A high-ranking Eastern European gangster who terrorized Brooklyn helped a member of his crew escape the city’s floating jail, prosecutors said in a Tuesday court filing.
Roman Nikoghosyan planned to wire money to fellow KavKaz Nation member David Mordukhaev after his July 10 escape from Vernon C. Bain Correctional Facility, a barge near Rikers Island on the East River, prosecutors said.
Nikoghosyan was heard on police wiretaps pushing his own mother to take up the fugitive while he tried to set him up with a car to get out of New York, a memorandum of law from Acting US Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said.
Mordukhaev told Nikoghosyan in a phone call that he used a rope to climb down from the fifth story, then jumped from the barge into the water and swam to shore, the court filing claimed.
The escapee told his friend he “almost died today” and added that authorities “won’t even know I am gone for another week probably,” the filing states.
The new insight into Mordukhaev’s escape came after Nikoghosyan was arrested Thursday morning in California. He will be extradited to New York on extortion charges.
Nikoghosyan, who prosecutors said was known for his strong-arm tactics with KavKav on Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach, was heard on wiretaps trying to get his mother to send $2,000 to the escapee, according to the charges.
He allegedly tried to set up the fugitive with his car by having a doorman at his building give him the key. Later, he called his mother to tell her that Mordukhaev was going to go to her house to rest — a move she was uncomfortable with, prosecutors said.
When his mother said there were cameras in the building, he told her “It doesn’t matter, he will hold his head down.”
The fugitive was arrested before he made it to the mother’s house, officials said.
KavKaz is an enterprise that engages in drug trafficking, extortion and other crimes, prosecutors claim. The group allegedly has ties to the Caucus region, including Armenia, Uzbekistan and parts of Russia.
In photos included in the court filing, members are shown using a hand signal with their fingers splayed in a “K.” Members say “K-WAY IS THE ONLY WAY,” prosecutors alleged.
The court filing requests to keep Nikoghosyan behind bars pending his trial. His role in the escape is one of several incidents outlined in the memo, including one where he is heard on wiretaps apparently in the midst of beating up someone.
He’s allegedly heard, out of breath telling someone, “You’re gonna die now, n—“ and adding “You’ll suck d—k I’m gonna f—k you,” prosecutors alleged.