Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now
Breaking News

Ex-Gangster Turned Hasidic Rabbi Busted for Impersonating Cop

(JTA) — In 1995, Latin Kings gang member Roberto Eddy Santos was sentenced to prison for multiple violent robberies. Upon his release from Sing Sing Correctional Facility a decade later, Santos emerged a changed man. Literally.

Santos reportedly converted to Judaism, changed his name to Avroham Gross, and assumed the identity of a rabbi.

Unfortunately, Santos — or Gross — wasn’t wholly committed to the rabbinate. NBC New York is reporting that the ex-convict is now facing dozens of charges after allegedly posing as a law enforcement officer, making traffic stops and even helping to arrest a woman he suspected of trying to break into a car.

Gross also used forged documents to pretend to be part of a nonexistent “child abuse prevention task force.”

“This is one of the strangest cases, it is bizarre, but it is still serious to us,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson in an interview with NBC New York.

Among other things, authorities are investigating whether or not Gross had a “genuine conversion.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.