NEW YORK – A New York City police officer was among the several people arrested in connection to a drug trafficking bust, officials announced Monday.
NYPD officer Amaury Abreu and two other men, Julia Bautista and Gustavo Valerio, are accused of conspiring to import and distribute cocaine.
The three men were allegedly members of a multinational drug trafficking organization with distributors in the New York area and the Dominican Republic between January 2016 and October 2020.
Bautista, 35, and Valerio, 38, were high-ranking members of the organization based in New York and were responsible for distributing and overseeing the distribution of cocaine once it was in New York, according to the federal complaint.
Abreu, 34, allegedly used his position as a police officer and provided information about law enforcement procedures, performing warrant checks on DTO members, on at least one instance, distributed cocaine for the group.
Officials said Abreu pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on a $1 million bond with home detention as a condition of the bond.
Two other men face changes in connection to the bust. Cesar Diaz-Bautista, 43, faces charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, while Junior Ortiz, 29, faces charges of cocaine importation conspiracy.
Ortiz was released on a $100,000 bond and Diaz-Bautista will be released on a $200,000 bond, officials said.
The other two defendants had not yet been arraigned Monday.
Since 2016, law enforcement agents have seized more than 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the DTO.
“This criminal network allegedly trafficked more than 350 kilos of cocaine and was assisted by an NYPD officer, who used his knowledge and access to help them stay one step ahead of the law,” stated District Attorney Madeline Singas.
“There is no place for corruption in the NYPD and it will always be prosecuted fully. We commend our IAB investigators and law enforcement partners in this case,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said in a statement.
Abreu has been suspended without pay, according to an NYPD spokesperson.
This story was originally published by Kristine Garcia at WPIX.