June 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Two Queens men have been charged for stealing more than $280,000 from the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.
Lafayette Morrison and Lamel Miller, both 37, were arrested and charged in Brooklyn federal court yesterday for the March 7 armed robbery.
The robbery was an apparent inside job, as Morrison was employed as a security guard at the racetrack at the time of the robbery and worked with Miller to steal the cash, according to the Attorney’s Office.
Several racetrack employees, including Morrison, were transporting more than $280,000 in cash earnings to a vault on March 7 when they were intercepted by Miller and an unnamed co-conspirator around 9:45 p.m., according to court documents.
Miller and his co-conspirator, clad in surgical masks, held the employees (including Morrison) at gunpoint and took the cash and their cellphones. They then forced the victims into a closet, according to the documents.
Aqueduct surveillance footage shows Miller and the co-conspirator carrying a garbage bag and a duffel bag exiting the racetrack office and walking toward the parking lot at about 10:05 p.m.
Morrison who looked to be a victim in the robbery was actually an “inside man.” He provided information to Miller in advance about where and when the money would be transported, according to the charges.
“This alleged crew may have seen their inside job as a day at the races, but our arrests and federal complaints prove otherwise,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.
Morrison and Miller both face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
“The defendants allegedly gambled that they could pull off a high-stakes robbery with the benefit of inside information, but thanks to the outstanding efforts of ATF [New York Field Division] Special Agents and NYPD detectives, they ended up on the losing end of that bet,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement.