|Dipset affiliate Max B, perhaps best known for singing the hook on Cam’ron’s Jay-Z dis “You Gotta Love It,” was arrested on Friday (September 29) and charged with murder and conspiracy in a robbery plot gone horribly wrong. Authorities in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where the alleged caper played out, say the Harlem native, whose real name is Charles Wingate, was the mastermind behind an elaborate plot to rob two Florida businessmen who were flashing large amounts of money around New York City in recent days. According to the Newark Star Ledger, Allan Plowden and his partner David Taylor, both of South Florida, arrived in the area earlier in the month looking to upgrade the sound systems on their respective vehicles. While staying at a Holiday Inn in Fort Lee, NJ, the two men linked up with two Bronx residents named Julio Cruz and Edward Blancaneaux, who in turn hatched a plot to rob the two big spending out-of-towners. At some point, Cruz and Blancaneaux arranged a meeting with one Gina Maria Conway of the Bronx, an alleged prostitute and girlfriend of Wingate.
With no knowledge of the plot already set in motion by the two Bronx men, Conway devised a separate scheme to rob Taylor and Plowden, and enlisted the help of her boyfriend Wingate. Meanwhile, Cruz and Blancaneaux had separately hired two other Bronx prostitutes, Maite Castro and Gisselle Nieves, to help them get close to the two targets. On September 22nd, at around 3:00 a.m. Conway and an a.ssociate of Wingate, Kelvin Leerdam, entered Plowden’s hotel room at the Fort Lee motel and found him with Nieves. Leerdam pulled a gun on Plowden and tied up Nieves, placing her in the bathroom. After Plowden claimed he had no cash in the room, the gunman ordered him to call Taylor, who was in his own room with Castro, and tell him to come to the room. When Taylor arrived, Leerdam shot him in the head k!lling him. Leerdam and Conway made off with $800 and a Rolex watch, but did not find $30,000 in cash that the men had hidden in one of the rooms. On Friday, Wingate, Conway and Leerdam were charged with felony murder, robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. Cruz, Blancaneaux, Castro and Nieves were charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. Plowden was himself charged with money laundering and possession of identity theft equipment. All were being held at the Bergen County jail on $100,000 bail with the exception of Nieves, whose bail was set at $35,000.
[pic - click to view]
|According to sources close to the case, Max (born Charles Wingate) was arrested under suspicion of masterminding the murder of a Florida man, 29-year-old David Taylor, during a botched robbery last Friday (Sept. 22).
Four Bronx, NY people were also arrested on robbery conspiracy charges for allegedly conspiring to rob Taylor and his a.ssumed business partner, 41-year-old Allan Plowden, earlier this week. None of the four initial arrested were charged with Taylor's murder and they all plead not guilty in BergenCounty's Superior Court yesterday (Sept. 28). Meanwhile, Plowden was charged with money laundering and possession of identity theft.
According to the sources, 23-year-old Maite Castro and 24-year-old Gisselle Nieves allegedly posed as prostitutes to lure Taylor and Plowden in for 27-year-old Julio Cruz and 30-year-old Edward Blancaneaux to rob them.
Initially, one man rejected another alleged prostitute brought to them by Cruz and Blancaneaux. Being scorned by the men, that unnamed woman allegedly suggested to her boyfriend, Max B, that they should rob Taylor and Plowden. Max's crew then apparently beat Cruz and Blancaneaux to the punch and robbed the two men, shooting and k!lling Taylor. Though he's not believed to be the triggerman, Max is suspected to have allegedly orchestrated the robbery.
According to The Star Ledger, Bergen County a.ssistant Prosecutor Catherine Fantuzzi told a Superior Court Judge that the botched robbery was "related to the homicide" committed in the hotel room at 4:40 a.m. this past Friday. The probe is still ongoing according to James V. Santulli, BergenCounty's a.ssistant Prosecutor. Santulli initially wouldn't name any suspects in fear that it could affect the investigation.
According to the police, two unidentified men reached the hotel around 3 a.m., entered the rooms and bound and gagged Plowden without hurting Nieves as both were in the room. Taylor, who had been in a separate room with Castro, was called into the other room and shot in the head upon arrival, police said. Castro remained in the other room. Plowden later informed the hotel clerk that a man had been shot in room 408 where cops eventually found Taylor. Officers also caught Plowden walking out of the room with $30,000 of his own money, police said.
According to Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli, no drugs or weapons were found in the room. He also said that the others present during the shooting didn't notify the hotel clerk until 35-40 minutes later. All the defendants are presently being held in the Bergen County jail. Fantuzzi had a search warrant for Plowden's 2007 Mercedes, but didn't reveal whether anything was uncovered. They are hold being held on $100,000 bails expect Nieves who is being held on $35,000 bail.
Max B is presently signed to Jim Jones' Byrd Gang Records. He has previously appeared on countless Dipset songs, including Cam'ron's "You Got It," the pink panther's Jay-Z diss.
[pic - click to view]
|A rising Harlem rapper was sentenced Thursday to 75 years in prison for masterminding a deadly robbery at a Fort Lee hotel four years ago. His stepbrother received a life term plus 35 years for his part in the scheme.
Charly Wingate, better known in hip-hop circles as “Max B,” was convicted of felony murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and several other offenses in a June trial in which witnesses testified that he planned the September 2006 robbery at the Holiday Inn on Route 4.
His co-defendant and stepbrother, Kelvin Leerdam, was convicted of the same counts after jurors found that he shot one of the robbery victims, David Taylor.
Both Wingate and Leerdam looked resigned when Superior Court Judge Harry G. Carroll sentenced them in Hackensack. Wingate said he was not happy with his attorney, Gerald Saluti, and fired him during the hearing just before he received his sentence.
His mother, Sharon Wingate, said he will appeal the conviction.
“We will be back,” she said.
Witnesses during trial testified that Taylor and his friend, Allan Plowden, were seen in Harlem a few days before the robbery, driving expensive cars and showing off a lot of cash.
That’s when Plowden met Wingate’s ex-girlfriend, Gina Conway, who told Wingate about her encounter, they said.
Conway, who took a plea deal and agreed to testify against Wingate and Leerdam, told jurors that Wingate asked her and Leerdam to go to the Holiday Inn, where Plowden and Taylor were staying.
The two barged into Plowden’s room and demanded money, she said, but Plowden told them Taylor had the money. They made him call Taylor to his room, and soon after Taylor arrived, Leerdam shot him, she said.
“This case has always been about greed,” a.ssistant Bergen County Prosecutor Martin Delaney said at the sentencing. “It has always been about the love of money.”
Leerdam’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, said her client deserved some leniency because he was only 21 at the time of the incident. The findings at the trial were that Leerdam was engaged in a robbery but had no plans to k!ll, she said.
“There was no intent to k!ll anybody,” she said.
Carroll, however, handed out a stiff sentence, saying Leerdam took a firearm with him to the hotel “and did not hesitate to use it.”
Conway, who was originally charged with murder but pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, faces up to 18 years in prison when she is sentenced today in the same courtroom.
[pic - click to view]