A former Newark police officer admitted he took more than $100,000 in bribes from brothel owners as protection money, authorities said.
Julio I. Rivera, 50, of Old Bridge, pleaded guilty to two counts of a 14-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
A brothel owner on Emmet and Lafayette streets in Newark gave cash to Rivera, who in exchange protected the establishments and others from police, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Newark.
The officer accepted between $40,000 and $95,000 from the owner, authorities said.
Payments from that owner began in 2011 at around $200 a week but increased over time to nearly $800, according to the indictment.
In 2015, Rivera began sending his girlfriend to pick up the money -- which he referred to in text messages as "food" -- from a clothing store, documents say.
The officer continued accepting the cash until 2016, and withheld information from his tax preparer, Carpenito said.
"Rivera stipulated that this misconduct resulted in a loss to the IRS of $15,000 to $40,000," the attorney said.
A sentencing is scheduled for April 30.
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