NYPD Cop Robbed Drug Dealers While Off Duty
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Looks like one officer didn't think NYPD's motto, "To Protect and Serve," applied to off-hours. Former NYC cop Emmanuel Taverez was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison for his role in at least eight robberies of drug dealers during his off-duty hours as a member of the NYPD. His crime spree began while he was enrolled in the police academy and continued over the next several years, even while he was enforcing the law. The crew of street bandits he worked with typically posed as police officers and staged fake car stops and arrests, sometimes with phony search warrants and a cars disguised as unmarked police vehicle. Victims were restrained with handcuffs, rope or tape before the drugs were taken and later sold. Taverez typically performed surveillance or acted as a lookout in the robberies, but he also wielded a gun and identified himself as a police officer in a 2005 home burglary in Connecticut that saw his crew make off with over $200,000. The DEA also discovered that for a cut of the stolen drug proceeds, Taverez was providing the crew with replicas of his badge, handcuffs and NYPD raid jackets. "At the time you were apprehending felons, you were a felon yourself," said U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes, who presided over the hearing in Brooklyn. The judge also rejected claims that Taverez was coerced into participating by the drug bandits: "You acted out of greed, not duress."