BRAGG'S BRAZEN BUNCH: Blinded by Donald Trump prize, DA Alvin Bragg set vicious career criminals free

BRAGG'S BRAZEN BUNCH: Blinded by Donald Trump prize, DA Alvin Bragg set vicious career criminals free
While Alvin Bragg was busy trying to indict Donald Trump, some of NYC's worst criminals, including Harold Gooding, roam the streets freely (Getty Images; Harold Gooding Jr/Facebook)

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK: While Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrested former president Donald Trump over the "hush money" scandal amid rising speculation of political bias, a slew of New York City's worst career criminals who have been arrested countless times walk free. In the past few years, residents of the Big Apple have grown to fear walking in broad daylight and riding the subway.

Bragg's office was heavily criticized for his soft-on-crime policies in August 2022 after Mayor Eric Adams revealed that the same 10 criminals were behind nearly 500 crimes and that 60% of them were still roaming the streets. In the same year, Bragg sent a memo claiming any crime involving a firearm would be prosecuted as a felony, going back on the stance the DA took just a month before. However, this move let violent re-offenders back out on the New York streets to wreak havoc. 


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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference following the arraignment of former U.S. President Donald Trump April 4, 2023 in New York City. Former U.S. President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts stemming from hush money payments in 2016. With his indictment, Trump will become the first former U.S. president in history to be charged with a criminal offense.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference following the arraignment of former president Donald Trump April 4 in New York City (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Harold Gooding

Harold Gooding, 53, comes first on NYPD's list of repeat offenders with scores of larceny charges including four heists in Target, per Daily Mail. He has 15 convictions as well as 14 failures to show in court following his crime spree. The 53-year-old walks free with more than 70 arrests just for theft alone

Harold Gooding has been arrested 101 times (Facebook/Harold Gooding Jr)
Harold Gooding has been arrested over 101 plus times (Facebook/Harold Gooding Jr)

Jamel Pringle 

Prolific criminal Jamel Pringle was arrested 167 times. He was convicted of a felony and 88 misdemeanors, and another 39 citations for failing to appear in court, when he was booked for a second time for stealing a tip jar at a 102nd Street cafe that had more than $40 in it. When he was arrested in February 2022, for stealing $430 worth of items from Rite Aid, a judge said, "it would take me all day to go through this rap sheet." He was reportedly denied bail in August 2022. 

Michelle Kelley

The self-proclaimed "professional booster," Michelle Kelley, 41, allegedly told authorities, "Y'all are stopping my hustle," when she was arrested for the 97th time. The 41-year-old has a history of petit larceny, and her favorite store was Manhattan's Upper East Side Target store. According to 2020 law, petit larceny is a non-jailable offense. However, during her 101st arrest for second-degree assault, she had a physical altercarion with two NYPD officers whom she allegedly kicked, bit, scratched and spit on, in an attempt to swipe paper towels from a Duane Reade in Harlem. After that, she was held on $5,000 bail.


William Rolon

Career criminal William Rolon was charged with first-degree robbery and criminal weapons possession after he brandished a pocket knife while trying to steal $2,000 worth of medication from a Duane Reade in January 2022. Although, he was never booked for robbery after the charges were dropped to two counts of petit larceny and a misdemeanor. A judge reportedly told him he should "feel lucky" because of Bragg's new policies.

"I don't know if anyone would ever feel lucky standing in front of me in a courtroom, but you might reasonably feel lucky today," the judge reportedly said, adding, "Based on your record, you would have faced a long period of time in jail if convicted. The newly elected district attorney has new policies. You're not charged with robbery; you're charged with a misdemeanor here."


Rodney Johnson

Rodney Johnson, 53, was reportedly out on a $1 bail after a criminal history of 35 years. Bragg's office dropped his felony robbery charges to a misdemeanor after he allegedly threatened workers with pepper spray at CVS and Walgreens. Johnson went to prison in 1994 for a robbery and in 1998 for grand larceny, according to state records. In 2005, he was booked for domestic violence after he allegedly threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend's daughter. He has failed to appear in court three times for a 2021 felony robbery case. 

Isaac Rodriguez

Isaac Rodriguez, who was dubbed the "Man of Steal", has a record 47 arrests for retail theft. He was arrested 23 times taking items such as nutritional shakes, skincare lotion, toothpaste and sanitary wipes. However, petit larceny kept him out of jail until he violated a restraining order and returned to his favorite store, a Walgreens in Corona, Queens, where he has allegedly shoplifted 13 times. He was later booked and his bail was set at $15,000.


Nolan Gonzalez

Nolan Gonzalez, aka "GoGo," is a repeat offender at the Macy's flagship store in Herald Square. In fact, the store has put up a "trespass notice" on him to prevent him from returning to any of their outlets. Earlier, Gonzalez stole $350 worth of Tommy Hilfiger clothing at the said Macy's. NYPD initially charged him with grand larceny, burglary and criminal possession of the stolen property, but after Manhattan DA reduced the charges, he was released without bail. 

Craig Tamanaha

The criminal history of Craig Tamanaha, 49, spans at least 20 years across two states. In 2021, he set fire to the Christmas tree outside Fox News in New York and before that he had been arrested for exposing himself outside the courthouse where the Ghislaine Maxwell trial was underway in New York. Between 2017 and 2018, he was arrested on three separate occasions and charged with public intoxication, burglary and resisting arrest, including another public intoxication charge dating to 2002 in Abilene, Texas.


Lamale McRae 

In 1998, Lamale McRae was only 17 when he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in an attempted murder and robbery in the Bronx. He served time at the Queensboro Correctional Facility. However, in October 2022, he was again charged with attempted murder including assault, reckless endangerment and harassment after he randomly attacked a 32-year-old man at the Wyckoff Avenue and Myrtle Avenue subway.

Good Samaritans saved the victim David Martin's life before he was struck by an oncoming train. While out on parole, the now 41 year old pursued a career as a rapper. He goes by the name Source Da God and was a member of the Brooklyn Kingz collective. The band's most viewed music video is titled 'Memorial', released in May 2012


Christian Jeffers


Christian Jeffers, 48, who identifies as a woman has a criminal record that stretches back to 2007 (Handout)
Christian Jeffers, 48, who identifies as a woman has a criminal record that dates back to 2007 (Handout)

Christian Jeffers, 48, who identifies as a woman, was captured on camera brutally attacking a 29-year-old man with a hammer in the head after the two bumped into each other, leading to a brawl, at the 14th Street subway station in Manhattan in March 2022. He was arrested and charged of assault, aggravated harassment and menacing as hate crimes, and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.


NYPD records showed Jeffers has a criminal record dating back to 2007 and includes charges of prostitution, grand larceny, public lewdness, theft of service and drug possession. He was released in June 2021 after serving six years in prison for second-degree robbery.

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 BRAGG'S BRAZEN BUNCH: Blinded by Donald Trump prize, DA Alvin Bragg set vicious career criminals free