The New York City Police Department got a huge black eye today as the Daily Mail revealed that seven members have been arrested for running a prostitution ring. The ringleader was involved in gambling as well, only making the case against the whole group even more serious.
The scope of the ring was quite extensive and included “three sergeants, two detectives, and two officers in addition to more than 40 civilians who have been taken into custody,” the New York Post reported. Also, the New York Daily News has confirmed that those staff members involved have been “stripped of their badges and guns.” (the alleged guilty parties are listed below)
New York City Alerts verified that those involved face “official misconduct and enterprise corruption” charges due to their alleged crimes. Those crimes included a retired vice detective running “multiple brothels.” It could be argued by some people that he would certainly know how to evade the law, at least for a while.
The investigation has been going on for years, however, so whatever evasive techniques were used failed. It was reported by sources that “hundreds of hours of surveillance and multiple (wiretaps)” were gathered during this time. The whole matter was overseen by NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
Investigators “raided the 72nd Precinct stationhouse in Sunset Park” and asked a person working the desk to see a certain employee’s locker. After that, the needed evidence was obtained and the detective who owned the locker was detained.
All of those arrested “are accused of providing protection for a prostitution, drugs, and gambling ring.”
The whole investigation began three years ago as a result of one single tip. “This was an investigation that was initiated by a member of the service, followed through by Internal Affairs and it came to this conclusion,” the Daily News quoted a source saying. In other words, an honest cop seems to have stepped forward.
“We’re cleaning our own house. This was literally a member of the department calling IAB and saying he didn’t like what was going on here,” the same source added.
The charges would imply that the powers that be are quite serious about punishing these lawmen.
Staff members involved:
“Sgt. Carlos Cruz of the 69th Precinct in Brooklyn; Sgt. Louis Failla of the Queens South Evidence Control Team; Sgt. Cliff Nieves of the Transit Bureau investigation unit; Police Officer Steven Nieves of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn Heights; Police Officer Giancarlo Raspanti of the 109th Precinct in Flushing, Queens; Detective Gionanny Rojas-Acosta of the NYPD’s Criminal Investigations Division; and Detective Rene Samaniego of the Brooklyn South Vice Squad“