A New York City police officer from Hauppauge was among four people arrested Monday for being part of an international cocaine trafficking ring that shipped more than 350 kilos of narcotics into the nation, federal prosecutors said.
A federal grand jury indicted Amaury Abreu, an officer assigned to the 113th Precinct in Queens, on charges of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine. He was arrested at his home. His attorney Matthew Galluzzo said he “vehemently denies his involvement” and pleaded not guilty in Brooklyn federal court before Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, who set his bail at $1 million with home detention as a condition.
“By joining forces with his co-conspirators, Abreu has allegedly committed serious crimes, disgraced his NYPD badge, and betrayed the public trust as well as fellow members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line to interdict drugs that endanger our communities,” said Seth D. DuCharme, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New
Prosecutors said Abreu and his accomplices imported multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine into the United States by sending drug couriers on flights, through the mail, on tractor trailers from Mexico, and in produce shipments.
Abreu used his position as a police officer to protect his co-conspirators by providing information about law enforcement procedures, performing warrant checks from the NYPD arrest database and, on at least one occasion, distributing cocaine for the organization, according to investigators.
Also charged were Junior Ortiz, 29, of Uniondale, and Roosevelt residents Julio Bautista, 35, and 43-year-old Cesar Diaz-Bautista.
The arrest comes after an NYPD officer from West Islip was arrested in July on drug trafficking charges and an NYPD officer and U.S. Army Reservist from Williston Park was arrested in September for spying for China on the Tibetan community in Queens. Both officers have pleaded not guilty.
The suspects each face at least 10 years in prison, if convicted.
“There is no place for corruption in the NYPD and it will always be prosecuted
fully,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.
-With Briana Bonfiglio