Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that KEVIN TAYLOR, GARY ROBLES, and MICHAEL MAZUR pled guilty to participating in the October 31, 2011, murder of Joshua Rubin. After shooting and killing Rubin in Brooklyn, New York, the defendants drove Rubin’s body to rural Pennsylvania, where they doused his body in lighter fluid and set it on fire. TAYLOR and ROBLES pled guilty today. MAZUR pled guilty on July 1, 2021. All three defendants will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, to whom the case is assigned.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “On October 31, 2011, Kevin Taylor, Gary Robles, and Michael Mazur participated in the murder of Joshua Rubin after they tried to rob Rubin of a quantity of marijuana. Not only did the defendants kill Rubin, they then drove his body to rural Pennsylvania where they set it on fire in an attempt to conceal the murder. Thanks to the relentless, nearly decade-long efforts of our law enforcement partners to find the individuals who cut short Joshua Rubin’s life, the defendants now face significant prison time for their crimes.”
According to the allegations in the Indictment and other documents filed in federal court, as well as statements made in public court proceedings:
On or about October 31, 2011, TAYLOR, ROBLES, and MAZUR agreed to rob Joshua Rubin of a pound of marijuana. TAYLOR arranged by phone to purchase the marijuana from Rubin. ROBLES agreed to bring a firearm to the robbery. That night, TAYLOR and ROBLES waited inside an apartment while MAZUR served as the lookout. Rubin entered the apartment, and TAYLOR and ROBLES demanded that Rubin give them the marijuana. When Rubin refused, ROBLES shot and killed Rubin.
After the murder, TAYLOR, ROBLES, and MAZUR put Rubin’s body into the trunk of a car and drove to rural Pennsylvania. There, TAYLOR, ROBLES, and MAZUR put Rubin’s body in a garbage can, poured lighter fluid over the body, and set the body on fire. TAYLOR, ROBLES, and MAZUR then drove back to New York in the early morning hours.
In 2019 and 2020, prior to federal charges being filed in this case, TAYLOR paid cash bribes to a potential witness in an attempt to prevent the witness from speaking with law enforcement.
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TAYLOR, 28, ROBLES, 38, and MAZUR, 27, each pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. In connection with his guilty plea, each defendant admitted his role in the murder.
TAYLOR also pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and one count of conspiracy to commit witness tampering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
ROBLES also pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, each of which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
MAZUR is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6, 2021. TAYLOR and ROBLES are each scheduled to be sentenced on January 3, 2022.
The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.
Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She also thanked the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the South Whitehall Township Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra N. Rothman, Mollie Bracewell, and Dominic A. Gentile are in charge of the prosecution.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Southern District of New York