Edgemere Man Arraigned on Animal Cruelty Charges

 Edgemere Man Arraigned on Animal Cruelty Charges

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Cory Elder was arraigned on animal cruelty charges after a search of his Edgemere home last Monday revealed he was housing 11 dogs and two cats that were malnourished and kept in undersized cages. Heroin, fentanyl and ammunition for a revolver were also found in the home, resulting in additional charges.

District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant tortured these animals. They were abused, malnourished, and kept confined. The treatment plus the ammunition and drugs that were recovered leaves the defendant facing 12 years in prison. I will always hold accountable those who abuse defenseless animals. Thank you to the NYPD and ASPCA for rescuing these dogs and cats from their misery.”

ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker said, “Once authorities observed the conditions these dogs and cats were living in, it was clear they were not receiving adequate care, and we were able to work together to quickly bring these animals to safety. This case illustrates the lifesaving impact of the ASPCA’s decade-long partnership with the NYPD. When officers discover vulnerable animals in the course of their routine police work, they are equipped to take immediate action to get the animals the help they need.”

Elder, 43, of Beach 44th Street, was arraigned on Sunday on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree; 13 counts of overdriving, torturing and injuring animals/failure to provide sustenance; two counts of possession of stolen property in the fifth degree; two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree; unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition; 13 counts of failure to provide proper food and drink to an impounded animal; aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree; and driving by unlicensed operator.

In a separate criminal complaint, Elder is also charged with burglary in the third degree and petit larceny in connection with a break-in at a Rosedale smoke shop on February 3.

Elder faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. Judge John Michael Hartofilis ordered him to return to court on March 11.

According to the charges:

Based on a police investigation, a search warrant was obtained for Elder’s home. On March 4, at approximately 6:05 a.m., the warrant was executed, and police found 11 dogs and two cats that were each in cages too small for them. There was urine and feces on the bottom of the cages and every animal appeared to be malnourished, their rib cages protruding. There was no accessible food or water for the animals.

At least one of the dogs, a German shepherd, did not belong to Elder. A mechanic’s tool and DJ equipment that also did not belong to Elder were found in the apartment as well.

Police recovered 69 glassine envelopes with heroin and five fentanyl pills in the bedroom and recovered a round of .45-caliber ammunition from a nightstand.

The animals were taken to a local veterinary hospital where they were treated for malnourishment.

A second criminal complaint against Elder charges that, according to video surveillance footage recorded on February 3, at approximately 4:15 a.m., he and two other men got out of a vehicle parked in front of the Rosedale Exotics smoke shop at 147-26 Brookville Boulevard; a metal grinder was passed from one man to another; and sparks were observed flying from the location.

Approximately 12 minutes later, Elder and one of the other two men entered the smoke shop. The two removed cash from the register, as well as merchandise from shelves and from under the counter. The cash and merchandise were stuffed into bags. The men left the smoke shop and returned to the car parked in front of the store. Also charged in the smoke shop burglary is Damion Bartely, 19, of Brooklyn.

The investigations were conducted by Detective Joseph Lavelle of the Brooklyn Grand Larceny Squad and Detective Salvatore Sardo of the 105th Precinct. Assistant District Attorney Joshua R. Asch of the District Attorney’s Felony Trial Bureau III is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Lauren T. Michalski, Section Chief of the District Attorney’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit, under the supervision of Rachel Buchter, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of the Supreme Court Trial Division Pishoy B. Yacoub.

Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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