Twelve people have been arrested today in raids carried out by a joint task force of FBI agents and NYPD internal affairs officers. Five serving and three retired NYPD police officers, along with a former New Jersey jail ward, and three civilians were taken into custody.
They are accused of involvement in a ring that was trying to smuggle automatic rifles, handguns, stolen cigarettes and slot machines, plus allegations that the serial numbers of the weapons were defaced in an apparent effort to prevent them from being traced back to their source, suggesting that they were to be used in a crime.
The arrests stem from an investigation that began in 2009 when a confidential informant tipped off authorities that an NYPD officer was interested in making money by transporting stolen goods.
In the months that followed, the informant and an undercover officer began supplying the defendants and others cigarettes purportedly stolen out-of-state for resale, the criminal complaint says.
The defendants were expected to be arraigned in United States District Court in Manhattan.
This is the second time in a matter of weeks that the NPYD find themselves in the firing line. There is speculation that the Bronx district attorney’s office is close to bringing charges against 16 police officers in a separate police misconduct case. The officers, including union representatives, are accused of abusing their authority by fixing traffic tickets and other fines as favours to city government officials, family and friends.