Aug. 3, 2023 By Bill Parry
Two Queens men were arrested Aug. 2 and arraigned in Brooklyn federal court hours later, where they were both charged with impersonating a federal officer during an armed robbery in Flushing last month.
Law enforcement officers arrested Cheng Wei Huang and Rustambek Zokirov, who resides in Queens but remains a citizen of Uzbekistan, for impersonating FBI agents on July 16 when they allegedly kidnapped two victims and held them for hours at gunpoint inside their Flushing apartment building, according to court documents.
At approximately 7 a.m. on July 16, the two adult victims — a 25-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman — entered the parking garage located in the basement of 137-35 Elder Ave. near Main Street in Flushing. They were driving a Mercedes-Benz, which they lease from a dealership.Seconds later, Zokiriv and Wei Huang entered the garage in a black Porsche Cayenne and as they got out of the vehicle they brandished firearms and identified themselves to the victims as FBI agents, handcuffed the victims, and escorted them to their fifth floor apartment.
Once inside, the victims were blindfolded, restrained with duct tape, and repeatedly tased by the co-conspirators, who also threatened to shoot them if they did not cooperate. Over the next few hours, Zokirov and Wei Huang — both 24 years old — stole credit cards, designer handbags, luxury jewelry, the keys to the victim’s Mercedes and approximately $30,000 in cryptocurrency from at least one of the victims’ friends after they were forced to call the friend asking that they send the money to the co-conspirators, according to prosecutors.
At around 9 p.m., Zokirov and Wei Huang left the apartment with the stolen property. One of the co-conspirators then drove off in the victims’ 2019 Mercedes Benz GT50, while the other fled in the Porsche. At around 11 p.m., the victims were able to free themselves and contacted the 109th Precinct in Flushing.
On July 19, the NYPD located the stolen Mercedes in a Manhattan parking garage. The car was seized and garage workers were instructed to call them if anyone subsequently requested the keys to the car. Two days later, two men entered the garage and asked for the keys. The attendant asked Zokirov for identification and he handed over his New York state driver’s license which the attendant photographed.
The license photo matched one of the co-conspirators that were caught on a surveillance camera back at the Flushing apartment complex. When the attendant informed Zokirov that the car had been seized by the NYPD he responded that he was a law enforcement officer. The attendant gave him the NYPD contact number and Zokirov called the NYPD via a cell phone registered in his name.
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Zokirov’s residence and took him into custody. His mother was in the home and identified Wei Huang as Zokirov’s accomplice in the July 16 armed robbery. After waiving his Miranda Rights, Zokirov also identified Wei Huan as his accomplice.
During the search at Zokirov’s residence a credit card in Wei Huang’s name was found Zokirov and Wei Huang were arraigned on separate complaints Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera Scanlon who ordered them detained until trial due to the defendant’s dangerousness and risk of flight.