DA: 5 home invasion suspects used phony badges
Five men accused in a series of home invasions in Suffolk faced a judge today.
The men are accused of going on a crime spree while wearing fake police badges around their necks.
The Suffolk District Attorney's Office says Michael Stevens, of Valley Stream, was the ringleader in the crime spree. Stevens, 31, allegedly orchestrated the home invasions of marijuana dealers, as well as law-abiding citizens, by displaying phony police badges.
The other suspects include Demetrius Williams, 27, of Wyandanch, Ramon Rodriguez, 31, of Ridgewood, and two upstate men: Jonte Hatcher, 31, of Newburgh, and Mark Powers, 23, of Poughkeepsie.
District Attorney Tom Spota says they carried out seven home invasions in Wyandanch, Bay Shore, North Bay Shore, Deer Park, North Babylon and Mastic.
Detectives say a break came in the case came when the gang of five allegedly raided a home they believed to be a drug house on Chestnut Drive in Bay Shore. The occupants of the home called the police.
Police say they were able to catch up with the suspects after pinpointing the alleged ringleader's cellphone at each home invasion location.
The suspects are facing a 30-count indictment including charges of burglary, robbery, conspiracy and criminal impersonations. The suspects could get 25 years in prison if convicted.