In July, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted Akmal Narzikulov of conspiracy to unlawfully produce identification documents; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping and extortion in a scheme to assist cheating by applicants for New York State commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) licenses. Narzikulov was also convicted of using a firearm in connection with the charged extortion and conspiracy to commit witness tampering. The verdict followed a two-week trial before United States District Judge Brian M. Cogan.

Narzikulov and other co-conspirators helped applicants for CDLs and TLC licenses cheat on tests in exchange for cash. Using wireless devices hidden inside applicants’ clothing, Narzikulov’s co-conspirators transmitted correct answers via earbuds.

On March 28, 2019, Narzikulov, co-defendant Sherzod Mukumov and an un-apprehended co-conspirator kidnapped an individual who withdrew from the cheating scheme. Surveillance video showed the victim being shocked and subdued with a taser, then dragged into a waiting car. That same night, Narzikulov threatened another co-conspirator at gunpoint in an attempt to extort money from him and the victim, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As charged in a second superseding indictment, Narzikulov offered thousands of dollars to key witnesses to travel overseas and remain there until after the trial.

When Narzikulov was arrested in April 2019, FBI special agents recovered a 9mm handgun, approximately $300,000 in cash and identification documents belonging to other individuals. In November 2019, Mukumov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and is awaiting sentencing. In January 2020, Jasur Kamolov pleaded guilty to conspiracy to produce false identification documents and is awaiting sentencing. In November 2020, Murodjon Sultanov pleaded guilty to witness tampering and was sentenced in April 2021 to a term of 24 months’ imprisonment. In May 2021, Firuz Juraev pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act extortion conspiracy and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and is awaiting sentencing.

Source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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