In a swift case of justice, an NYPD cop admitted in federal court today that he tied up nearly a dozen employees at gunpoint and took more than $1 million worth of perfume from a Carlstadt warehouse last month.
Brian Checo, 24, of New York City, told a federal judge in Newark that he, along with NYPD Officers Richard LeBlanca and Kelvin Jones, burst into the In Style USA warehouse, brandishing firearms, displaying NYPD-issued badges, and identifying themselves as city police. They then tied 11 employees’ hands behind their backs and held them hostage while a group of day laborers they brought with them loaded hundreds of boxes of high-end perfume onto trucks that Checo rented earlier that day in Jersey City.
Carlstadt police were quick to the scene after an employee broke free and dialed 911. They managed to grab one of the conspirators before freeing the rest of the hostages. (See: Gunmen tie up workers, haul off $1 million worth of high-end perfume)
The FBI then assembled the case quickly. (See: New York City cops charged in $1 million perfume heist)
Checo, who worked in the 34th Precinct with LaBlanca, admitted today that he turned around and falsely reported to an NYPD precinct that his driver’s license and credit card had been stolen.
It’s tough to say at this point how many years Checo faces in federal prison for what is essentially a conspiracy conviction — instead of armed robbery and other charges that prosecutors dropped as part of the plea deal.
The maximum is 20. However, the judge could take into account how quickly Checo gave it up and whatever cooperation he might provide against his co-conspirators. Sentencing is set for June 28.
U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman credited the FBI, along with Carlstadt police and Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli.
Still awaiting trial are Jones and LaBlanca, both, of New York City, as well as Gabriel Vargas, Luis R. Morales, Anselmo Jimenez (a/k/a “Ansemo Jimenes”), and Alan A. Bannout, all of Brooklyn, and former NYPD Officer Orlando Garcia, of New York City.
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