A three-year-long undercover investigation has recently revealed how seven officers from the New York City Police Department (NYPD) blatantly abused their power by allegedly running a low-level prostitution and gambling ring.
According to law enforcement officials, the suspects – including three sergeants, two detectives, and two officers, along with more than 40 other civilians – were taken into custody this week on charges including enterprise corruption, promoting prostitution and official misconduct.
The investigation primarily centered on a retired vice detective who, along with his wife, allegedly operated multiple brothels on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens as well as in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn.
According to the New York Daily News, in some cases, the officers “received sex and massages” for their cooperation.
The investigation, which was supervised by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, was launched in 2015, “after a member of the department suspected illegal activity by other members of the department and reported to Internal Affairs,” a source said.
The investigators, without wasting any time, acted upon the tip and reportedly spent thousands of hours on surveillance and undercover work for the next three years.
As part of the recent busts, Internal Affairs personnel also stormed the 72nd Precinct in Sunset Park.
Once inside, the desk supervisor took the investigators to the locker room where the detectives’ locker was confiscated. Later, the detective was detained.
The officers also swamped the NYPD’s Brooklyn South Narcotics Squad and “immediately put the entire building on lockdown as they collected evidence. Everyone inside had to surrender any of their cellphones and electronic devices.”
“The allegations are disturbing and if true reflect negatively on the entire NYPD. However, like everyone else, the detectives have a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise,” said Mike Palladino, head of the Detectives Endowment Association.
The NYPD personnel, who were stripped off their badges and guns, will be prosecuted by the Queens District Attorney's Office.
“Today, those who swore an oath and then betrayed it have felt the consequences of that infidelity. The people of this Department are rightly held to the highest standard, and should they fail to meet it, the penalty will be swift and severe,” said the NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.
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