An NYPD officer from Long Island and four others are facing charges for allegedly conspiring to import and distribute cocaine as part of their roles in a multinational drug trafficking organization.
Hauppauge resident Amaury Abreu, an NYPD officer, Roosevelt resident Julio Bautista and South Ozone Park resident Gustavo Valerio were charged on Monday, Nov. 9 for a cocaine distribution scheme that began in January 2016 and ran through last month.
Roosevelt resident Cesar Diaz-Bautista, and Uniondale resident Junior Ortiz were also charged as part of the conspiracy to distribute cocaine in New York from the Dominican Republic. All five were arrested on Monday, Nov. 9, and scheduled to be arraigned in federal court later in the day.
U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said that the organization imported hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into the United States through a variety of means, including by sending drug couriers on flights to the United States, concealing narcotics in the mail and tractor trucks that entered the United States from Mexico, and concealing narcotics in produce shipments that were imported into the United States.
Since 2016, law enforcement agents have seized more than 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the organization.
DuCharme said that Abreu, Bautista, and Valerio played “key roles” in the drug trafficking organization, with Bautista and Valerio acting as high-ranking members in New York who were responsible for distributing and overseeing the distribution of cocaine in New York.
It is alleged that Abreu used his position as a police officer to protect his co-conspirators by providing information to the drug organization about law enforcement procedures, performing warrant checks on other members on the NYPD arrest database and, on at least one occasion, distributing cocaine.
DuCharme said that in January 2016, Abreu messaged the organization’s leadership, stating: “Today I’m going to find out the thing I couldn’t yesterday because there were too many people at the office.”
One day later, Abreu messaged the leadership that an associate was “fine, because here in New York you don’t see information from another state when we run a license from another state only if they’re wanted so if they stop him tell him to say he lives in Pennsylvania and not in New York and it’s cool…”
On March 11, 2016, the ringleaders allegedly sent Abreu a message containing Valerio’s full name, date of birth, and social security number.
An audit of the NYPD’s arrest database revealed on that same day, Abreu searched for Valerio’s name in the warrants database despite having no legitimate law enforcement purpose for doing so, DuCharme noted. Ortiz allegedly operated a produce importation business that accepted shipments of cocaine from the drug traffickers.
“As alleged, Police Officer Abreu conspired with drug traffickers who distributed large quantities of cocaine in the Eastern District of New York,” DuCharme said in a statement. “By joining forces with his co-conspirators, Abreu has allegedly committed serious crimes, disgraced his NYPD badge, and betrayed the public trust as well as fellow members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line to interdict drugs that endanger our communities.”
If convicted, Abreu, 34, Bautista, 35, Diaz-Bautista, 43, Valerio, 38, and Ortiz, face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum term of life in prison.
“Abreu is a sworn law enforcement officer who abused his badge and brought shame to his brothers and sisters in blue with his alleged involvement in a drug trafficking organization,” Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh stated. “There is no such thing as being above the law and we will stop anyone who exploits their position in the public trust to conduct illicit acts.”
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