More than a dozen NYPD officers were expected to turn themselves in at midnight Thursday on criminal charges that they fixed tickets, sources familiar with the case said.
The Bronx District Attorney’s office is expected to unseal indictments Friday as the officers are expected to be arraigned in the Bronx criminal courthouse, sources tell NBC New York. Charges could include official misconduct and bribery.
One officer, Jose Ramos, was arrested Thursday evening, along his girlfriend, sources said.
In all, 20 people are being charged, including 12 patrolmen and several other cops and civilians. The officers were all expected to turn themselves in Thursday night.
Ramos was originally under investigation for his suspected ties to drug dealers. But recorded phone conversations revealed a separate practice of ticket-fixing by Ramos and other police officers.
NYPD Internal Affairs and the Bronx District Attorney's Office pursued the probe, which led to a full-blown investigation into NYPD officers and some union delegates for ticket-fixing.
The officers are suspected of fixing approximately 300 tickets for parking, speeding and other traffic violations, sometimes in exchange for favors.
The indictments include as many as 1,000 counts of bribery, misconduct and other charges.
One of those under investigation is a police lieutenant assigned to Internal Affairs who is accused of leaking information about the investigation to police officers in the Bronx.
Union officials have characterized the investigation as unfair.
In addition to allegations of fixing tickets, a few officers are also under scrutiny in connection with a drug investigation.
It is unclear if any drug charges will be added at Friday’s court appearances. A spokesman for Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson declined to comment as did an NYPD spokesman.
Spokesmen for the PBA and Sergeant’s Benevolent Association did not immediately comment.
Although a relatively small number of officers face criminal charges, hundreds more have been punished administratively. And information about ticket-fixing is already being used to question the credibility of police testimony in unrelated cases: Four months ago, defense attorney Kyle Watters won an acquittal for an attempted murder suspect, in part because the arresting officer admitted to fixing tickets for himself and his sister-in-law.
"He had a certain arrogance about -- there was nothing wrong, it was okay for them to do this," said Watters. "It was perk for the job, he felt entitled. In Bronx County, that doesn't go over very well."
The expected arrest of NYPD officers in the ticket-fixing scandal comes just days after officers in the 68th Precinct in Brooklyn were arrested in a separate gun-running investigation. Five current NYPD and three retired officers were charged.