The Ex-Husband of Gallerist Brent Sikkema Is Arrested in New York

Daniel García Carrera, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of his husband, was detained on charges of passport fraud.

Brent Sikkema in New York City, 2008. Photo: Will Ragozzino / PMc / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images.

Daniel García Carrera, the Cuban American ex-husband of gallerist Brent Sikkema, has been arrested in New York on charges of passport fraud as authorities branded him a flight risk amid an investigation that he orchestrated the murder-for-hire of his late husband.

Brent Sikkema, who co-founded Sikkema Jenkins & Co, was found dead with 18 stab wounds in his apartment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in January. Alejandro Triana Prevez, a 30-year-old Cuban national, was arrested days later.

Prevez later testified that Carrera paid him $200,000 to commit the murder, leading Brazilian authorities to seek Carrera’s arrest through a reported Interpol red notice. (Interpol previously told Artnet News that it would not confirm or comment on whether a red notice had been sought.) However, Carrera was in the United States at the time of the murder, leaving Prevez’s defense team bewildered as they attempt to defend their client.

In a sealed complaint provided to Artnet News, which makes a number of revelations about the case, an agent with the FBI said that Carrera made a false statement on a passport application for him and the son he shared with Sikkema. The couple were undergoing divorce proceedings, which had not been finalized before Sikkema’s death.

However, the pair had reached a child custody agreement in May 2023 under which Sikkema maintained custody of their son’s Spanish and American passports and that travel had to be agreed upon by both parents. Their son was living with Carrera in New York at the time of Sikkema’s death on January 14, the complaint showed. A week later, Carrera visited Sikkema’s New York apartment to retrieve his son’s passports.

Apartment managers at the building refused to let Carrera in or hand over the documents. Carrera’s attorneys then contacted the executor of Sikkema’s estate seeking to gain access to the apartment and his son’s passports. The executor said they were in possession of the child’s Spanish passport and that the American one was presumably in the safe in the apartment, but declined to hand over the documents or grant access.

Carrera allegedly then sent an email to the estate executor claiming the Spanish passport expired and needed it to obtain a new one. He added that he also needed the American passport so he could accompany his son on a planned trip.

The executor of the estate filed court documents in a New York family court on February 15, seeking to be named the legal guardian of Sikkema and Carrera’s son considering that Carrera had been charged by authorities in Brazil. The executor noted that Carrera had tried multiple times to retrieve the passports and might try to flee the country to Cuba. The court dismissed the executor’s petition and Carrera retains custody of his son.

Later in February, the executor retrieved the boy’s U.S. passport from the safe and, on March 14, provided them to an attorney for Carrera. However, before receiving the passports, the FBI said Carrera applied for a new passport on his son’s behalf and claimed he had “lost” the passport after a trip to visit Europe. Because of this, Carrera has been charged with passport fraud.

Carrera’s arrest was first reported by Inner City Press, which was present when he appeared in court and revealed that Carrera claimed he needed the passports for his son to go on a trip to Italy with his soccer team. Carrera’s defense team alleged he didn’t plan to go on the trip.

“He could flee to Cuba, where he’s a national and owns several properties there. The defendant sent an email showing he knew the passports were not lost. We searched his residence and found evidence. We want detention,” prosecutors reportedly said early in the hearing.

Later in the hearing, prosecutors said Carrera “intended to flee” and noted the “lengths he went to get a passport.” The judge ultimately set a $1 million bond for his release, secured by property he owns in the Queens borough of New York City, and ordered him to be placed under house arrest and to surrender all his and his son’s passports to the court.

The judge also directed Carrera to undergo a mental health evaluation and prevented him from owning and guns or weapons. However, Carrera will not be required to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet, Inner City Press reported. It was not immediately clear if Carrera has been released from custody, but he did not respond to a request for comment by text message.

“There is much outrage and bewilderment that Alejandro’s defense is witnessing the possibility of Daniel being released, even with an international arrest warrant issued against him,” Prevez’s lawyer Greg Andrade said in a text message.

Andrade admitted that allegations Carrera was trying to flee remain conjecture but said “nobody forges a passport unless they want to do something shady to leave the country.”

When previously asked by Artnet News whether the U.S. State Department had received a request for extradition upon allegations Carrera had masterminded Sikkema’s death, a State Department spokesperson said: “We are aware of those unconfirmed reports. As a matter of longstanding policy, the Department of State does not comment on ongoing extradition matters, including whether or not an extradition request has been made.”

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