It’s a new face on a familiar story.
45-year old NYPD officer Jose Tejada is accused of running a stickup crew that robbed drug dealers for more than a million dollars in cash – and 250-kilos of cocaine.
Familiar because that’s exactly what a band of crooked cops – the so called “Dirty 30” – did back in the early 1990s.
But Tejada’s story is somewhat different, because federal prosecutors say while working out of the 28th precinct in Harlem between 2006 and 2007 he actually supplied civilians – suspected thugs with NYPD uniforms, handcuffs – all the gear they needed to look like they were conducting official NYPD raids. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says twenty of the 22 people who were arrested were NOT police officers.
You may not have much sympathy for drug dealers – the alleged victims in this case.
But this is obviously not how the NYPD wants to handle the drug problem – or go after criminals, and these methods amount to another black eye for the department.
“Obviously it’s sad and disappointing anytime a police officers is arrested,” Kelly told reporters.
Tejada was denied bail in federal court in Brooklyn Thursday.
Zachary Marguis-Ohnuma, Tejada’s defense attorney, told reporters he believes since his client has stayed on the job – on modified duty there’s no reason to believe he would skip town.
“He had been out for four years since this investigation began. There’s no reason to think that anything has changed. One day he’s a police officer with the NYPD protecting public safety, and the next day he’s public enemy number one, and considered so dangerous that no conditions of release could qualify. I don’t agree with at,” said Margulis-Ohnuma.