Manhattan U.S. Attorney Charges New York City Auxiliary Police Officer and Retired Police Officer with Drug, Narcotics, Firearms, and Extortion Offenses
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 13, 2010|
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; JOSEPH DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"); and RAYMOND W. KELLY, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York, announced today the arrests of RAFAEL JIMENEZ, an auxiliary police officer with the New York City Police Department ("NYPD"), and ALFREDO RIVERA, a retired NYPD officer, on charges stemming from their participation in cocaine distribution and extortion crimes, including the unlawful possession of firearms in furtherance of narcotics trafficking. JIMENEZ and RIVERA are expected to be presented in Manhattan federal court later today.
According to the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
Since approximately 2006, JIMENEZ, has been employed by the NYPD as an auxiliary police officer. The NYPD uses auxiliary police officers to provide assistance in policing special events in New York City, among other things. Auxiliary police officers are issued shields by the NYPD, but do not have arrest powers, and are not, in the course of their employment, issued or permitted to carry firearms. From 1986 to 2006, RIVERA, a friend and associate of JIMENEZ, served as an NYPD police officer. As a retired NYPD officer, RIVERA is permitted to carry a firearm. In addition, certain retired NYPD officers are issued a card identifying them as retired NYPD officers.
In October of 2009, JIMENEZ met with a government informant ("Informant-1") and discussed the transport of a multi-kilogram shipment of cocaine. At that time, JIMENEZ claimed that he could recruit members of the NYPD to transport the drugs. During a January 12, 2010, meeting with Informant-1, JIMENEZ advised that he would use a retired NYPD officer to assist in the transport of 100 kilograms of cocaine. JIMENEZ possessed a 9 millimeter handgun at this meeting. JIMENEZ and Informant-1 met again on January 22, 2010, and at that time, JIMENEZ advised Informant-1 that the retired NYPD officer could provide "backup" for a shipment of 100 kilograms of cocaine, and that JIMENEZ too would be armed.
In February of 2010, JIMENEZ and RIVERA met with a second government informant ("Informant-2"), whom JIMENEZ understood to be a large-scale cocaine distributor. During this meeting, RIVERA—who was armed with a 9 millimeter pistol—told Informant-2: "I never have trouble when the cops stop me. I will show my ID, I will show my shield...and they always let me go." JIMENEZ and RIVERA subsequently agreed to transport a 10-kilogram load of narcotics from a warehouse in Long Island to a narcotics customer in the Bronx, New York. RIVERA agreed to be paid $1,200 per kilogram of cocaine transported, for a total of $12,000 for ten kilograms of cocaine, and RIVERA further agreed to pay JIMENEZ out of that $12,000 for JIMENEZ's role in the transaction.
On March 23, 2010, RIVERA drove to a warehouse in Long Island, where he was observed by law enforcement agents picking up a duffel bag that contained approximately 10 kilograms of a white substance consistent with the appearance of cocaine. RIVERA then drove the bag from the warehouse to the Bronx.
JIMENEZ and RIVERA are charged with their participation in a cocaine distribution conspiracy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. JIMENEZ and RIVERA are additionally charged with conspiring to commit extortion under color of official right in connection with RIVERA's improper use of his authority as an NYPD police officer, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as possession of a firearm in furtherance of the narcotics trafficking offense, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.
Mr. BHARARA praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau.
This case is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit and Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys RUA KELLY and BRIAN JACOBS are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.