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Instagram photo surfaces showing basketball great Isiah Thomas next to gang leader accused of murder

January 9, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Instagram photo surfaces showing basketball great Isiah Thomas next to gang leader accused of murder

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Federal agents presented an Instagram photo of NBA Hall of Fame player Isiah Thomas in Brooklyn Federal Court along side a reputed leader of the Crips accused of murder on Thursday.

The photo surfaced as part of ongoing investigation by authorities into the death of Carey Gabay, an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was killed by a stray bullet last Labor Day, near the Ebbets Brooklyn.

Prosecutors displayed the photo on several video monitors at a violation hearing for Larry Pagett, alleged to be a leader of the Eight Trey Crips, during his supervised release violation hearing.

Investigators are probing whether there is a link between Gabay’s death and an ongoing gang war.

Police suspect Padgett of gunning down rival gang member Chrispine Philip, at a Hookah lounge in Flatbush Brooklyn back in August.

Paggett can be seen pictured next to Thomas sporting a Texas Rangers hat in the photo, which prosecutors allege is the same baseball cap he wore when he allegedly gunned down Philip.

Lisa Scolari, who represents the alleged Crips leader, declined to comment on the photo and provided no additional information about where the photo originated.

According to police, Philip was a member of the rival Folk Nation, which had been involved in a war with Paggett’s Eight Trey Crips crew.

A joint investigation by the FBI and NYPD are looking into whether the murder of Philip’s set off an explosion of violent events between the two sets of gangs, which led to the Labor Day fatal shooting of Gov. Cuomo’s aid.

Gabay, a Harvard-educated first deputy counsel to the Empire State Development Corp., was attending a J’Ouvert celebration nearby and was felled by a stray bullet.

Investigators have not charged Pagett with the murder of Phillips. Instead federal prosecutors cited a prior gun conviction to charge him with violating his supervised release.

Federal Judge Edward Korman only needed minimum evidence, not beyond a reasonable doubt like a jury in a criminal trial, to show it was Pagett depicted in a video of the shooting.

“It’s an open and shut case,” Korman said, after reviewing the video and still photos from the hookah bar, a bodega, and street cameras showing Philip and his distinctive tattoos.

Pagett’s faces two years in prison when he is sentenced next month for the probation violation.

The prison term would give investigators additional time to build a case against the two gangs.

A spokesman for the former Knicks coach maintains that Thomas didn’t know Pagett.

“Isiah does not know the person in the picture. Considering he gets requests to take many photos, it’s virtually impossible to know everyone,” the spokesman said.

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