We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies13 Oct
A former NYPD narcotics detective snared in a corruption scandal testified it was common practice to fabricate drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas.
The bombshell testimony from Stephen Anderson is the first public account of the twisted culture behind the false arrests in the Brooklyn South and Queens narc squads, which led to the arrests of eight cops and a massive shakeup.
Anderson, testifying under a cooperation agreement with prosecutors, was busted for planting cocaine, a practice known as “flaking,” on four men in a Queens bar in 2008 to help out fellow cop Henry Tavarez, whose buy-and-bust activity had been low.
“Tavarez was … was worried about getting sent back [to patrol] and, you know, the supervisors getting on his case,” he recounted at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.
“I had decided to give him [Tavarez] the drugs to help him out so that he could say he had a buy,” Anderson testified last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
He made clear he wasn’t about to pass off the two legit arrests he had made in the bar to Tavarez.
“As a detective, you still have a number to reach while you are in the narcotics division,” he said.
NYPD officials did not respond to a request for comment.
Anderson worked in the Queens and Brooklyn South narcotics squads and was called to the stand at Arbeeny’s bench trial to show the illegal conduct wasn’t limited to a single squad.
“Did you observe with some frequency this … practice which is taking someone who was seemingly not guilty of a crime and laying the drugs on them?” Justice Gustin Reichbach asked Anderson.
“Yes, multiple times,” he replied.
The judge pressed Anderson on whether he ever gave a thought to the damage he was inflicting on the innocent.
“It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators,” he said.
“It’s almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they’re going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.”
The city paid $300,000 to settle a false arrest suit by Jose Colon and his brother Maximo, who were falsely arrested by Anderson and Tavarez. A surveillance tape inside the bar showed they had been framed.
A federal judge presiding over the suit said the NYPD’s plagued by “widespread falsification” by arresting officers.
Hundreds of teens who say they’ve been targeted for questioning by cops because of their ethnicity marched over the Brooklyn Bridge Wednesday to protest the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy.
One marcher said cops have stopped and questioned him some 20 times.
“I have been given many different reasons,” said Romale Johnson, 20, an organizer with Make The Road New York, a sponsor of the march.
“They say, ‘You fit the description,’ or ‘You looked suspicious,’ or ‘This is just part of a routine.'”
Organizers with the Campaign for Just and Fair Policing complain that blacks and Latinos are nine times as likely as whites to be stopped, questioned and sometimes frisked. Recent NYPD stats show that only about 12% of these stops have led to an arrest or a summons.
“The police are harassing people for no apparent reason,” said Tyrice Peeples, 19, a Brooklyn high school student. “Cops stop me and my friends for no reason.”
Police brass say the practice drives down crime.
“Violence is still disproportionately centered in minority communities,” the NYPD’s top spokesman, Paul Browne, said in a statement. He noted that 97% of shooting victims last year were black or Latino.
Protesters Wednesday used plastic buckets as makeshift drums as they marched over the bridge’s pedestrian walkway under a drizzling rain.
After rallying outside City Hall, marchers lobbied City Council members for legislation to curb stop-and-frisks and create stronger oversight of the NYPD’s use of the controversial tactic, which has brought the department under criticism from various civil libertarian groups.
The marchers were joined by City Councilman Jumaane Williams, whose brief handcuffing by cops during the West Indian Day parade is being probed by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.
“Our community is under siege,” charged the Brooklyn Democrat, who marched with Kirsten John Foy, a top aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
The pair were detained by cops during the Labor Day festivities for trying to pass through a restricted area on their way to a parade reception.
Williams, who is black, has previously said that cops wouldn’t have bothered him had he been white.
But on Wednesday, Williams said he joined the march because of his opposition to rampant stop-and-frisks, though he admitted the parade flap has given him an axe to grind.
“I would have been out here anyway,” Williams said. “What happened on Labor Day makes it even more personal.”
He said he is currently drafting legislation to limit stop-and-frisks.
A record 601,055 people were stopped and questioned last year, NYPD stats show, and the department is on track to top that this year.
WATERLOO, Ontario — BlackBerry services were showing “significant improvement” Thursday in Europe, the Middle East and Africa after three days of disruption, but Research in Motion could not say when the problem would be fixed for good.
Co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis posted a video apologizing for the outage and saying that the company was still working to resolve issues. He warned of possible instability in the system as RIM restored service and did not forecast a time for a full recovery.
It is “too soon to say this issue is fully resolved,” he said in the video.
In an earlier statement, RIM said that as of Thursday, “all services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as India, have been operating with significant improvement. We continue to monitor the situation 24×7 to ensure ongoing stability. Thank you for your patience.”
The outages, which disrupted email, messaging and internet browsing, spread to North America on Wednesday, frustrating millions of users who have come to rely on their BlackBerries.
In a hastily-organized conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, RIM’s chief technology officer for software, David Yach, said the company did not see any signs of hacking or other security breaches, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Several US government agencies affected by the disruptions said Wednesday they were in touch with RIM about the problems, but there were no indications from officials that RIM was suffering from anything other than an internal malfunction.
RIM has blamed the problem on a hardware failure in its network infrastructure. RIM routes users’ email messages and other data through its own network, which the company says makes such communications more secure.
The intermittent service disruptions came at a vulnerable time for RIM, which has been struggling with dwindling BlackBerry shipments as it competes with Apple’s iPhone and gadgets powered by Google’s Android software.
A Queens narcotics cop caught on video framing four men in a bar has pleaded guilty to a drug-sale charge, been sentenced to two to four years in prison — and agreed to testify against other cops.
Ex-Detective Stephen Anderson revealed his deal last week in Brooklyn Supreme Court when he testified against a cop on unrelated charges.
Anderson told Justice Gustin Reichbach that in January 2008, he gave two bags of cocaine to undercover Officer Henry Tavarez, the trial transcript shows.
The drugs were to help Tavarez, who was struggling to prove himself in the unit, pretend that the four men in an Elmhurst, Queens bar had sold him coke.
Anderson, when asked about his feelings about the frame-up, said, “The corruption I observed . . . was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators.”
Anderson said he saw undercover cops lying about such drug sales by innocent people “multiple times.”
Charges against the four men were later dropped. Anderson was busted in 2009, but his plea deal only came to light yesterday.
He was testifying against Jason Arbeeny, a narcotics cop from Brooklyn South charged with falsifying public documents and business records.
The bank robber pictured above received a $900 package of money that unbeknownst to him contained an exploding dye pack.
He put the package in a folded newspaper at the Metropolitan National Bank branch at 99 Park Ave. at 1 p.m. Tuesday, cops said.
The pack exploded as he was fleeing the crime scene, law-enforcement sources said, and he dumped the money and the newspaper in a garbage can.
Cops recovered the ink-stained evidence, but were unable to find the elusive thief, who they believe is responsible for three other Manhattan bank jobs since September.
A bandit boosted $3,000 worth of booze and electronics from a Midtown hotel, authorities said.
Raymond Rosario, 25, allegedly pilfered a laptop, an iTouch digital device, cellphones and computer backup drives from the Hotel Edison at Broadway and 47th Street on Oct. 1 at 3:40 a.m., cops said.
He also boosted six bottles of expensive booze, according to court papers.
The haul was recovered later that morning when police arrested Rosario on charges, cops said.
Detectives arrested the gang-banger who killed a man last month in Clifton, cops said.
Asim Martinez, 32, was caught at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday at Marcy and Jefferson avenues in Brooklyn, cops said.
He was charged with murder in the fatal shooting on Sept. 3 of Tracy Francis, 40, on the third floor of an apartment building on Park Hill Avenue, cops said.
Martinez allegedly blasted Francis multiple times in the chest at 12:25 a.m. following a verbal dispute between their girlfriends.
Martinez, an alleged member of the Deuce Mob gang, has 10 prior arrests dating back to 1996 and served two stints in prison for drug possession and assault, records show.
The two burglars pictured are wanted for committing five commercial break-ins in Fresh Meadows, police said yesterday.
The crooks stole money from a Checkers fast-food joint on Parsons Boulevard on Aug. 14 and Sept. 14. In the second robbery they also boosted a 2002 Ford Van that was later recovered.
The duo failed to score any cash on Sept. 25 after they slipped into the Associated supermarket on Aguilar Avenue.
On Sunday, they pocketed dough from the Sand Café at 82-65 Parsons Blvd.
The pair last struck at 3 a.m. Tuesday when they looted the register in the Zolitas Bakery at 79-34 Parsons Blvd, said law-enforcement authorities.
Police are looking for the heartless mugger who snatched the purse of an elderly woman in Coney Island.
The robber accosted the 74-year-old when she entered her apartment building on West 33rd Street at around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The thug is believed to be between 20 and 25 years old, 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds.
One man was stabbed to death yesterday and another seriously injured in a fight over a woman in East New York, police said.
Milford Brutus, 39, was knifed several times in the chest and stomach at 4:27 a.m. in his apartment on Sutter Avenue near Crescent Street.
A 43-year-old man was also stabbed in the stomach, police said. Brutus died at Brookdale Hospital, where the other man was in stable condition.
A 40-year-old suspect was in police custody with charges against him pending, police said.
Four teens are wanted for a brutal stabbing in Bushwick last week that left a man clinging to life, police said yesterday.
The thugs approached the 28-year-old victim at Wyckoff Avenue and Weirfield Street at 2 p.m. on Oct. 5 and started arguing with him.
A scuffle ensued, and one thug pulled a knife and stabbed the man in the chest, piercing his heart and nearly killing him.
A jet-setting Hollywood cocaine kingpin on the run from Suffolk County, LI, cops for allegedly shipping blow to the East End was arrested Tuesday night in Mexico.
Will Wright, 33, was detained in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta.
Suffolk officials will seek to extradite him, sources said.
A Staten Island man who beat a murder rap more than a decade ago is back in the can after surveillance camera footage showed him using a gun to get even -permanently – with a neighbor, police said.
Asim Martinez, 32, committed murder in a rage after his neighbor, Tracy Francis, spit in Martinez’s wife’s face, a law enforcement source told the Daily News Wednesday.
Martinez, seeking to avenge the disgusting slight of his wife, found Francis inside his apartment building on Park Hill Ave. in Stapleton about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 3.
He shot Francis a dozen times, a police source said.
But he picked a bad spot for murder: the entire incident was filmed on the building’s surveillance camera, authorities said.
Police collared Martinez Wednesday on Marcy Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, after he once again turned to violence to punish a man who had wronged a woman in his life. This time, Martinez stabbed a man in the neck with an ice pick after he had slapped Martinez’s female cousin, a police source said.
Martinez was arrested in the summer of 1999 for allegedly shooting David Walker, 19, to death on a basketball court at Staten Island’s Stapleton Houses.
He was set free after a grand jury empaneled under then-District Attorney William Murphy opted not to indict him.
Martinez now faces charges of murder and weapons possession, said a spokesman for Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Jr.
Five law enforcement officers were among 70 people in Arkansas charged in a federal drug-trafficking crackdown that also involved public corruption charges, authorities said Tuesday.
The five officers took bribes to look the other way while crimes were being committed, authorities said.
Investigators are continuing to look at other law agencies for criminal misconduct, authorities said.
On Tuesday, 800 federal and local authorities arrested 51 of the 70 people, officials said. Five others were already in custody, and the remaining 14 defendants are considered fugitives, authorities said. The Arkansas National Guard was also involved in making the arrests, authorities said.
One agent was shot while serving warrants, and he is hospitalized with injuries that are not life-threatening, authorities said.
The law enforcement figures named in indictments are Helena-West Helena Police Department officer Herman Eaton, 46; Helena-West Helena officer Robert “Bam Bam” Rogers, 35; Helena-West Helena Sgt. Marlene Kalb, 48; Marvell police officer Robert Wahls, 42; and former Phllips County Deputy Sheriff Winston Dean Jackson, 44, who’s now a Helena-West Helena police officer, according to court records and a prosecutors’ statement.
Their attorneys couldn’t be immediately determined or reached for comment.
A two-year investigation, called Operation Delta Blues, focused on public corruption, cocaine and crack cocaine trafficking, and money laundering in the Helena-West Helena and Marianna, Arkansas, areas, authorities said. Investigators used 16 court-authorized wiretaps in their investigation, officials said.
“Today’s indictments and arrests are merely the beginning. We believe there are more cases of corruption, and we intend to press forward with our investigation to weed out those who would sacrifice their oath and violate the public’s trust,” said Valerie Parlave, special agent in charge of the Little Rock field office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“Several of those indicted today are no strangers to law enforcement. Many have been charged in state court with some of the serious class (of) felonies, including murder,” Parlave continued. “Yet they remain free today. As our investigation moves forward, we continue to find instances where these violent felonies were never completely prosecuted and some of the most serious charges were dropped.”
Added U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Thyer of the Eastern District of Arkansas, “Our commitment to eradicating drug trafficking and violent crime has never been stronger.
“When these two elements are mixed with law enforcement corruption, it can make for the perfect storm in a community. It can paralyze honest law enforcement action, silence witnesses, and erode public confidence in our system of justice,” Thyer said in a written statement.
A jilted lover killed his ex-girlfriend’s new beau in a fit of rage Wednesday morning in Brooklyn, police said.
The attack happened in the first-floor hallway of a brownstone on Sutter Ave. in East New York at about 4.30 a.m.
The new couple were spending time together when the woman’s 40-year-old ex-lover arrived and a fight broke out, police and witnesses said.
The boyfriend, Milford Brutus, 39, was stabbed and died at the scene, police said.
Brutus’ 43-year-old uncle was also involved in the confrontation and was stabbed in the abdomen.
He was transported to Brookdale Hospital but expected to survive, police said.
Sources said the ex-boyfriend was arrested at the scene when police arrived and taken into custody while the victim’s girlfriend was taken to the 75 Precinct to be interviewed.
Police are describing the incident as a domestic homicide.