The New York Post by JAMIE SCHRAM and LARRY CELONA - December 2, 2010
An NYPD narcotics cop who was a member of a troubled Queens undercover unit wrongly locked five people up — claiming they had sold him coke, sources said. Detective Adolph Osback, 38, is charged with perjury, unlawful imprisonment and official misconduct in a 48-count indictment that alleges he falsified drug arrests from three separate sales in Queens , according to sources. Osback was also indicted on similar charges in Brooklyn last Friday, sources added. The officer , who joined the police department in September 2000, was indicted in Queens on Nov. 15 and freed on $10,000 bail. He is due back in court Jan. 12.
Authorities believe Osback never bought drugs from the five individuals in question and the drug sale charges against them were dismissed in all the cases in Queens, source said. Between January 2006 and May 2007, Osback was part of the Queens Narcotics team, a unit where plainclothes officers conduct buy-and-bust operations throughout the borough, sources said. Some of the allegedly bogus arrests occurred in the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst, the same precinct where, two years ago, brothers Maximo and Jose Colon were falsely accused of selling coke to three undercovers. The brothers were clubbing in Delicias de Mi Tierra on Jan. 5, 2008, when they and four other men were busted. Upon his release from jail, Jose Colon obtained surveillance camera footage from the bar that showed the officers never talked to him or his brother. The brothers sued the city for $10 million and won a $300,000 settlement. During the case, Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Jack Weinstein admonished the NYPD for "repeated, widespread falsification by arresting police officers." The Queens Narcotics Unit had its reputation tarnished earlier this year when 13-year-detective Oscar Sandino was accused of coercing two arrested women into having sex with him in exchange for leniency for their crimes. Sandino, 37, worked at the Queens Narcotics Bureau North from June 2006 to March 2008. He pleaded guilty in October to two misdemeanor civil-rights violations for the incidents. He faces up to two years in prison. The unit — which operates out of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens Village — was also probed in November 2008 after a high-ranking department official found empty beer cans on facility grounds. The unit has also been marred by other incidents, such as former Detective Wayne Taylor who was sentenced to 3½ years in prison in 2008 for pimping out a teenage girl at parties. Also in 2008, unit member Sean Sawyer allegedly shot an unarmed man to death in a road-rage incident. Though he left the scene without telling anyone what he did, he was not indicted because the victim had claimed to have a gun.