CPD: Federal fugitive found on bus after reported death threat

City and state police search Grehound bus passengers this afternoon on Greenbush Street/ TIM BENNETT

City police announced they pulled over a Greyhound bus this afternoon after a passenger called 911 to say two men were threatening to shoot and kill him — and then discovered a federally-indicted fugitive with $100,000. 

No one was injured when officers pulled over the bus about 1:15 p.m. on Greenbush Street at the intersection of Elm Street, according to the Cortland Police Department. The bus was stopped a block from the Central Avenue bus stop where three other buses were loading and unloading passengers in front of the County Office Building, the department stated in a news release.

County Legislators were meeting inside the building during the incident.

City and state police were sent to stop the New York City-bound bus after a passenger called 911, according to Lt. Michael Strangeway of the Cortland Police Department. The caller reported two men on the bus were threatening to kill him, and one had a gun, Strangeway said. The caller described the two men to dispatchers and when officers boarded the bus, they found the men fitting the descriptions and escorted them off the Greyhound, he said.

Once outside, the men were patted down as part of a weapons search, but no weapons were found, Strangeway said. But as officers interviewed the men, one admitted he was a federal fugitive, he said.

That man, Louis L. Love, 29, of 2250 West 11th St. 11B, Brooklyn, at first gave officers a fake name, Strangeway said. But he quickly admitted his identity and “stated he was ‘wanted by the Feds’,” Strangeway said.

When police ran his name through a database, they discovered Love was wanted on a federal arrest warrant for several drug distribution and racketeering charges, he said. A search of Love’s backpack revealed about $100,000 in cash, Strangeway said.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration was called and quickly responded, while state and city police continued to search the bus and its 28 passengers, he said. The passengers were patted down for weapons after the caller stated one of the two men passed the gun to another rider, Strangeway said. Police dog teams from both the city and the state aided in the search, but no gun was found, he said.

The man that was reportedly threatened and the two other individuals that were reportedly involved were all taken off the bus,” Strangeway said. The rest were released to continue their journey on Interstate 81 from Syracuse to New York City, he said.

Only Love was arrested as of this evening, Strangeway said. The other man was questioned and released, he added in a phone interview at 8:45 p.m.

Love was taken to Binghamton to appear this evening before a federal magistrate judge on four charges: racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit assault in-aid-of racketeering, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute marihuana.

A federal indictment unsealed in February accuses Love and 10 other members of a Bloods gang subset of violent crimes related to drug distribution and fraud, according to a  Department of Justice news release.

The gang subset, called  5-9 Brims,  “have committed acts of violence, including murder, robbery and assault,” according to the release. It operated out of the New York City area and feuded with another Brooklyn-based gang, the “Real Ryte”, from 2012 through 2019, the release states.

While one member of the 5-9 Brims was indicted on a federal murder charge, Love is accused of assaulting a Flushing, Queens, bartender with five other gang members on Aug. 15, 2018, according to the release. The assault was ordered by gang member Yonette Respass, who was serving a federal prison sentence at the time, according to the DOJ.

Strangeway noted that large-scale drug distributors, such as the 5-9 Brims, often work through interstate and international networks and commute between cities frequently.

“It’s not at all uncommon for these people to travel about,” he said.

From back to front and left to right, city police Lieutenants David Guerrera and Michael Strangeway converse with Deputy Chief Paul Sandy and Sgt. Dan Edwards at the scene of a federal arrest this afternoon on Greenbush Street/ TIM BENNETT

City and state police cars block Greenbush Street this afternoon. A federal fugitive was arrested after officers removed him from a Greyhound bus on Greenbush Street, according to the Cortland Police Department/ TIM BENNETT