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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.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow corruption in the law inforsement thats not good says me steve celona