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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wrist Slap for Dirty Drug Cop

Wrist slap for dirty B'klyn drug cop
The New York Post by William J. Gorta - March 15, 2011

A disgraced Brooklyn narcotics cop was sentenced yesterday to five years' probation for a conspiracy to steal drugs from suspects and give the dope to snitches. Sean Johnstone, who was fired from the NYPD after his felony conspiracy conviction in January, deserved to be sent to jail because he "abused his position" and tainted 200 drug prosecutions, Assistant District Attorney Charles Guria told Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Walsh. But Walsh, a former cop, rejected prison for Johnstone, saying removal from society and rehabilitation were not issues for Johnstone and jailing him would not prevent more corruption. "I have yet to see a jail sentence deter a public official from misconduct," Walsh said. Outside court, Johnstone's lawyer, Anthony Ricco, said Walsh "did the right thing."

...........................................BACKGROUND STORY:

NYPD detective Sean Johnstone faces charges of conspiracy for using drugs to pay off snitches
The New York Daily News by Oren Yaniv - February 1, 2011

Brooklyn NYPD detective Sean Johnstone was convicted of conspiracy for using drugs to pay off snitches, but may walk free when his attorney appeals in March.

An NYPD detective has been convicted of conspiracy for paying off snitches with drugs in a scheme that shook up a Brooklyn narcotics squad. But Sean Johnstone, 37, was cleared of 34 other charges Monday after a bench trial. He was caught on tape bragging about seizing 28 bags of cocaine while only reporting 17. Prosecutors say that other narcs in his unit took cash, drugs and sex from criminals and junkies. "There was no way to escape the conclusion that the people proved beyond a reasonable doubt there was a conspiracy," Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice John Walsh said as he read the verdict. "I just couldn't walk away from that." The judge found Johnstone guilty of the top count but acquitted him of all other charges that included falsifying business records and tampering with public records. He's facing up to four years in prison but can also get off with no jail time when he's sentenced March 14. Defense lawyer Anthony Ricco vowed to appeal. "Today, we won 34 counts ... we're almost there," he said. "He's a good man, a good cop who's given a lot of his life to the city." The scandal at Brooklyn South Narcotics unit prompted top brass to bounce several commanders and jeopardized numerous court cases. Johnstone's co-defendant, Officer Julio Alvarez, was acquitted earlier this month.

1 comment:

Shana Wallace said...

My brother was a police officer in philadelphia and has the same type of case. He's facing a mandatory minimum of 10 years for something not even as bad as this. He was facing 7 counts and has been charged with all of them, although he didn't do half of it. THe only charge he should've been found guilty of is conspiracy. I believe that losing their job is enough punishment, as long as noone was hurt. Tax payers $'s should be going towards keeping the true gangsters in jail. The chances of a cop being a repeat offender are not likely. I started a blog concerning this. It's at