Officer in pill probe at Westchester Airport also accused of ticket fixing
The Journal News by Jonathan Bandler - September 15, 2011
Authorities are investigating whether an officer being probed in an oxycodone distribution case also was paid to fix traffic tickets at Westchester County Airport. Officer Michael T. Brady, 36, a Thornwood resident and grandnephew of the late Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Edward Brady, was assigned to the airport and is alleged to have been paid off to protect a man who traveled through there regularly with painkillers and drug proceeds he transported between Florida and Connecticut. Brady was taken into custody Monday while visiting relatives in Florida, one of 20 people arrested in the case on drug conspiracy charges brought by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut. Others include three Transportation Security Administration officers — one of whom, Brigitte Jones, worked at the county airport; a Florida state trooper; and two Westchester livery drivers, Sami Naber and Manny Babe. The case broke in April when the dealer was arrested in a Stamford, Conn., hotel with 6,000 oxycodone pills and began cooperating with authorities. The man, identified in the complaint only as "cooperating witness 1," took 65 flights between Florida and New York from November to April. He met Naber at the county airport last year and began using him to drive him and the drugs to Connecticut and rent cars that Naber, Babe and a Florida driver would use to bring the drugs from Florida, it is alleged. According to the criminal complaint, Naber introduced the dealer to Brady — telling him the officer had helped Naber and other drivers "to dispose of traffic tickets in exchange for a fee." The association apparently paid off for the dealer, who told authorities that late last year or early this year he was stopped by TSA officers at the county airport while carrying about $100,000. Brady intervened and got the security officers to stop their questioning and let the dealer go, according to the complaint. The dealer told authorities that he had paid Brady about $20,000 over several months. Westchester Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth would not discuss the specific allegation of ticket-fixing but said that all the circumstances of Brady's involvement in the case are being reviewed and that "operational changes (at the airport) are forthcoming." Brady worked for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection police for three years before joining the county police department 11 years ago. He was released on $750,000 bond after appearing before a magistrate in Florida. Brady's wife filed for divorce last year and the divorce was finalized last month, court records show. The couple lived in Mount Kisco for several years before moving to Thornwood in 2008.