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5 men were indicted in connection with NYC bar robberies. 3 of them were also charged with murder

<i>Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images</i><br/>Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is seen here speaking during a press conference discussing his indictment of former President Donald Trump on April 4.
AFP via Getty Images
Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is seen here speaking during a press conference discussing his indictment of former President Donald Trump on April 4.

By Celina Tebor, CNN

Five men were indicted in connection with more than a dozen robberies at bars and nightclubs in New York City, including three of whom are also charged with murder, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The five men were indicted for “robbing individuals outside bars and nightclubs by drugging them in order to steal their cell phones, credit cards and other personal identifying information, causing the death of two victims,” the DA’s office said in a news release.

The druggings led to the deaths of two victims, 25-year-old Julio Cesar Ramirez in April 2022, and 33-year-old John Umberger in May 2022, authorities have said.

The victims were both killed after visiting gay bars in Manhattan and both died “from a combination of drugs and other substances,” including fentanyl and P-fluorofentanyl, according to the DA’s office.

Jayqwan Hamilton, 35, Robert Demaio, 34, Jacob Barroso, 30, Andre Butts, 27, and Shane Hoskins, 30, are all charged with robbery in the first degree, conspiracy in the fourth degree as well as various counts of identity theft and grand larceny, the DA’s office said.

Hamilton and Demaio were also charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Barroso was also charged with one count of second-degree murder, according to the district attorney.

Barroso’s attorney, David Krauss, told CNN his client entered a not guilty plea and “intends to vigorously fight all charges against him in court.”

Demaio’s attorney, Glenn Abolafia, declined to comment on the indictment of his client. An attorney representing Hoskins also had no comment.

CNN has reached out to an attorney for Butts. The Manhattan DA’s office told CNN it has not identified an attorney for Hamilton.

What prosecutors allege happened

From March 2021 to July 2022, the five men charged allegedly used dangerous substances to steal from their victims, according to the DA’s office.

“They offered substances to people exiting bars and nightclubs, intending to incapacitate them or to otherwise inhibit their ability to perceive their surroundings. The defendants would then steal cell phones or credit cards from their victims in order to make unauthorized purchases and money transfers,” the news release said.

The men would then divide up the proceeds amongst themselves, the release added.

In a news conference Tuesday, officials said they did not find evidence the robberies were hate crimes.

“We investigative all of these matters rigorously, thoroughly, looking to see if they should be charged as a hate crime,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said. “In here, there was no evidence within the four corners of law, but we still stand with the community and continue to meet and address their concerns.”

“While many victims in this case are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, the motive was robbery. The motive was for monetary gain,” New York City Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell added.

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