NYPD caught trafficking weapons; stellar reputation tarnished?

by Jon Christian

Reuters’ Aman Ali reports that a handful of NYPD officers took a break from macing Occupy Wall Street demonstrators to illegally traffic firearms, cigarettes and slot machines across state lines.

It’s been a tough year for the NYPD, who have also caught flak for systematically planting drugs on suspects to meet quotas and sexually assaulting pedestrians at gunpoint.

Five officers still are on active duty and two were active-duty officers for part of the time they are accused of involvement in the smuggling schemes. One suspect was retired. All worked in the city borough of Brooklyn, most of them in the same precinct.

“The defendants participated in schemes involving the illegal interstate transportation of goods carrying a street value in excess of one million dollars,” according to the complaint. The schemes were carried out in the past year.

Also charged were a former officer with the New York City Department of Sanitation Police, a New Jersey corrections officer, and two other men.

“The defendants transported 20 firearms, including three M-16 rifles, one shotgun and 16 handguns, the majority of which had obliterated or altered serial numbers, across state lines from New Jersey to New York,” according to the complaint.

The scandal could prove embarrassing for NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has cracked down on unlicensed guns.