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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fed Say Retired Cop Helped Drug Ring

Feds say retired NYPD cop John Avvento gave police gear to drug ring
The New York Daily News by John Marzulli - CRIME EXCLUSIVE - May 16, 2011

A retired NYPD cop has been charged with providing police gear to drug dealers, allowing them to pass for cops during a home-invasion robbery, the Daily News has learned. John Avvento supplied two NYPD raid jackets and a holster for a 9-mm. semiautomatic handgun - and even agreed at first to participate in the break-in at another dealer's home, a complaint unsealed last week in Brooklyn Federal Court shows. Avvento backed out of the December 2008 robbery, but got cash, cocaine and Vicodin as payment for the props, FBI agent Samantha Bell states in the complaint. The FBI and NYPD learned of the ex-cop's role during a joint probe of a drug ring that makes daily deliveries of cocaine to customers in southwestern Brooklyn, according to court papers. Three cooperating witnesses, including the leader of the delivery service, fingered Avvento as a customer and a crew employee. They told investigators that between June 2006 and December 2008, the retired cop would ride with drug runners "to ensure that they would not be arrested if their car was stopped by police," the complaint states. Avvento, 39, is free on $100,000 bail. He retired from the 62nd Precinct in Bensonhurst with a disability pension, his lawyer Arthur Aidala said. "He vehemently denies the accusations and looks forward to complete vindication," Aidala said.

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