indicted on two counts each of burglary in the third degree, and two counts each of possession of burglar's tools. The counts carry up to a maximum possible sentence of 4-2/3 to 16 years in prison each. Further charges are anticipated as the investigation continues.
The accused burglary ring is said to have used cellphone scramblers, GPS tracking devices and other high-tech devices in connection with more than 50 residential and commercial burglaries between 2009 and 2011.
Margiellos is also facing federal charges in connection with the burglary rings.
In all, investigators say the group stole more than $10 million in cash and property.
For news conference on the high-tech burglary ring, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.