METRO by Brian Hickey - April 5, 2011
Philadelphia, PA- One of two former city police officers charged with attempting to rob an undercover internal-affairs officer posing as a drug dealer of $4,000 in cash and 20 pounds of marijuana pleaded guilty yesterday. Christopher Luciano, 23, faces up to 67 years in prison on robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy and official-oppression charges. His former partner, Sean Alivera, is expected to plead guilty today. Both would be sentenced June 7. “He fully accepted responsibility for his shameful conduct that night and he hopes to put this behind him and get back to his family, wife and [two] children,” Luciano’s defense attorney Fortunato Perri Jr. said. Assistant District Attorney Chris Diviny said state investigators learned that drug dealer Aaron Harris claimed to be working with police officers to “rob drug couriers” last September. Then, “for no legitimate reason, ” the officers stopped a vehicle at American and Cambria streets carrying a drug-filled dufflebag in the trunk. They arrested the undercover internal-affairs officer, leaving the drugs behind for co-conspirators to pick up, which they did in a minivan. When the dealers were stopped, the marijuana was nowhere to be found, despite police surveillance. It still hasn’t been found. Harris is scheduled for trial in June. When Luciano was arrested at the 25th District house, he said, “I suppose you’ll want this,” pulling $2,000 from his back pocket and $1,000 from his vest. Diviny referred to the officer as “the disgrace that is Christopher Luciano.” His mother and wife were in court. “This case is a tragedy for the Philadelphia Police Department,” Diviny said.