FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM MAY 17, 2018 • THE QUEENS COURIER 3
Crew boss admits
to Flushing drug
Th e head of a Brooklyn-based crime crew admitted
in federal court on Wednesday, May 9, that he
led a failed plot to rob a drug stash house in Flushing.
Joshua Padmore, 39, of Brooklyn pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to distribute crack, heroin and fentanyl,
robbery conspiracy and possessing a handgun as a
convicted felon. He faces as little as fi ve years — and
as much as 40 years — in a federal penitentiary on
the conspiracy charge, according to U.S. Attorney
According to the charges, on Feb. 7, 2016,
Padmore and several other crew members plotted
out a scheme to rob a drug stash house located in
One of the collaborators — Carlos Welch Jr., 25, of
Queens — went to the stash house to gather information
about the location while posing as a marijuana
Welch later called Padmore in a conversation that
law enforcement sources intercepted while monitoring
Padmore’s phone, pursuant to a court order.
During the talk, Welch said that he had observed
“pounds” of marijuana inside the location.
Law enforcement agents would intercept additional
conversations involving Padmore, Welch and
Shanks working out the details of the planned robbery.
While staking out the stash house, federal agents
spotted a car previously used by Padmore circling
the location. Th ey moved in to stopped the car and
found Padmore, Shanks and Qualese Welch, 25, of
Gainesville, GA, inside the vehicle. During a search,
agents recovered a loaded revolver under Padmore’s
Woodside agency head
indicted for visa fraud
A federal grand jury indicted on Monday, May 14,
the owner of a Woodside medical employment agency
for her alleged involvement in a visa fraud scheme
that illegally brought Filipino citizens to the United
States for fi nancial gain.
Rena Beduya Avendula, 50, the owner of
Professional Placement and Recruitment Inc.
(PPRI), located at 51-34 Roosevelt Ave., faces fi ve
counts of visa fraud for an alleged scheme that began
in October 2009. She was arrested on May 11 and
released on a $75,000 bond.
According to federal prosecutors, the PPRI owner
allegedly enrolled Filipino citizens for H-1B visas by
telling the United States Citizen and Immigration
Services (USCIS) that the visa holders would be
employed in “specialty occupations” that “require
certain specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s or
higher level degree for entry into the occupation
within the United States labor market.”
Richard P. Donoghue, the United States Attorney
for the Eastern District of New York, said that
Avendula allegedly created positions within her
company in order for several Filipino nationals to
obtain the H-1B visas.
Th roughout the nearly fi ve and a half years that she
allegedly engaged in fraudulent activity, she sponsored
dozens of applications for the H-1B visas and
profi ted from the fi ling fees she collected from nurses
and health care facilities that paid her company.
If found guilty, Avendula could face a maximum
of 10 years imprisonment for visa fraud and an additional
10 years in prison for each foreign national living
in the United States involved in the conspiracy.
Photo via Flickr/stevendepolo
Bayside lawmaker proposes
a ‘School Security Task Force’
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @smont76
A Bayside-based lawmaker is leading
an eff ort to establish a special task
force charged with improving safety
protocols in the city’s schools.
On May 9, Councilman Paul
Vallone, who represents areas of
northeast Queens, introduced a
bill that would establish a “School
Security Task Force.” Chaired by
the NYPD commissioner, the panel
would be required to meet quarterly,
assess school safety throughout the
city and make recommendations for
Th e chancellor of the Department
of Education (DOE) and the
Director of the Offi ce of Criminal
Justice would also serve on the task
force. Th e group would be required
to seek input from at least one DOE
teacher, employee and parent.
Vallone also introduced three
additional bills which would require
the task force to review emergency
at public schools, emergency preparedness
at nonpublic schools and
existing security presence. Th e task
force would report its recommendations
to the mayor and speaker of
the City Council annually.
Each of the bills have been
referred to the Council’s Committee
on Public Safety.
Other bills introduced by City
Council members include measures
to assign the task force to review a
public notifi cation system for school
emergencies, evacuation and emergency
response protocols, and safety
protocols for students experiencing
mental health crises.
“As a result of our call for greater
school security, we are proud
that the Council is moving forward
with this package of legislation that
will take a hard look at the state
of school security as it exists in
every school, and what we can do
to improve it,” Vallone said. “In the
end, you can’t put a price tag on our
children’s safety and I’m proud to
introduce this important legislation
with our Speaker Corey Johnson
and my colleagues.”
A few separate safety threats —
all found to be unsubstantiated —
in Queens schools in recent months
had some local parents calling for
better communication from school
administrators during times of confusion
On April 24, police were at P.S.
89 in Elmhurst investigating violent
threat made against the school.
A second scene unfolded at P.S./I.S.
119 in Glendale on April 26 when
the school received a social media
message about a bomb.
In March at Forest Hills High
School, the school went into a lockdown
in response to a threat to
shoot up the school made by a student.
It was later found to be a hoax.
Th e threats came in the weeks
following the National School
Walkout where, on March 14, hundreds
of teenagers from two schools
in Bayside joined students from
around the country calling for gun