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Ex-Newark Officer Who Took Payoffs To Protect Prostitutes Gets Nearly 4 Years In Fed Pen

Cash bought protection from Rivera, federal authorities said.
Cash bought protection from Rivera, federal authorities said. Photo Credit: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons

A retired Newark police veteran who admitted pocketing tens of thousands of dollars to protect city whorehouses while he was on the beat was sentenced to a little under four years in federal prison.

Julio I. Rivera, 52, of Old Bridge, not only looked the other way: He also promised to have fellow officers do the same and agreed to crack down on a paying brothel owner's competitor, authorities said.

Rivera pulled down between $200 and $800 a week from the operators, according to a 14-count indictment on file in U.S. District Court in Newark.

The indictment charged Rivera with several counts of bribery and extortion. Because he didn't report the income, he was also charged with tax fraud.

Rivera retired as a sergeant in May 2018 after nearly 24 years with the department.

He took a deal from the government rather than go to trial, pleading guilty in January 2020 to bribery, as well as aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false personal federal tax return.

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo sentenced Rivera to three years of supervised release, 1,000 hours of community service and ordered restitution of $17,408 and forfeiture of $79,941.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cari Fais of Honig's Newark office is handling the case.

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