Eight NYPD officers and one New Jersey corrections officer have been arrested on charges that they were running a gun-smuggling ring that trafficked more than $1 million in illegal weapons and stolen goods.
The officers arrested include five active-duty officers assigned to Brooklyn and three retired NYPD officers, although two of the retired officers were active when committing the alleged crimes, prosecutors said. All those arrested were picked up by FBI agents and NYPD Internal Affairs investigators early Tuesday.
According to the criminal complaint, some of those arrested smuggled 20 firearms as recently as Sept. 22. The cache included three M-16 rifles, one shotgun and 16 handguns, most of which had their serial numbers removed.
One officer bragged to an informant in July, as an associate displayed a shotgun for sale, that it was a “sample” and that they could get anything “from A to Z.”
The allegations are no doubt troubling for the NYPD, whose commissioner, Ray Kelly, has joined with Mayor Bloomberg in speaking out on illegal guns as a nationwide scourge that threatens public safety, particularly that of police officers.
Bloomberg said in a statement that the charges, if true, are a “disgraceful and deplorable betrayal of the public trust.”
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