NYPD Officer Admits to Attempted $200,000 Drug Deal

By McCarton Ackerman 04/01/15

A New York City police officer went from "Cop of the Year" to convict after being busted in a South Florida sting operation.

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A New York City police officer has admitted in court that he went to South Florida and attempted to use his off-duty gun as security for a $200,000 drug deal that turned out to be a sting operation. The “drug deal,” orchestrated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and local police in Sunrise, Florida, involved 22-pounds of cocaine.

Phillip LeRoy, 28, of Queens, pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking conspiracy in federal court. His sentencing is scheduled for June 5, and he faces 10 years to life in federal prison.

Two other defendants in the case, Brian Espinal, 27, and Richard Quintanilla, 35, were also arrested during the sting and have already pleaded guilty to charges related to the operation.

Espinal, from NYC, said he was a drug courier and asked LeRoy to go to Florida with him to pick up the 22 pounds of cocaine. LeRoy’s job, according to Espinal, was to use his police privileges to prevent their car from being searched while they drove the drugs back to New York.

LeRoy’s lawyer, Paul Petruzzi, said the defendants were “close buddies” and that LeRoy was motivated by “friendship and the type of lifestyle that his newfound friend was able to provide,” which included “all the good things that South Florida has to offer—beaches, babes and bars."

Prior to his arrest, LeRoy was a 10-year veteran of the NYPD with an “exemplary record.” He had received multiple department awards including being named "Cop of the Year" in his Queens precinct two years ago. 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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