Lookout in 2011 murder of Ditmas Park cafe owner Joshua Rubin sentenced to 18 years in prison

Ditmas Park asks: ‘Where is Josh Rubin’?
Rubin in 2011 before opening his Ditmas Park coffee shop.
File photo By Dan MacLeod

A man who acted as an accomplice to a 2011 murder in Ditmas Park will spend 18 years in prison, after a federal judge sentenced the 27-year-old on Dec. 6. 

Judge Jed Rakoff handed down the 216-month punishment to Michael Mazur for acting as the lookout during the murder of Joshua Rubin on Oct. 31, 2011 — a case that remained cold for years, and shocked the neighborhood where the victim was a widley-known as a beloved small business owner.

Mazur had pled guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery, which implicated him in the murder. 

According to prosecutors, the Halloween-night mayhem began when Mazur, along with defendants Gary Robles and Kevin Taylor, plotted to rob Rubin of a pound of marijuana, which he had been selling to help pay for his business, the Whisk Bakery Cafe on Newkirk Avenue. 

The trio led Rubin to an apartment under the guise of purchasing weed, but, once he arrived, Taylor and Robles brandished a firearm and demanded the victim hand over the drugs. When he refused, the pair shot Rubin — while Mazur waited outside as a getaway driver, according to investigators.

The defendants then drove out to rural Pennsylvania with Rubin’s body, where they dumped him in a garbage can and set him on fire. Rubin’s body was so disfigured that he was not identified until December of that year. 

The case shocked Brooklyn and remained cold for years, until federal agents arrested the three suspects in 2020. 

Both Taylor and Robles are awaiting sentencing in this case.

Mazur had over 200 pounds of marijuana in his home at the time of his arrest, making him ineligible for bail. 

“Michael Mazur participated in the robbery that led to the murder of Joshua Rubin, and then he and his codefendants put Rubin’s body in the trunk of a car, drove it to Pennsylvania, dumped it in a garbage can, and set it afire to cover up the crime,” said United States Attorney Damian Williams. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners and the Special Agents of my Office, Mazur will now serve a lengthy prison sentence for his callous crime.”