The feds are investigating whether a Brooklyn man arrested for an armed stickup outside a Queens hip hop club is connected to the robbery crew that shot Knicks player Cleanthony Early last month, the Daily News has learned.
Kareen Brown, 27, is charged with participating in a Sept. 6, 2015 robbery of three persons at the Purlieu Club in Astoria, according to a complaint unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Brown is not charged with the Dec. 30 attack on Early, nor is it mentioned in his court papers, but there are similarities between the two crimes, sources noted.
Brown and his accomplices allegedly boxed in the victims' car with their vehicles — just like the Uber cab occupied by Early and his gal pal Iliana Douge was surrounded in Maspeth after they left the CityScapes strip joint. A team of four robbers carried out the Purlieu Club robbery and as many as six bandits wearing ski masks accosted Early, police said.
Brown's crew may have had inside help on the Purlieu Club job — when the three victims tried to retrieve their car from the valet parking lot around 6 a.m., they were told the keys had been lost, according to the complaint.
While they waited for a locksmith, Brown allegedly drove up in front of their car and asked if they were looking for their keys. A second car pulled in behind the victims' car and Brown announced a robbery, cops say.
Brown's federal defender Jan Rostal declined to comment. Brown is being charged in federal court because both being a convicted felon and committing a carjacking with a firearm are federal crimes.
A .40 caliber shell was recovered by police from outside the Astoria nightclub.