A retired New York City police officer finds himself on the other side of the law. The 48-year-old man and a 33-year-old alleged accomplice are facing drug crimes charges following a reported 18-month undercover investigation. Both men are formally accused of felony cocaine sales and first degree criminal usury.
The drug charges center around purported sales of about 5.5 ounces of cocaine during four different transactions in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side of New York. The alleged sales were said to have occurred in 2011 between the end of April and mid June. No explanation is given as to why the arrests came almost one year later.
The loan sharking counts stem from cash loans supposedly made by the men to an undercover investigator, covering a period of about 22 months and ending in Feb. 2012. The interest said to have been charged was 25 percent.
The retired officer was once a delegate to the Patrolman's Benevolent Association for Brooklyn's 76th Precinct. He and the other defendant in the case were arrested June 7 at their respective Brooklyn homes. If they are convicted only of the most significant of the drug charges pending against them they could face prison terms of between eight and 12 years.
There is, of course, a lot of prosecutorial terrain to cover between the filing of drug charges and a conviction. Indeed, a conviction is far from guaranteed and can only come after a case has been proven against a defendant in court by meeting a burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. During the entire proceedings, both men are entitled to a full presumption of innocence.
Nevertheless, the seriousness of the allegations, as well as the potential for a substantial prison term if convicted, dictate that each accused individual focus attention on preparing and presenting a defense that ensures their legal rights and achieves the best possible outcome of their cases.
Source: NY Daily News, "Retired cop busted for selling cocaine," Shayna Jacobs, July 20, 2012