At least nine Rikers Island inmates recently received a Get Out of Jail Free card by Governor Hochul have been arrested again, The Post has learned.
Among those who escaped the free September 17 pass is a notorious gangbanger from Queens who was not only charged with possession of a loaded firearm, but with attempting to bribe his return trip to the infamous prison, NYPD and law enforcement sources said.
Stepfane “Stephon” Gilliam, 26, is a member of the Queensbridge Houses team called Team No Lackin ‘, and has multiple aliases and 43 previous arrests, including 23 felonies, sources said.
After only two weeks at liberty, Gilliam was arrested by cops on September 29 at 9.45 p.m. at the corner of 31st Avenue and 21st Street in Queens, for alleged speeding and too tinting the windows of his 2004 BMW, the authorities announced. Police found an arrest warrant for him for a traffic violation, sources said. The cops then searched the BMW and recovered a Colt .32 revolver from the backseat.
Gilliam has been charged with possession of weapons, as has his passenger, a 27-year-old relative, Shawn Gilliam.
Stepfane Gilliam then managed to get himself into even more trouble.
While being questioned by detectives in the 114th arrondissement about the weapon, Gilliam said, “How do we make this go away?” the cops said.
The arresting officer then met Gilliam in the holding cells, where Gilliam allegedly offered money “so you can drop the gun charge,” cops said. “I can get $ 20,000. I only have $ 3,000 in cash with me. You can drive me home and I’ll come in and give it to you.”
WHAT IS RIKERS ISLAND?
He then allegedly tried to soften the offer: “I can sell drugs and give you some of them,” authorities said. The agent contacted supervisors and Gilliam was charged with bribing an official.
Gilliam de Rikers’ release came after Governor Hochul’s September 17 order to release immediately 191 of the prison inmates were locked up for what she called “technical” violations of their parole from state prison. “
Hochul made the announcement before sign the law the “Less Is More” law that will prevent the state from putting ex-inmates back to bars for missing appointments with their parole officers, violating curfews, or testing positive for drugs or alcohol. This measure should be launched on March 1.
Hochul said the ongoing crisis in Rikers meant there was no time to wait, calling for reports from uncontrollable violence and chaos in the huge “deeply disturbing” prison complex. She also ordered the transfer of around 200 inmates from Rikers to state prisons amid recent admissions by the city’s Corrections Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi that planned reform efforts cannot be achieved under existing conditions.
INMATES WORK ON RIKERS ISLAND, ANSWER PHONES, DESTROY EQUIPMENT
Hochul said the inmates she released “have served their sentences” for the crimes they have committed and “do not need to be jailed.”
But the NYPD said at least eight others against Rikers released under the Hochul edict have been re-arrested in the past three weeks.
Jerrell Edwards, 34, of Harlem, was arrested on September 18 for petty theft inside a Gramercy Park thrift store, while Jerome Farris, 41, of Manhattan, was arrested on September 20 for the same charge in a Duane Reade at Penn Station, police say. A day later Babatunde Wiggins, 51, of Brooklyn, was arrested in Midtown for drug possession, and Danny Soto, 27, also of Brooklyn, was arrested on September 24 for allegedly shoplifting in downtown Brooklyn, cops said.
On October 2, David Porath, 55, of the Bronx, made three arrests for criminal contempt in connection with domestic violence, police said. Donald Stanley, 57, of Queens, was charged the same day with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, drug possession and driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, cops said. Michael Harris, 55, of Hempstead, LI, was arrested on Oct. 3 in Manhattan for allegedly stealing items from Food Emporium, police said. John Henderson, 58, of Brooklyn, was arrested in the borough on October 5 for petty theft in a CVS, authorities said.
The mayor of Blasio also freed at least seven Rikers detainees in an early release program – separately from Hochul’s early releases – as part of city hall efforts to reduce the number of detainees. Hizzoner insisted that they will release jailbirds who, based on previous actions, are unlikely to act violently. None of the seven have been arrested again so far, officials said.
About 180 people held at Rikers can be released under section 6A of the state’s Corrections Act, which allows the mayor to return certain people to a supervised release program. The process of determining who is and who is not likely to reoffend was due to be completed last week.
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea criticized plans to prematurely release dozens of detainees from Rikers Island of the uncontrollable prison – claiming that the inmates “worked very hard to get into it”.
Here are some of the Rikers detainees who were freed early last month by politicians before being re-arrested: