2 arrested, charged in MP murder-robbery

Robert Bushun was abducted from his Morris Park business last fall, and was found dead later than evening. Two men have been arrested in connection with the crime.
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Two men have been arrested and charged in connection with the abduction and murder of the owner of a Morris Park auto detailing shop last fall.

Robert Pizarro, 37, and Juan Rivera, 39, were arrested Thursday, March 16 for the alleged kidnap and murder of 36-year-old Robert Bishun on September 20 of last year according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Bishun was abducted by two armed and masked men from his store, Mobile Creation Sounds and Security, located at 1631 Stillwell Avenue, at around 9:50 p.m. on September 27.

Police later located Bishun’s BMW sedan parked approximately six miles away at 6071 Broadway in front of Van Cortlandt Park.

Bishun was found dead sitting upright in the back seat of the vehicle, unconscious and unresponsive, with a tightly fastened zip tie around his neck.

“Today’s arrests mark the end of an exhaustive investigation by the DEA, the NYPD and the New York State Police, and the begining of justice for Bishun’s family,” stated acting U.S. Attorney for Southern New York Joon Kim.

Morris Park Community Association president Tony Signorile said residents were relieved an arrest had been made

“How that happened – in almost broad daylight at the end of the day for them to put two people in the trunk…that has never happened here as far as I can remember in this community,” Signorile said.

Signorile said he had not heard any additional information from the 45th Precinct on the arrest, but said the neighborhood had otherwise been quiet.

Pizarro and Rivera are charged with the federal felony charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping resulting in death, as well as robbery conspiracy and robbery under the Hobbs Act and a firearm-related offense.

Bishun had been scheduled to testify in a corruption case against a former NYPD officer, Merlin Alston, just before he was murdered.

Alston was arrested in December 2014 and charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and illegal possession of a firearm.

Alston was caught on a wiretap assisting a drug dealer with narcotic sales and tipping them off to avoid raids, as well as acting as a bodyguard, according to his indictment.

Alston was convicted on drug conspiracy and gun charges in federal court October 31.

If convicted on even one of the charges, both men could face substantial jail time, or worse.

Kidnapping conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of life in prison; kidnapping resulting in death carries a maximum sentence of death; robbery conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and use of a firearm carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also seeking to seize any assets acquired by the men in the robbery.

Pizarro is also charged with a separate count of robbery related to a January 2015 robbery of Bishun at the same location, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Bishun had served time for felony drug trafficking charges after being convicted in 2012.

His wife maintained the shop while he was incarcerated, but has since closed its doors permanently.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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