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Arrest of New York Officers for Heroin Sales May Jeopardize Hundreds of Cases


April 1993

The arrest of two New York City police officers and a state police investigator on heroin charges may jeopardize hundreds of convictions and pending drug cases, according to law enforcement officials (Craig Wolff, "Arrests Of Police Officers May Damage Drug Cases: Defense Lawyers Likely To Seek Reversals," New York Times, 3/24/93, B3).

The arrests jeopardize cases stretching back four years. All three suspects are members of the New York State Drug Enforcement Task Force, the state's elite narcotics unit, which generally handles only major drug cases. The arrests have prompted the New York City police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to review convictions and arrests involving the task force for the last four years. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly praised the task force and said the arrests did not indicate widespread corruption.

The officers were arrested for selling $25,000 worth of heroin, and reportedly discussed selling 10 kilograms of heroin and other amounts of cocaine. In an apparent bungling of the three-month internal investigation, the suspects were able to monitor when they were being tailed and when their phones were being tapped by investigators, according to the Times.