The New York Daily News by John Marzulli - January 8, 2011
Officer Julio Alvarez was cleared of corruption charges related to a narcotics sting after a bench trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
An NYPD cop was acquitted Friday of corruption charges stemming from a probe that led to a massive shakeup of the Brooklyn South Narcotics unit. Justice John Walsh announced the verdict against Officer Julio Alvarez after a bench trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The trial against his co-defendant, Detective Sean Johnstone, will be completed this month after a final witness is cross-examined. Alvarez and Johnstone were accused of participating in a conspiracy in which they falsely reported they had seized only 17 bags of cocaine from a drug bust. Johnstone was caught on his own hidden wire bragging that they had found 28 bags of coke. The two cops were charged with tampering with business records, filing false instruments and official misconduct. A sergeant, a detective and another cop were also arrested in the probe, which uncovered evidence of narcs taking cash, drugs and sex from junkies and drug dealers. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly replaced unit commanders, and prosecutors were forced to dismiss cases the cops made. The city has also paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle lawsuits filed by suspects who were arrested by members of the unit.