CLICK HERE TO REPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT CORRUPTION (Provide as much information as possible: full names, descriptions, dates, times, activity, witnesses, etc.)

Telephone: 347-632-9775

Monday, June 30, 2008


The New York Post by MURRAY WEISS - June 28, 2008

A team of NYPD narcotics cops is under investigation for arresting four men in Queens club after surveillance tapes revealed the cops never bought drugs from them, The Post has learned. The stunning accusations stem from a "buy-and-bust" operation in January when undercover cops allegedly framed two brothers and their friends who were merely drinking beer and chatting inside Club Delicioso in Elmhurst. The quartet was originally charged with selling two bags of cocaine worth $100. But their ordeal ended Thursday when the charges were dropped, thanks to several hours of video surveillance shot inside and outside the club showing that the cops never even had contact with their "suspects." "How lucky these tapes existed!" declared Rochelle Berliner, lawyer for brothers Maximo and Jose Colon, who were ensnared in the bust. "Three cops' words against theirs? Who is the jury going to believe?" Jose Colon, 23, who lost his grocery store business in the wake of the arrests, was enraged at the officers. "I just don't know why they would do this to us," he told The Post. "They know who deals drugs on the street, and they just made up everything."

The disturbing story follows a scandal that rocked another NYPD drug-fighting unit. Four Brooklyn South narcotics cops were arrested last December for allegedly stealing drugs and trading them for sex, a scandal that led to the head of the Narcotics Division being replaced. Officials at the office of Queens DA Richard Brown and the NYPD confirmed that a probe of the newest rogue narcs was under way. Sources say the Internal Affairs Bureau began rounding up the three undercovers and three backup cops for questioning during the past two days. One of the undercovers recently quit the NYPD and is now in the Nassau County police academy. The two who remain with the NYPD were placed on modified assignment on Tuesday. The Colons and pals Raul Duchimasa and Luis Rodriguez gathered at Delicioso the night of Friday, Jan. 4, where they spent a couple of hours hanging out and drinking beer. Unbeknownst to them, several undercover cops showed up shortly after, and began working the crowd of about 25 people. The undercovers allegedly bought small bags of cocaine from two patrons. They then claimed to buy drugs from the innocent foursome, according to court papers. Suddenly around 1:30 a.m., a "backup" team of plainclothes cops entered the club with badges around their necks, and approached their targets.

"They didn't say anything to us," Jose Colon said. "They just told us to be quiet and arrested us." Two patrons were taken into custody, as were the four shocked friends who were handcuffed and led away helplessly protesting. "I didn't know what was going on," Jose Colon said. "I was thinking 'Why was I being arrested?' " "We were strip-searched. They told me to take off my underwear and I was like, what! I felt so humiliated. It was embarrassing." According to the criminal complaint, the cops claimed they were directed from Rodriguez to the Colons to Duchimasa before getting the coke. One cop even said Maximo Colon insisted on patting him down to ensure he was not a cop wearing a wire. At one point, the club's cameras captured a scene outside the club where undercovers danced happily down the street. "They were dancing like they were hot s- - -," said Berliner, a former city special narcotics prosecutor. "But they were full of s- - -." Berliner and lawyer Brad Wolk discovered the tapes and showed them in April to prosecutors, who were dumbfounded by what they saw. Prosecutors said the case against the other two patrons was tainted and their charges were dropped as well. It was unclear if the cocaine secured in the first buy was used to allegedly frame the Colons and their friends. Of the four friends, only one of the brothers has a prior arrest, which was for driving under the influence, Berliner said. Additional reporting by Larry Celona and Christina Carrega.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


The U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney, District of Connecticut
PRESS RELEASE - June 26, 2008

CONTACT: Tom Carson: Public Information Office  (203) 821-3722  (203) 996-1393 (cell)

Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced DARREN DEMPSEY, also known as Darren Seligman, 39, of Mansfield, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to 48 months of imprisonment, followed by 10 years of supervised release. On April 3, 2008, DEMPSEY waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of using an interstate facility to transmit information about a minor.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, DEMPSEY used the Internet to attempt to engage in sexual conduct with an 11-year-old girl. At the time, DEMPSEY was employed as an officer with the East Windsor Police Department. DEMPSEY has been incarcerated since his arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on October 29, 2007. This case was investigated by the Connecticut Computer Crimes Task Force, which includes federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, including the Avon Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Deborah R. Slater.

Acting United States Attorney Dannehy noted that this prosecution is part of the United States Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  To report cases of child exploitation, please visit

Saturday, June 28, 2008


United States Attorney, Southern District of New York


MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced today that WAYNE SIMOES, a police officer with the Yonkers Police Department, was charged in a criminal Complaint with violating the civil rights of Irma Marquez by using excessive force against her, resulting in bodily injury According to the Complaint filed in White Plains federal court: On the early morning of March 3, 2007, SIMOES and several other police officers responded to a radio call to assist an injured person at a restaurant in Yonkers, New York. When Marquez leaned over the injured person, one of the officers moved her out of the way to the other side of the room. SIMOES then walked over to Marquez, grabbed her around the waist from behind, lifted her into the air, and threw her to the floor, face down, before handcuffing her. Marquez was hospitalized and suffered a broken jaw as well as lacerations and contusions to her face and body as a result of SIMOES’s use of force. SIMOES’ conduct was captured on videotape and witnessed by other officers. The Complaint charges SIMOES with violation of federal civil rights laws, which make it a crime to willfully deprive a person of rights secured and protected by the Constitution of the United States, in this case the right to be free from the use of excessive force by a law enforcement officer in the course of an arrest, stop, or seizure.

SIMOES was presented today before United States Magistrate Judge GEORGE A. YANTHIS in White Plains federal court and released on a $300,000 personal recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing in the case was set for July 23, 2008, at 9 a.m. SIMOES, 38, lives in Yonkers, New York. If convicted, SIMOES faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case. Assistant United States Attorneys JASON P.W. HALPERIN, ANNA M. SKOTKO, and BENJAMIN H. TORRANCE are in charge of the prosecution. The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. 08-161 ###

Friday, June 27, 2008

Death of Bay Shore man in police custody ruled homicide

Newsday by CHRISTINE ARMARIO - June 27, 2008 

The death of a Bay Shore man who collapsed following a violent struggle with Suffolk police in April - in which he was struck with flashlights - has been ruled a homicide. In a written statement released Thursday night, Suffolk County Medical Examiner Yvonne Milewski said Kenny Lazo suffered "sudden cardiac death following exertion associated with prolonged physical altercation with multiple blunt impacts." She said a contributory cause of death was obesity. Milewski added that the finding of homicide is a "medical determination" and "does not imply any potential criminal responsibility or civil liability on the part of any individuals." Wendy Ladd, a Health Department spokeswoman, said Milewski would not comment further.

Lazo, 26, was allegedly caught selling drugs in West Islip on April 12. Detectives asked for a uniformed officer to locate Lazo's vehicle and they pulled him over on the Southern State Parkway. When Lazo got out, he allegedly elbowed a detective who had approached him, and then ran away. The officers tackled Lazo to the ground, but he managed to get up. A violent struggle followed in which Lazo allegedly reached for one officer's gun. Police said they struck Lazo with flashlights to control him. Lazo was arrested and brought to the Third Precinct, where he collapsed. The Brentwood Legion Ambulance was called to the precinct at 9:02 p.m. It arrived three minutes later and left the precinct at 9:19 p.m. Lazo was pronounced dead on arrival to Southside Hospital at 9:25 p.m.

Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said he had not seen the medical examiner's report and that the investigation is ongoing. He declined to comment, citing possible litigation, but said the ruling of homicide is a "very broad definition. So I think it should be made very clear that homicide is not a murder." Suffolk prosecutors must determine whether any criminality is involved and decide whether to take the case to a grand jury. Bob Clifford, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said they are awaiting the Homicide Squad's report. Robert Gottlieb, a Manhattan defense attorney and former prosecutor, said a homicide ruling could translate into various charges related to a death, from negligent homicide to intentional murder.

"The DA is going to have to determine whether or not the police officers were justified in hitting him as they said they did," he said. "A police officer certainly under certain circumstances, under certain conditions, does have the right in performing his lawful duty to strike somebody, even with a flashlight." Lazo's mother wailed as she spoke to a reporter. "Nothing is going to return my son," Patricia Gonzalez said in a telephone interview. "Justice. That's all I ask." Attorney Fred Brewington, who is representing the family, said they were renewing their call for an independent federal investigation and the officers' arrest. The officers' names have not been released. "This is saddening news for the entire community and this family," Brewington said. - Staff writer Luis Perez contributed to this story.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ex-cop assigned highest sex offender status

The Albany Times Union by BOB GARDINIER - June 18, 2008

TROY -- A former police and corrections officer was assigned the highest sex offender status this morning in county court for his conviction 10 years ago for raping an 11-year-old girl. Paul J. D'Adamo, formerly of Columbia Turnpike, admitted in August 1998 to attempted rape and rape in the case. The abuse continued for about a year, according to court documents. During his plea allocution, D'Adamo also admitted molesting a second girl, the sister of the first victim, as young as 10, but was never charged in that case, Judge Patrick McGrath said during the hearing this morning. D'Adamo was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison on the attempted-rape charge and 2 1/3 to 7 years on the rape count involving the 11-year-old. Three years later, D'Adamo unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his plea, claiming he was depressed and on drugs when he agreed to it. McGrath held a required risk assessment hearing this morning in anticipation of D'Adamo's release from prison in August. The state Board of Sex Examiners suggested that he be assigned a level two status but McGrath noted that certain circumstances would require a level three status, the highest, which denotes a likelihood of repeat behavior.

"He has shown a high proclivity for sex with young, pre-pubescent females,'' McGrath said. McGrath also noted that D'Adamo has a long history of work in the criminal justice field that could give him inside knowledge of how to abuse the system to get close to young girls again. D'Adamo opted not to appear in court for the hearing, and his court-appointed attorney represented him. D'Adamo served in the military police with the Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force, was a sheriff's deputy in Texas, a police officer in Maryland and worked for Burns Security. He was a Rensselaer County corrections officer for a time in 1994 and was a New York state corrections officer at the time of his arrest. After his release from prison, he must report as a level three sex offender, which will restrict where he is allowed to live.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Phoenix cop arrested in child-porn probe


PHOENIX — A veteran Phoenix police officer was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into Internet child pornography, authorities said. Michael Polk, 50, was booked into jail late Wednesday afternoon. Police said Polk, a 26-year veteran and currently a detective in the department's homicide unit, was the subject of a criminal investigation involving Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Federal authorities made the Phoenix Police Department aware that Polk was the subject of an investigation. Officials with Phoenix police declined to release any other details of the case but said more information would be released Thursday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ex-Cop Steals Guns from Police Evidence Room

Newsday - June 14, 2008

Hubertus Vannes, 31, of Roslyn Heights, a former New York City police officer, has pleaded guilty to stealing handguns from a Queens police evidence room and selling them on Long Island, Nassau prosecutors said. 

He also admitted buying a powerful painkiller illegally. Vannes pleaded guilty on Friday to fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and two counts of criminal sale of a firearm before Nassau County Court Judge Edward Maron in Nassau County Court.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Claims of corruption at Queens precinct put crooked cop's sentencing on hold

The New York Daily News by JOHN MARZULLI - June 20, 2008

A judge Friday delayed the sentencing of a dirty cop after prosecutors dropped new bombshell allegations of police corruption in a Queens precinct. Ex-NYPD Officer Dennis Kim and his partner admitted accepting cash and sexual favors from a pimp in return for protecting a brothel in Flushing. Now, the churchgoing Kim could face significantly more jail time because of claims from an informant that he and other cops in the 109th Precinct planted drugs on suspects and stole cash during gambling raids.

"The conduct, if true, is outrageous," Brooklyn Federal Judge Sandra Townes said, adding that she was considering giving Kim more than the two years in jail he and prosecutors agreed upon. "I don't have an agreement with the defendant," Townes said. Kim's unit, which targets quality-of-life-type crimes, was cited by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly in 2004 for its arrest activity. Sources said a cooperating witness contends members of the precinct's conditions unit engaged in a practice known as "flaking," in which cops planted marijuana, cocaine or Ecstasy on suspects. "Members of the conditions unit maintained a small stash of drug in an Altoids tin for this purpose," Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Ryan said. Kim's partner, Jerry Svoronos, also pleaded guilty and is cooperating with the government, but it is unclear whether he's the source of the new information. The disgraced cops took payoffs from the pimp and helped shut down competing brothels. Both resigned from the force last year. An NYPD spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ex-detective sues Mamaroneck village

The Journal News by Aman Ali - June 20, 2008

MAMARONECK - A former detective once accused of stealing over $23,000 from a police evidence locker fired back yesterday with a federal lawsuit against the village. Joseph Comblo claims his reputation has been damaged by the police disciplinary charges, which were dropped last week. "He was getting ready to retire and this was an attempt to scapegoat him," his attorney, Jonathan Lovett, said. "They thought, albeit stupidly, that he'd ride off into the sunset doing nothing about this." The lawsuit names Police Chief Edward Flynn, police spokesman Lt. James Gaffney, Mayor Kathy Savolt and Trustees Tom Murphy, Toni Ryan, John Hofstetter and Randi Robinowitz. Lovett said Comblo is seeking punitive damages set by a jury. In March, Comblo was accused of stealing $23,383 from a police evidence locker - the week he was submitting his papers for retirement. Comblo had served the police department for 25 years and built a strong reputation among his colleagues. "I really didn't expect this to happen," Comblo said of the accusation. Savolt said the disciplinary charges against Comblo were dropped last week on procedural grounds. She said the department did not have the legal standing to pursue a case against the former detective, based on the timing of his retirement. Savolt yesterday declined to comment on the lawsuit Comblo filed because the village had not yet read the filing.

The village has spent millions of taxpayer dollars on lawsuits in recent years. This is the first major lawsuit against the village since Savolt took office in December. "I learned anybody can sue anybody about anything at any time," Savolt said. "That's their right in the democracy we call America." Savolt and the board trustees were listed in the lawsuit for their role as the Board of Police Commissioners that would have overseen Comblo's now cancelled disciplinary hearing. Details about Comblo's charges were obtained by the Journal News in March, and Savolt said the village will conduct an investigation as to who may have provided that information. "We have to find out why this stuff is going on," she said. The unsolved question still remains of who stole the $23,383. Police officials declined to comment on whether the department was still investigating the theft. Lovett claims he has figured out who took the money and said he will reveal it over the course of the lawsuit.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ex-cop charged with promoting prostitution

The Journal News by Desiree Grand - June 19, 2008

A former Mamaroneck police officer who had sued the town claiming racial discrimination was accused of running a prostitution operation out of a massage parlor in Ulster County. Peter Persaud, 42, was arrested last week by Marlborough police and charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree, a felony. The Fishkill man is accused of operating a business called Body and Soul, which advertised "body work" but instead charged $175 for half hour with a prostitute, police said. The business is in a commercial suite at the Village Square Mall in Marlboro. It advertised its services on Internet sites like Craigslist, MySpace and the classified section of area newspapers. The Internet sites included photographs of women that were allegedly available. Persaud is also expected to face a felony charge of unlicensed massage therapy, police said. 

In 1998 Persaud sued the Mamaroneck Police Department claiming officials there had denied him assignments and promotions in favor of white officers and subjected him to derogatory treatment. Persaud is of Indian origin; his family came from Guyana. The town brought departmental charges against him claiming he was sleeping while on duty behind a school building while his gun was lying on the seat in plain sight. At the time, Persaud said the departmental charges were in retaliation for his lawsuit. He was fired in 1999, but the town later reached a settlement with him and two other officers who had joined with him in filing the lawsuit. The settlement was sealed and details were never released. He served four years on the police department. After his arrest June 12, Persaud was remanded to Ulster County jail. Police investigating the case also arrested a 22-year-old Yonkers woman and charged her with prostitution. They are not releasing her identity, saying the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

Friday, June 20, 2008

DA: Ocean Beach cop charged in beating will testify

Newsday by SOPHIA CHANG - - June 19, 2008

An Ocean Beach police officer charged in the beating of a New Jersey tourist in the summer of 2005 has agreed to testify against the two other officers indicted in the case, the Suffolk district attorney's office said Thursday as a pretrial hearing in the case began. Officer Paul Carollo will cooperate with the prosecution, said Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla. "It was something that had been in the works and we had been discussing it with his attorney," Biancavilla said. The agreement was reached during the past week, he said. Carollo's lawyer, Dennis Lemke, of Mineola, did not respond to phone calls Thursday evening.

Carollo was one of four officers arrested after a New Jersey marketing executive, Samuel Gilberd, suffered a ruptured bladder after being arrested by village police for littering when he tossed a beer bottle on the ground in August 2005. After Gilberd slammed a door at the police station, investigators said, Police Chief George Hesse beat Gilberd so violently that his bladder tore and his intestines were jostled. Prosecutors said that Hesse, Carollo and Officers Arnold Hardman and William Emburey endangered Gilberd's life by lying to medical personnel and telling them that he was only drunk. Gilberd had to have emergency surgery and was hospitalized for 10 days. Biancavilla declined to comment on the specific details of Carollo's agreement. Carollo was charged with reckless endangerment, officer misconduct, unlawful imprisonment, hindering prosecution and conspiracy.

During the hearing, Hesse's lawyer, William Keahon, of Islandia, and Hardman's lawyer, Steve Worth, of Mineola, challenged the admissibility of their clients' statements to investigators. At issue was whether investigators should have interviewed Hesse and Hardman without defense attorneys. The defendants were accompanied by village attorney Kenneth Gray in September 2005 when they spoke to Det. Thomas Iacapalli. Both defense lawyers questioned Iacapalli on Gray's presence during the interviews. Worth asked Iacapalli if anyone told Hardman that Gray was representing only the village. Iacapalli said he told Hardman he might be facing a felony and Gray then told him to hire a criminal defense lawyer. But questioning continued, Iacapalli said. Hesse faces the most serious charges, including gang assault and first-degree assault, which each carry a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in prison. Hardman was charged with reckless endangerment and falsifying records.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ex-cop assigned highest sex offender status

The Albany Times Union by BOB GARDINIER - June 18, 2008

TROY -- A former police and corrections officer was assigned the highest sex offender status this morning in county court for his conviction 10 years ago for raping an 11-year-old girl. Paul J. D'Adamo, formerly of Columbia Turnpike, admitted in August 1998 to attempted rape and rape in the case. The abuse continued for about a year, according to court documents. During his plea allocution, D'Adamo also admitted molesting a second girl, the sister of the first victim, as young as 10, but was never charged in that case, Judge Patrick McGrath said during the hearing this morning. D'Adamo was sentenced to 7 1/2 to 15 years in prison on the attempted-rape charge and 2 1/3 to 7 years on the rape count involving the 11-year-old. Three years later, D'Adamo unsuccessfully attempted to withdraw his plea, claiming he was depressed and on drugs when he agreed to it. McGrath held a required risk assessment hearing this morning in anticipation of D'Adamo's release from prison in August. The state Board of Sex Examiners suggested that he be assigned a level two status but McGrath noted that certain circumstances would require a level three status, the highest, which denotes a likelihood of repeat behavior. "He has shown a high proclivity for sex with young, pre-pubescent females,'' McGrath said.

McGrath also noted that D'Adamo has a long history of work in the criminal justice field that could give him inside knowledge of how to abuse the system to get close to young girls again. D'Adamo opted not to appear in court for the hearing, and his court-appointed attorney represented him. D'Adamo served in the military police with the Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force, was a sheriff's deputy in Texas, a police officer in Maryland and worked for Burns Security. He was a Rensselaer County corrections officer for a time in 1994 and was a New York state corrections officer at the time of his arrest. After his release from prison, he must report as a level three sex offender, which will restrict where he is allowed to live.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


United States Attorney, District of Connecticut, PRESS RELEASE - May 27, 2008

Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that former New Haven Police Detective JUSTEN KASPERZYK, 35, was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alan H. Nevas in Bridgeport to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. KASPERZYK also was ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $2500. On October 5, 2007, KASPERZYK, pleaded guilty to one count of civil rights conspiracy, a felony, and one count of theft of government property, a misdemeanor.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, KASPERZYK and Jose Silva were both detectives within the Narcotics Enforcement Unit of the New Haven Police Department. On November 9, 2006, KASPERZYK, Silva and others executed a search warrant at a location identified as 65-67 Truman Street in New Haven. Upon entering the first floor apartment of the location, KASPERZYK observed a black male coming out of the back bedroom. The individual was secured during the execution of the warrant. As part of the search, KASPERZYK, Silva and others searched the basement of 65-67 Truman Street, which revealed a sandwich bag containing a white powder-like substance (suspected cocaine) with an approximate weight of 7.4 grams; 19 white rock-like substances (suspected crack cocaine); and one clear plastic bag containing 40 small red baggies, each with a green plant-like substance (suspected marijuana). KASPERZYK, with Silva's knowledge, knowingly and willfully moved the suspected narcotics from the basement to the back bedroom of the first floor apartment, resulting in the unlawful arrest of the individual found within the apartment.

After the search, Silva, with KASPERZYK's knowledge, filed a case incident report and falsely stated that KASPERZYK found the suspected cocaine, crack, and marijuana on top of the dresser in the bedroom from which the individual emerged. The report also falsely stated that all the seized items were found next to the individual's identification card. Also, on March 1, 2007, KASPERZYK participated in a search on Filmore Street in New Haven. During the execution of the search, KASPERZYK seized a substantial amount of money. Rather than enter all the money into evidence, KASPERZYK stole $1,000 and falsely reported the amount of money seized. KASPERZYK subsequently put $500 into Silva's coat pocket and informed Silva that "there was a surprise for him," or words to that effect. Finally, on March 5, 2007, KASPERZYK, based on what he believed to be an anonymous tip but was, in fact, part of an FBI sting operation, entered a hotel room without a warrant and seized $5,000 and drug paraphernalia. KASPERZYK did not enter all the money into evidence, as required by law, but knowingly and willfully stole $360 in Government funds, which he used later that night for gambling.

"The destructive consequences of this defendant's criminal behavior cannot be overstated, because it has given citizens a reason to distrust police, and has undermined our judicial system, which relies on police to tell the truth," Acting U.S. Attorney Dannehy stated. KASPERZYK began working as a New Haven Police officer in 1995. He retired in April 2007 after his arrest by federal authorities on charges stemming from this investigation. On October 5, 2007, Silva pleaded guilty to one count of deprivation of an individual's civil rights, a misdemeanor. On January 7, he was sentenced today by Senior United States District Judge Alan H. Nevas in Bridgeport to 90 days of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release. This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nora R. Dannehy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


The New York Post by KATI CORNELL

June 17, 2008 -- An NYPD cop-turned-robber pleaded guilty yesterday to sticking up a bank in Pennsylvania, as prosecutors in New York unsealed an indictment against him and a teller pal for two heists in Manhattan. Christian Torres, 22, copped a plea to bank robbery and other charges - for stealing $113,000 from a Sovereign branch in Muhlenberg, Pa., on April 9. Meanwhile, Torres and Christina Dasrath, 20, are now under federal indictment on bank-fraud, bank-larceny and bank-robbery charges for a pair of heists at a Sovereign branch on Avenue A in on June 8 and Nov. 16 of last year. Torres, of Queens, was a cadet in training for the NYPD at the time of the first heist and served as a transit cop from July 9, 2007 through April 10, the day he was arrested in Pennsylvania. In that robbery, Torres brandished a gun, forced his way into the branch and ordered a manager to fill a bag with cash. When cops caught up to him, he identified himself as a law-enforcement officer. Dasrath, of The Bronx, is accused of taking a cut from each of the two New York robberies. She and Torres met while attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Schenectady cop arrested again

Schenectady cop arrested again
The Albany Times Union by PAUL NELSON, Staff writer - June 13, 2008

SCHENECTADY -- Officer John Lewis has been arrested and suspended without pay for 30 days for allegedly violating an order of protection that was issued when he allegedly pushed his wife in April, police said.
Lewis was arraigned late Thursday in City Court on one count of second-degree criminal contempt and released on $500 bail, according to Lt. Brian Kilcullen, a city police spokesman.

He said Lewis, a 15-year veteran, had phone contact with the woman earlier this week. That conversation violated the order of protection that resulted after Lewis was arrested and charged with misdemeanor harassment on April 29 following a dispute with his wife over custody of their young son. Police said Lewis shoved the woman, resulting in his original arrest. The officer was released without bail, but was quickly off duty for 30 days.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cockfighter Guilty; Had Blessings of Law Enforcement

Cockfighter convicted in conspiracy case..... Man sold vitamins, knives for use in gambling operation
The Northern Virginia Daily by Preston Knight -- June 14, 2008

HARRISONBURG — When at Little Boxwood Cockpit, do as the Romans do. Cockfighting is a game of gallantry, a sport that has some honor and valor and one that has lived on since the Roman Empire, Charles Leo Kingrea testified on the second day of his jury trial on cockfighting and gambling related charges Friday in U.S. District Court. "Abraham Lincoln fought chickens," he said.

But, as Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bondurant argued, everything the Romans practiced did not stand the test of time — slavery, thanks to Lincoln, ironically, among them. That meant that Kingrea, 61, of Gordonsville, did not have a free pass to conspire to engage in an animal fighting venture or gambling related to cockfighting, conspire to sell or transport knives to be used in cockfighting or to serve as a principal who aided a gambling operation tied to cockfighting, Bondurant said. A jury of 10 men and two women jury agreed. Kingrea was convicted on all three charges against him after the jury deliberated for nearly two hours Friday afternoon. He had no comment afterward. "I hope it at least sends the message that it is illegal," Bondurant said after the verdict. Kingrea was among four men arrested after federal authorities raided Little Boxwood, which is near Stanley, in May 2007. The cockfighting ring has existed for 30 years and, according to an indictment handed down in the case, had the blessings of Page County law enforcement because one of the men arrested is said to have bribed a law enforcement official to keep deputies away from the facility.

Page County Sheriff Daniel W. Presgraves issued a press release after the raid stating that he received a $500 donation from one of the men, but denied that it was a bribe. Bondurant would not comment on how Kingrea's case related to those of the other defendants, nor would he expand on information revealed in court Thursday by Judge Glen E. Conrad that the cockfighting investigation might be connected to a recent FBI raid of a Page County business and a larger public corruption scandal. On Friday the majority of the testimony came from Kingrea, whose role at Little Boxwood was to sell supplies such as vitamins, knives and gloves that were necessary for cockfighting. He never made money off entry fees, but also did not have to pay to set up his table. Kingrea testified that all of his materials were legal. Bondurant asked whether everything on his table was intended for cockfighting, and the defendant said the supplies could be used for any purpose for chickens. Bondurant then pressed Kingrea, asking if he had ever set up at a county fair or gone to a school to sell his items. Both answers were no, and the prosecutor asked if Kingrea had ever sold any of the supplies for non-cockfighting purposes. After Kingrea said he had, he refused to indicate to whom. "I don't do any harm to my fellow man," he said.

With chickens, however, that mindset apparently changes. Kingrea had gone to Little Boxwood for about 30 years and sold supplies there for the last five. He said he originally got into the feed business, and the supply table grew from that. Kingrea testified that he would make anywhere from $200 to $800 on fight days. Although defense attorney Edward Childress argued that his client was just a small fish in a large net and did not deserve to be charged federally, the jury did not take the bait. "It took a lot of people working in concert to pull it off," Bondurant said in his closing arguments. "No one has ever said others won't be charged. This is not the end of the road in the investigation." Kingrea, who faces up to three years in prison, remains free on bond until Oct. 3, when he will be sentenced. Two co-defendants will be sentenced that day as well — Luis Aguirre Martinez, who owned the cockpit, and Winchester resident Dale Moreland, who operated it. Both men have entered plea agreements. A fourth man, Albert C. Taylor, of Luray, will be tried in September. He is accused of giving the bribe to the law enforcement official.   Contact Preston Knight at

Saturday, June 14, 2008

No charges against former Mamaroneck police detective

No charges against former Mamaroneck police detective
The Journal News by Robert Marchant - June 14, 2008

The village of Mamaroneck police department is dropping charges against a former detective who had been accused of taking money from a safe at police headquarters. Mayor Kathleen Savolt said the village Board of Trustees had been notified that the department no longer was pursuing a disciplinary case against Joseph Comblo, who had denied he was the person who took $23,383 from an evidence locker at police headquarters in January. Savolt said she was notified that the case was dropped on procedural grounds - the department did not have the legal standing to pursue a disciplinary case against the former detective, based on the timing of his retirement.

Comblo was submitting his retirement papers the week that the money was discovered missing. Comblo's lawyer, Jonathan Lovett, said his client was innocent and was targeted as a scapegoat in the theft of the money. Of the $23,383 in missing cash, $18,323 has been reimbursed by the village's insurance carrier. The mayor said the village administration would initiate a full-scale review of the police department and its management in light of the recent case and previous controversies involving police personnel. The village board was already having preliminary discussions with consulting firms that would carry out the review. "It's long overdue," the mayor said.

"We have to figure this out," Savolt said. "We have issues with morale, and we need to address that, and policies, procedures, training, everything. Let's look at everything. We have to make sure the taxpayers are getting their money's worth." According to another Mamaroneck village trustee, Thomas Murphy, "This department and the fine men and women who work there have been under a cloud for years. The entire board supports them and recognizes that they deserve better." Both Lovett and John O'Reilly, the attorney for the police department, did not return calls for comment yesterday afternoon. The case against Comblo had proved divisive in the community, with dozens of residents coming to village hall to show support for the detective.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Manslaughter Count Remains Against Ex-Cop

Bubaris slay trial: 3 charges dismissed against ex-cop; manslaughter count remains
The Journal News by Rebecca Baker and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon by June 11, 2008

WHITE PLAINS - A state judge today threw out three of the four charges against a former Mount Kisco police officer charged in the death of a homeless immigrant. While a second-degree manslaughter charge stands against ex-cop George Bubaris, state Supreme Court Justice Lester Adler ruled that prosecutors had failed to "meet their burden of proof" on three related charges: unlawful imprisonment and two official misconduct counts. Based on the decision, prosecutors failed to prove that slain immigrant Rene Javier Perez was taken unlawfully and against his will when he was driven to the lakeside road in Bedford where he was found mortally injured. Adler's ruling came after the Westchester County District Attorney's Office concluded presenting its case against Bubaris, who is charged in Perez' death on April 29, 2007. Perez, 42, was found dying less than an hour after he made a 911 call to Mount Kisco police from a village laundry.

Bubaris and two other officers - Lt. Edward Dunnigan and Officer Edward Dwyer - responded to Perez' call. Prosecutors allege that Bubaris then sought out Perez and drove him to Byram Lake Road, hitting him in the abdomen and leaving him to die. Dunnigan has since retired, while Bubaris resigned while facing disciplinary charges. Bubaris' lawyer, Andrew Quinn, denied that his client played any role in Perez' death. Perez, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, lapsed into a vagrant lifestyle after arriving in the United States. He lived in a wooded area behind a Mount Kisco supermarket and was often seen drunk around the village. Quinn, who begins presenting the defense case today, has suggested that Perez' lifestyle, and not Bubaris, caused his death.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The New York Post by STEFANIE COHEN - June 10, 2008

The alcoholic ex-cop who fatally shot a decorated Port Authority police officer in a road-rage incident on Staten Island two years ago pleaded guilty to manslaughter yesterday. Allen Lau, 48, will spend 21 years behind bars for firing at former Port Authority officer Steven Vitale, 55, in a parking lot as Vitale and his wife, Karen, walked into a restaurant.

Lau, who was wearing a ninja outfit, apparently tailgated the Vitales and waved a gun at them before both cars pulled into the parking lot and Lau opened fire, cops said. Lau fled to his house and drunkenly conversed with negotiators for several hours before surrendering.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ex-Robeson deputies get prison terms for corruption charges

May. 30, 2008

A federal judge on Friday handed down sentences to two former deputies who were among the first charged in a six-year-long corruption probe into the Robeson County Sheriff's Office. U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said the sentencing of ex-deputies Steven Lovin and Charles Thomas Strickland highlighted "epidemic" corruption in the sheriff's office. "These officers violated the public's trust and tarnished the badge and department they were sworn to serve," Holding said. "Today's sentencing are a strong reminder that all public officials must maintain a high level of integrity," Holding added. "The public demands and should expect no less." U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle gave Lovin, 38, a 12-year term in federal prison. He also ordered Lovin to pay $150,000 in restitution.

Earlier in May, Lovin pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as well conspiring to steal federal funds. Strickland, 41, faces a seven-year prison sentence for conspiring to commit money laundering. He pleaded guilty to that charge in February 2007. Both men also got three years of probation following their prison terms. Lovin and Strickland, along with a third ex-deputy Roger Taylor, were the first to be charged in Operation Tarnished Badge, a federal and state corruption investigation. Taylor was sentenced on Thursday to spend nearly four years in prison, pay $10,000 in restitution and undergo three years of probation. The three ex-deputies were accused of stealing tens of thousands in money and drugs from alleged dealers they stopped along Interstate 95.

Prosecutors said Strickland, Taylor and other deputies also conspired to misappropriate several thousands of dollars given by the federal Equitable Sharing Program. "Public corruption touches everyone," said Special Agent in Charge Charles E. Hunger, a criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service. "These former law enforcement agents were motivated by greed, which caused them to abuse their authority in the worse way." Investigators said Taylor and other deputies illegally reprogramed satellite cards to receive unlimited programming, costing DirecTV thousands in losses. They sold and exchanged those cards throughout the department, investigators said.

"Although satellite TV piracy may seem a minor or insignificant violation of the law, ... it served as a springboard, or gateway, into much egregious violations of law," said David L. Robey, an agent with the Secret Service based in Wilmington. The offense "promoted an atmosphere wherein criminal behavior was tolerated and created a code of silence within the department which discouraged sworn personnel from coming forward about other crimes for fear that they too would be exposed," Robey continued. Strickland oversaw the county's drug-enforcement squad, and Taylor was also a supervisor. Nineteen other Robeson officers – including former sheriff Glenn Maynor – have also been charged for offenses ranging from kidnapping to arson. Boyle postponed Maynor's sentencing after he wrangled with prosecutors on an open plea deal that would have Maynor serve less than two years. Maynor could get up to 10 years on two charges of lying to a grand jury and one of misapplying federal funds.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

NYPD officer charged with threatening man with gun

Newsday by ZACHARY R. DOWDY - June 6, 2008

A New York City police officer was arrested on a menacing charge Friday, several hours after he barreled through a security checkpoint at Hofstra University while off duty and pointed his service pistol at a man who had accompanied his former girlfriend to a Manhattan nightclub, Nassau police said. Fahad R. Chaudhry, 25, of the Bronx, faces a menacing charge in connection with an incident that began about 3:30 a.m. Friday at Sounds of Brazil and ended in a Hofstra dorm parking lot, where Chaudhry pointed the 9-mm Glock at a 23-year-old man with Chaudhry's ex-girlfriend, a Hofstra student, said Nassau police spokesman Anthony Repalone. Hofstra police responded to the scene and defused the crisis, Repalone said. No one was hurt. Nassau police charged Chaudhry with second-degree menacing, Repalone said. Chaudhry, a three-year veteran assigned to the 40th Precinct in the Bronx, was suspended without pay for 30 days. His attorney, Jeff Groder, of Mineola, declined to comment Friday.

Repalone said the incident began when Chaudhry bumped into his ex-girlfriend and the alleged victim at the nightclub. Soon after the alleged victim arrived on the Hofstra campus, Chaudhry drove past the security booth and headed for his former girlfriend's dormitory, prompting campus security to respond, Repalone said. Chaudhry got out of the car and pointed his gun at the 23-year-old, who pushed it away, Repalone said. A spokesman for Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Chaudhry was arraigned before District Court Judge David Goodselland released on his own recognizance. Spokesman Eric Phillips said Goodsell granted orders of protection for the man and Chaudhry's ex-girlfriend. He is due in court June 15. -

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Fifth Police Officer In Madison Is Fired

The Hartford Courant by ALAINE GRIFFIN - May 31, 2008

MADISON — A fifth town police officer linked to a series of scandals in the department was fired Thursday by the board of police commissioners. Town Attorney William Clendenen said that commissioners sustained all the charges against Officer Daniel Hedges, who was charged with eight departmental violations, including conduct unbecoming an officer, lack of respect, lack of civility and failure to adhere to the oath of office and the code of ethics.

Hedges is accused of throwing his badge and a loaded service weapon onto the pavement outside police headquarters after a dispute with management in 2006. The gun, with a round in the chamber, hit the ground and skidded toward a supervisor, according to police department documents. Hedges is also accused of telling a dispatcher that any supervisor who went to his house to order him to work an overtime shift "better watch out for the red dot on their forehead" — an alleged reference to the laser sight on a sniper rifle, police documents said. In 2007, Hedges allegedly said, "I have some names I'd like to add to the list," when ordered by a sergeant to remain on patrol during the dedication of a plaque for officers who had died. Four other police officers have been fired in the past year, and the department's police chief is serving a suspension.

In January, Officer Matthew Sterling was fired on sexual misconduct and other charges related to corruption on the midnight shift. He and fellow Officer Bernard Durgin Jr. were accused of frequenting strip clubs, massage parlors and prostitutes in Bridgeport. Durgin was fired late last year. Durgin also faces criminal charges at Superior Court in New Haven after his arrest on charges of interfering with a police investigation in New Haven on behalf of a friend while off-duty. Police said that he also looked up the names of women he knew on police computer databases, committed a workers' compensation scam and threatened witnesses.

In addition, Sgt. Timothy Heiden was fired on charges that included failing to supervise the officers on his shift. And Officer Joseph Gambardella was terminated after he was arrested on charges of stealing $900 worth of lobsters and meat from a local restaurant and $500 worth of gasoline from the town's public works garage. Last month, the police commission suspended Police Chief Paul D. Jakubson and began an investigation of his conduct. Contact Alaine Griffin at

Thursday, June 5, 2008

NYPD big hit in steroids sting

The New York Daily News by ALISON GENDAR - June 5, 2008

An NYPD deputy chief was hit with internal charges for allegedly buying human growth hormone ata Brooklyn pharmacy raided in a steroid sting last year, sources said Wednesday. Deputy Chief Michael Marino's name was among 27 NYPD customers discovered after investigators seized records and $8 million worth of steroids and HGH from Lowen's Compounding Pharmacy in Bay Ridge in October. After his name surfaced, Marino took and passed a drug test and initially was cleared by top brass, a move the president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said smacked of favoritism. An ongoing investigation, however, found Marino had been issued a prescription for HGH even though it wasn't medically necessary, sources said. Marino, executive officer of patrol borough Brooklyn North, was charged with conduct prejudicial to the department for possession and use of steroids and/or HGH outside standard medical care, sources said. The NYPD will begin random drug testing for steroids July 1.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Customs Officer And Six Others Arrested For Corruption And Drug Importation

The Imperial Valley Press - June 2, 2008

New York, New York - Michael J Garcia, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”); Steven J. Mocsary, the Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility, Investigations East (“ICE-OPR”); Gregory K. Null, the Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigation, Philadelphia Field Office (“DHS-OIG”), and Raymond W. Kelly, Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced today that Supervisory Customs and Border Protection Officer Walter Golembiowski, Customs and Border Protection Officer John Ajello, and others were arrested on narcotics importation and bribery conspiracy charges.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court: The arrests were the culmination of a lengthy investigation into a network of individuals importing large quantities of hashish and other controlled substances and contraband into the United States through John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (“JFK”). The investigation was launched by the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force (“OCDESF”), which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the NYPD, the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States Marshals Service, the United States Secret Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It resulted in the indictment and successful prosecution of over twenty individuals -- from distributors to overseas sources of supply -- and the seizure of over 600 pounds of imported hashish and a significant quantity of narcotics proceeds in the United States and France.

Based on the information obtained through its investigation, OCDESF identified a number of individuals who assisted in clearing shipments of hashish, other controlled substances, and counterfeit goods through United States Customs at JFK, including Walter Golembiowski - a supervisor in United States Customs and Border Protection at JFK - who regularly accepted and solicited bribes to permit shipments of contraband to pass through Customs without inspection.

Similarly, the investigation led to the identification of Sharuk Sariari, a freight forwarder, and Vincent Juzumas, a Customs broker, who used their association with Golembiowski to clear shipments of illicit cargo; Sean Mills, operations manager of a cargo cooperative, who conspired to bypass possible inspection at a container freight station by delivering a shipment of contraband directly from the plane to his codefendants; and Kai Li and Wei Lam, two importers of counterfeit goods and controlled substances. Law enforcement also identified John Ajello, a Customs and Border Protection Inspector at JFK who worked with Golembiowski, and also accepted bribes as part of the conspiracy. Based in part on information provided by confidential witnesses, the Strike Force, ICE-OPR, and DHS-OIG initiated an undercover operation and recorded numerous meetings and phone calls involving Golembiowski, Ajello, and the other defendants. During those meetings and calls, the defendants plotted to bring narcotics and other contraband - including counterfeit Rolex, Cartier, and Chanel watches, and designer sunglasses - into the United States through JFK, undetected by law enforcement. On multiple occasions, Golembiowski was captured on audio and video accepting bribes to help his coconspirators bring in illegal drugs and counterfeit goods without detection.

The charges by defendant and the possible maximum sentences are as follows:

Count One:Narcotics Importation and Conspiracy (2004-2008)
Defendant: Walter Golembiowski
Maximum penalty: 40 years in prison (minimum 5 years in prison), fine of the greater of $2 million or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, life supervised release

Count Two: Bribery Conspiracy (2004-2008)
Defendant: Walter Golembiowski
Maximum penalty: 5 years in prison, fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, 3 years supervised release

Count Three: Narcotics Importation, Conspiracy (2008)
Defendants: Walter Golembiowski; Sharuk Sariari; Vincent Juzumas; Sean Mills; Kai Li and Wei Lam
Maximum penalty: 20 years in prison, fine of the greater of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, life supervised release

Count Four: Bribery Conspiracy
Defendants: Walter Golembiowski; John Ajello; Sharuk Sariari; Vincent Juzumas; Kai Li and Wei Lam
Maximum penalty: 5 years in prison, fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, 3 years supervised release

Golembiowski, 65, resides in Bethpage, New York. Ajello, 51, resides in Hicksville, New York. Sariari, 51, resides in Ft. Lee, New Jersey. Juzumas, 46, resides in Merrick, New York. Mills, 37, resides in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Li, 28, and Lam, 37, both reside in Fort Lee, New Jersey.

“Smuggling any kind of illegal commodity raises troubling issues at a time of deep concern over national security. The threat is heightened when a government official accepts bribes to help smugglers breach our borders,” said Mr. Garcia. “Thanks to the tireless work of our law enforcement partners, including internal investigators from DHS and ICE, these defendants will no longer be able to profit from their corruption of the public trust.” “These arrests demonstrate the combined will of law enforcement to put an end to illicit smuggling, be it illegal narcotics or intellectual property,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Gilbride. “This investigation epitomizes the role of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force which combines the resources of federal, state and local agencies to identify and dismantle smuggling organizations operating across international borders.”

Mr. Mocsary stated, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Professional Responsibility is dedicated to aggressively pursuing all allegations of corruption involving employees and civilians within our area of responsibility, especially in a border security environment. ICE, OPR takes great pride in protecting the integrity of all ICE and Customs and Border Protection employees. Additionally, this case serves as a textbook example of the cooperation between the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies involved in the successful outcome of this investigation.”

Mr. Null stated, “Acts of corruption within the Department of Homeland Security represent a threat to our nation and undermine the honest and hardworking employees who strive to maintain the integrity of the Department. Corruption will not be tolerated and those who choose to break the law will be pursued aggressively.” Mr. Garcia praised the investigative work of the OCDESF, ICE-OPR, and DHS-OIG. Mr. Garcia also thanked the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York for its assistance. Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey A. Brown, Margaret Garnett, Glen G. McGorty, and Amy Finzi are in charge of the prosecution. The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Former NC deputies sentenced in police corruption case

The deputies stole thousands of dollars of money recovered from drug dealers.
The Associated Press

Lumberton, NC -- Two former Robeson County deputies have been sentenced for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal drug-seizure money. U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle sentenced 38-year-old Steven Lovin to 12 years in prison for taking a portion of $9 million seized from drug dealers. Boyle sentenced 41-year-old C.T. Strickland to seven years for conspiring with others to steal less than $70,000 from a federal program that redistributes money seized from drug dealers to local law enforcement agencies. Strickland supervised the sheriff's drug enforcement squad. The charges were part of a six-year investigation that resulted in guilty pleas from 22 former Robeson County lawmen, including former Sheriff Glenn Maynor.

Monday, June 2, 2008

2 Miami officers charged in FBI corruption probe

The Associated Press by CURT ANDERSON - May 30, 2008

MIAMI (AP) - Two veteran police officers were charged Friday with providing protection for purported shipments of cocaine and stolen goods in what was actually an undercover FBI operation. Officer Geovani Nunez and Detective Jorge Hernandez are accused in court documents of helping protect shipments of what they thought were stolen televisions and computers and at least 12 kilograms of cocaine - sometimes by using their police cars to escort trucks. Prosecutors said the 13-year veterans of the Miami Police Department were paid a combined $39,500 by a secret FBI informant they thought was involved in illegal businesses, prosecutors said. Nunez and Hernandez were released on bail after appearing briefly in court. Nunez's attorney, Michael Catalano, said the allegedly illegal conduct was staged and not real because it was an FBI sting. Catalano also said the officers would fight the charges, which carry potential life sentences. "They are charged with committing crimes that did not exist," he said. It was not immediately clear if Hernandez had an attorney. Police Chief John Timoney said the two officers would be fired. "These two, as far as I'm concerned, are aberrations," he said. U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta said the case was particularly disheartening in a year when several South Florida police officers have died in the line of duty. "It is sad that a handful of individuals choose to repay their colleagues' sacrifice through criminal conduct," Acosta said. The case is similar to a recent FBI sting that led to guilty pleas from five officers in Hollywood, Fla. Four received lengthy prison sentences.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ex-Schenectady chief's wife among 24 named in drug probe

Indictment: Lisa Kaczmarek told associate husband Greg would "mule'' drugs
The Albany Times Union by LAUREN STANFORTH and MIKE GOODWIN - May 8, 2008

SCHENECTADY -- Lisa Kaczmarek, the wife of former Schenectady Police Chief Gregory T. Kaczmarek, is among 24 people facing indictment as part of a state organized crime investigation into a major Capital Region illegal drug operation, the Attorney General's office confirmed this morning. The ex-chief faces no charges, but the indictment unsealed this morning says investigators were listening in on a tapped phone line when his wife on Feb. 18 told an associate that her husband, Greg Kaczmarek, would "mule" -- or transport -- cocaine for the associate.

And as an ex-police officer, she promised, he would "flash his badge" if the need arose. The indictment alleges that the ex-chief was also present when he and his wife met with a drug dealer on Feb. 20 "to discuss the details surrounding the police seizing cocaine and other narcotics from the drug organization earlier in the day, and how to proceed with their drug organization in view of that police seizure." The Kaczmareks have hired high-profile local attorney Kevin Luibrand, who represented several plaintiffs who successfully sued the city for police misconduct when Kaczmarek was chief. Luibrand declined comment today. Lisa Kaczmarek, 48, faces charges of felony drug sale and possession. A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation described her as a "retail" dealer who moved small amounts of cocaine for the operation.

State Police fanned out across the area this morning to apprehend those named in the indictment. Cuomo is expected to detail the Organized Crime Task Force investigation at a news conference later today. Authorities describe the operation as a highly organized group that moved cocaine from New York City and Long Island to the Capital Region and then hid the drugs -- and guns -- in local apartments. It's not the first time Lisa Kaczmarek has been in trouble with the law. Three years ago, she was arrested after allegedly being caught with marijuana when she went through a security checkpoint at City Court. That case was later adjourned and the case sealed. Kaczmarek's husband retired in 2002, six years after he was appointed to lead the city department. Gregory Kaczmarek headed the force when the U.S. Department of Justice launched a corruption probe that ended with four officers in federal prison. The City Council, civil rights leaders and others criticized Kaczmarek as an out-of-touch leader who lost control of his department. During Kaczmarek's tenure, the Justice Department's civil rights unit launched a separate investigation that faulted the department for violating the Constitutional rights of citizens. For years, Kaczmarek was dogged by rumors of drug use. When then-Mayor Albert P. Jurczynski was considering him for chief in 1996, Kaczmarek held an remarkable news conference to rebutted the rumors. "I'm not a drug user or abuser and never have been one," he said at the time.