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FBI arrests murdered Manhattan art dealer’s estranged husband, claims he is ‘flight risk’

The FBI arrested the estranged husband of murdered Manhattan art dealer Brent Sikkema after Brazilian authorities said they believed he was involved in the killing, The Post has learned.

Agents stormed into Daniel Garcia Carrera’s apartment on March 20 and marched him out in handcuffs before prosecutors told a judge that he was a suspect in the case and had been planning to flee the country with his and Sikkema’s teenage son.

Sikkema, 75, was stabbed repeatedly in the bedroom of his winter home in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on January 15, a day before he was due to return to New York.

Daniel Garcia Carrera (left) was arrested in Manhattan and described by federal prosecutors as a flight risk because he is a suspect in the murder of his estranged husband, Brent Sikkema (right). The two share a son, Lucas (center), who is now 13. Sao Paolo Police
Daniel Garcia Carrera (left) was arrested in Manhattan and described by federal prosecutors as a flight risk because he is a suspect in the murder of his estranged husband, Brent Sikkema (right). The two share a son, Lucas (center), who is now 13. Sao Paolo Police
Daniel Garcia Carrera is accused of trying to get a passport for Lucas, the son he shared with Brent Sikkema, as part of a possible attempt to flee the country after Brazilian authorities said he was suspected in Sikkema’s murder. brentsikkema/Instagram
Daniel Garcia Carrera is accused of trying to get a passport for Lucas, the son he shared with Brent Sikkema, as part of a possible attempt to flee the country after Brazilian authorities said he was suspected in Sikkema’s murder. brentsikkema/Instagram

He and Garcia Carrera, 53, had been involved in a bitter divorce that had begun in March 2022.

Police in Rio arrested Cuban national Alejandro Triana Prevez, 30, who had once worked for Sikkema, over the killing — but he claimed that Garcia Carrera ordered the hit from New York and offered him $200,000 to finish the job, according to Brazilian press reports.

Now, Brazilian authorities say they suspect Garcia Carrera, 53, of having been involved with the art dealer’s murder — apparently leading to the FBI raid.

On March 20, three FBI vans pulled up outside Garcia Carrera’s Kips Bay residence and conducted a raid on the apartment he shares with the couple’s teenage son and another family, neighbors exclusively told The Post.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said at least nine federal agents pounded on his apartment door just after 6 a.m.

Garcia Carrera was seen in handcuffs being escorted out of the building by the federal agents.

Sikemma was a high-flying New York art dealer who partied with Michelle Obama and had become a multimillionaire. He spent winters in Rio — where it is summer at Christmas — and was murdered in his tony townhouse there. Instagram/Brent Sikkema
Sikemma was a high-flying New York art dealer who partied with Michelle Obama and had become a multimillionaire. He spent winters in Rio — where it is summer at Christmas — and was murdered in his tony townhouse there. Instagram/Brent Sikkema
Sikkema and artist Kara Walker pose during one of her shows at his Chelsea gallery. The Manhattan art dealer was stabbed 18 times at his summer home in Rio de Janeiro in January. Billy Farrell/BFA/Shutterstock
Sikkema and artist Kara Walker pose during one of her shows at his Chelsea gallery. The Manhattan art dealer was stabbed 18 times at his summer home in Rio de Janeiro in January. Billy Farrell/BFA/Shutterstock

Later, the feds loaded the vans with several boxes that they had carried out of Garcia Carrera’s apartment, the neighbor said.

Garcia Carrera appeared in Manhattan federal court the same day to face charges of lying on a passport application, according to court documents and Inner City Press, whose reporter, Matthew Russell Lee, was in court at the time.

Prosecutor Meredith Foster told federal Magistrate Judge James Cott that Garcia Carrera, who was born in Cuba, was a flight risk because he was a “suspect” in a murder case and demanded his detention.

Garcia Carrera allegedly filled out a passport application for the couple’s 13-year-old son, Lucas, on Feb. 8, saying that the passport had been lost.

Garcia Carerra was arrested at this Manhattan residential tower and marched out in handcuffs when FBI agents raided his house. Gregory P. Mango
Garcia Carerra was arrested at this Manhattan residential tower and marched out in handcuffs when FBI agents raided his house. Gregory P. Mango

Foster alleged that Garcia Carerra was trying to get the passport so he could flee the US with Lucas, possibly for his native Cuba, just a month after Sikkema was found dead in his row house in the tony Jardim Botanico district of Rio.

The art world luminary, who partied with former first lady Michelle Obama and writer Hilton Als, had had custody of the child’s Spanish and US passports before his death, court records say.

Prosecutors said Garcia Carerra had tried to get the passport from the executor of Sikkema’s will, then falsely claimed it was lost.

Richard Levitt, an attorney for Garcia Carrera, said in court that he was not a flight risk and was trying to ensure his son could play soccer in a tournament in Italy. Levitt refused to comment to The Post.

This is the Rio row house where Sikkema was found stabbed to death in January. He had been due to return to New York the next day. AP
This is the Rio row house where Sikkema was found stabbed to death in January. He had been due to return to New York the next day. AP

Garcia Carrera was released on a $1 million bond and fitted with an ankle monitor, court documents say.

Before his murder, Sikkema was a principal in Sikkema Jenkins, which represents high-profile artists including Vik Muniz and Kara Walker.

Triana Prevez, a Cuban national who had once worked for Sikkema in Havana and is being held in Rio, called the murder a “crime of command,” according to press reports in Brazil.

Triana Prevez’s lawyer told The Post that his client testified to Brazilian police that Garcia Carrera had couriered him the key to Sikkema’s Rio home.

Alejandro Triana Prevez, a Cuban national, was charged in Brazil with Sikkema’s murder. Prevez had a key to Sikkema’s Rio rowhouse that was allegedly sent to him by Garcia Carrera. REUTERS
Alejandro Triana Prevez, a Cuban national, was charged in Brazil with Sikkema’s murder. Prevez had a key to Sikkema’s Rio rowhouse that was allegedly sent to him by Garcia Carrera. REUTERS

The Post revealed in February how Sikemma had fallen madly in love with a younger man days before his death. The revelation was included in a Rio Civil Police filing obtained by The Post.

Luiz Otavio Martins, Sikkema’s longtime driver in Rio, told police that he saw Sikkema on a video call “with a man who spoke halting English.” “He was dark skinned and very handsome, and Brent told him ‘I love you’ in English,” the driver told police.

During what would be his last conversation with the driver, Brent said he was going on a date, the police file said. It also said Brent regularly frequented Rio bathhouses to pick up young male prostitutes.