Boris Biba, Russian Hood
John William Tuohy
Nayfeld, Boris: Russian gangster. AKA Biba. Nayfeld emigrated from Gomel, Russia to the US sometime in the late 1970's as a religious (Jewish) refugee. In 1980, he landed on law enforcements radar when he was arrested in Nassau County on a grand larceny charge. He pled guilty, to petty larceny, and released placed on probation.
Once the bodyguard and driver for Russian mobster Evsei Agron, Nayfeld was waiting on the sidewalk in front of Agron home at 100 Ocean Parkway in Park Slope on the morning of May 4, 1985, when someone shot Agron dead as he walked through the lobby of his apartment building. Shortly afterwards he was working as a bodyguard for Marat Balagula, the gangster who took Evsei Agron’s place as the criminal mastermind of Brighton Beach, in Brooklyn.
Working with Boris was his brother, Benjamin, a former member of the Soviet Olympic weightlifting team who was revved up on steroids most of the time. He was once knifed a teenager in broad day light, in front of dozen of witness in the middle of Brighton Beach and got away with it.
The people of Brighton Beach considered the Nayfeld brothers to be savages, although Boris Nayfeld enjoyed the more fearsome reputation amongst the brothers. Some Russians in Brighton Beach swore his eyes were pure white, meaning he had no soul. In one typical example of how they worked, in the 1980s, Boris and Agron swaggered into a Brooklyn restaurant and ordered the owner to sell his one-third stake at a rock-bottom price. When the owner refused, Boris clubbed him to the floor with his pistol. The owner sold his share.
Between 1990 and 1994, Nayfeld organized a heroin smuggling ring from Bangkok to New York by way of Warsaw Poland. Boris shuttled between Europe and the US for years, living part time in a luxury Antwerp apartment with his girlfriend part time and with his wife and family in Egbertville, Staten Island mansion (On Nevada Avenue) the other half of the time. The narcotics were purchased in Thailand, smuggled to Singapore, and then brought to Poland hidden inside TV picture tubes. From Poland, they were shipped to Belgium by way of Nayfeld’s company, M&S International. At that point, Russian couriers from Brighton Beach, swallowed the narcotics in plastic bags or had them buried in various body cavities and delivered them to New York, Boston and Chicago.
One person Nayfeld had not figured on was Monya Elston. Born May 23, 1951 in the Jewish ghetto in Kishinev, Moldova, Elston was a career criminal who had started out in the underworld as a pickpocket and extortionist. He emigrated to the US in about 1978 and took up residence in Brighton Beach (AKA "Odessa-by-the-Sea")
He came to the attention of New York police as a credit card scam operator and jewelry thief. In one of his scams, Elson and dissident writer Yuri Brokhin would dress as Orthodox Jews and visit a series of jewelry stores. There, while one engaged the storeowner, the other would switch the stores diamonds with zirconium.
Elson, who had recently returned to Brooklyn after a term in an Israeli prison, sent word to the Nayfeld’s that he viewed their continued growth in the criminal world as a threat. Nayfeld responded with a $100,000 contract on Elson’s head.
In January 1991, Elson's men placed a car bomb under the Nayfeld's muffler. The bomb was set to explode when the muffler heated. The next afternoon, Nayfeld drove the car to pick up his children at school. As the children leaped into the backseat, the schools maintenance man pointed to the bomb hanging from the chassis. The bomb had fallen from the masking tape and failed to explode. Authorities later estimated that the explosive device was large enough to “have taken out a city block,"
In mid-1991, Elson gave orders to one of his men, Shalva Ukleda AKA “Zver” to find Nayfeld and murder him but crossed over to Nayfeld’s side and eventually tried to murder Elson instead.
On May 14, 1991, Elson was talking to a group of friends on the corner of Brighton Beach Avenue and Sixth Street in front of the Cafe Arabat at 306 Brighton Beach Avenue, when, at exactly 3:00 P.M., a gunman working for the Nayfeld’s walked up and fired five bullets into Elson’s stomach. Remarkably, he survived.
On June 23 1992, Elson responded by murdering a fierce Neyfeld enforcer named Alexander Slepinin.(Born May 23, 1951) Slepinin. Slepinin was probably a secret owner of Rasputin’s a nightclub in Brighton Beach. He was murder as he sat in his gold Cadillac Seville on a Brooklyn street. The killers, Elson admits to be one of them, fired two bullets into the back of the 345 pound Slepinin’s neck. A few months later, the management at Rasputin’s put Elston on the payroll for $3,000.00 as a “consultant”
The killing was also probably in retribution of Slepinin’s murder of Elson’s man Efrim Ostrovsky in Queen’s in January of 1992. In turn, the Ostrovsky killing was in retaliation for the January 12, 1992 killing of Vyacheslav Lyubarsky and his son Vadim by the Elston Mob.
Later in the year, Elson learned that Nayfeld was planning to attend a meeting in Moscow. He hired a Russian contract killer named Sergei Timofeyev, dubbed "Sylvester" due to his supposed
resemblance to actor Sylvester Stallone. Working with Timofeyev would be Sergei "the Beard" Kruglov, an infamous Moscow hoodlum. The two hoods hired an Olympic marksman to shot Nayfeld from a window as he approached the meeting site. For whatever reason, Nayfeld drove up to the building but suddenly pulled a U-turn and drove away, saving his own life.
On November 6, 1992, Elson was in Los Angeles when another incompetent assassin sent by Nayfeld. This one, another Black man, snuck up behind Elson in a parking garage, shoved a gun at the base of Elson’s neck, and pulled the trigger but the gun jammed. The two men wrestled for the weapon until the unknown assassin finally retrieved the gun and fired at Elston several times, as he backed out of the garage, hitting him once, in the arm. A second attempt to place a bomb under Elston’s car resulted in the bombers hands being accidently blown off.
In the meantime, Russian hoods in both camps started to die in big numbers. Their throats were slashed, they were gunned down in the street and others were castrated, the severed penises becoming treasured gangster souvenirs. After almost a year of all out gang war, neither side held a clear advantage.
In 1993, Boris Nayfeld went into hiding to avoid a federal warrant for distribution of narcotics. Regardless, things came to a head on July 26, 1993, when Elson, his wife, Mayra (Sometimes called Marina. Born 1951) and his twenty-five-year-old nephew/bodyguard, Oleg Zapivakmine, (Born 1967) were fired on with Uzi submachine guns in front of their apartment at 2553 East 16th Street in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. They had just parked their Lexus and were walking slowly toward their building when a black Mercedes drove by and a gunman in the front passenger seat open up on them. Elson was wounded in the back, thigh and both ankles. His wife leaped out of the car and hid behind a series of garbage cans but the car that held the gunmen, screeched to a halt, a man wearing a black mask leaped out of the front seat and fired two shotgun blasts at Marina, hitting her with at least 17 hot pellets in the face, throat, chest and shoulders. The nephew was grazed with a bullet in the stomach. Elston and his nephew did manage to shot back and in all over 100 round sprayed the otherwise peaceful neighborhood. At the time of the attack, Elson was carrying a briefcase loaded with $300,000 in watches and jewelry from New York's diamond district. On September 24, 1993, Nayfeld men would catch up with Zapivakmine and kill him. Killed him was Elson’s alley Alexander "Sasha Pinya" Levichitz.
The war ended in January, 1994 when Boris Nayfeld was arrested for heroin trafficking by federal agents as he left his Long Island home to catch a flight to Brussels. In 2002, Nayfeld was reported to be in protective custody in the federal witness protection program
Two months after he, his wife and nephew were ambushed, Elston was shot again, outside his home, as he inspected a flat tire on his car. That was enough. Elston fled with his wife to Fano, Italy on the Adriatic, a place he had lived briefly in the 1970s. The couple opened a furniture import-export business and dabbled in organized crime in Northern Italy with Moscow gangsters. In March of 1995, Elston was indicted on federal charges of manslaughter and drug dealing. He was arrested in Italy, but held there for over a year in prison. Returned to the United States by extradition, he was found guilty of three murders and sent to prison.