NYPD Cop Charged With Allegedly Helping Drug Crew

New York Police Department officer Emmanuel Tavarez plead not guilty today on charges that he allegedly helped a crew of thieves rob drug traffickers.

Tavarez, an eight-year NYPD veteran was arrested yesterday by federal authorities and has a temporary order of detention without bail.

His "bail hearing is scheduled for Tuesday the eleventh at 2 p.m. in Brooklyn federal court," United States Attorney's Office spokesman Robert Nardoza told NBCNewYork.

An unsealed indictment in a Brooklyn federal court named Tavarez as a defendant from a previous indictment alleging a crew was involved in 100 robberies throughout the metropolitan area, amassing 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million in drug profits since 2001.

According to Brooklyn prosecutors, Tavarez's alleged involvement was supplying the robbers with NYPD gear including raid jackets, bulletproof vests, badges, and handcuffs so they can pose as cops where they staged drug raids at the dealers' homes and stole money and drugs.

They also said Tavarez, who currently works for the NYPD's Housing Bureau Viper Unit in Queens, allegedly acted as a lookout during armed holdups by the crew members.

“The defendant is alleged to have committed serious crimes and compounded that by violating the very law he was sworn to uphold,” said United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta E. Lynch. “The charged conduct unfairly tarnishes the proud reputation of the thousands of law enforcement officers in New York who put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and their communities.”

If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum life sentence in prison.

A message let with Tavarez's attorney's office was not returned.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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