By Jonathan Sperling
A cold murder case that took place in South Ozone Park nearly three decades ago is heating up following two indictments in federal court on Wednesday.
Darin “Satch” Hamilton, 60, and Jerome “Sha” Jones, 54, were arraigned in federal court yesterday on charges related to the murders of Anthony Lloyd and Robert Arroyo in South Ozone Park in 1992.
Hamilton shot and killed Lloyd while making a drug sale and both defendants murdered Arroyo after they suspected that he was a police informant, prosecutors said. Hamilton was arrested Wednesday morning, while Jones is in federal custody in West Virginia for an unrelated crime and will be arraigned at an unspecified date.
“As today’s charges make clear, we will not let the passage of time deter us from bringing murderers to justice. It is our hope that this prosecution will bring some measure of consolation to the families of the victims,” stated United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
Both defendants were alleged members of a Queens-based drug gang known as “Black Rain.” The group sold heroin called “Black Rain,” cocaine called “White Lightning” and crack cocaine called “Thunder” at several locations along Rockaway Boulevard in the early 1990s, according to court filings.
Hamilton’s attorney Robert Soloway did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The two murders occurred near the intersection of 128th Street and Rockaway Boulevard, one of the drug spots controlled by Hamilton and Jones. Hamilton shot Lloyd in June 1992 because he thought that Lloyd had stolen from the gang.
Later, in August 1992, Hamilton and Jones recruited and paid two members of Black Rain to murder Arroyo, but the recruits mistakenly shot another man they incorrectly believed to be Arroyo. The man was injured but survived.
On Sept. 8, 1992, at the direction of Hamilton and Jones, the two recruits located Arroyo on a crowded street and shot him multiple times, killing him, according to prosecutors.
“Investigations grow cold with the passage of time, but investigators don’t stop searching for evidence they need to bring the suspects involved to justice,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney. “Anthony Lloyd and Robert Arroyo were murdered nearly three decades ago, and their killers may have believed they were in the clear. However, the FBI New York Metro Safe Streets Task Force and our partners at the NYPD want this case to serve as a warning for those who believe they can let their guard down, we are still on the case and we won’t give up.”