Seven New York Police Department officers, including a member of the department’s vice squad, were arrested in connection with a gambling and prostitution ring, according to law-enforcement officials.
Officers from the Internal Affairs Bureau arrested the three sergeants, two detectives and two officers on Wednesday morning after a three-year probe into the alleged operation, officials said. Investigators also arrested 40 civilians. The officers are suspected of providing protection for the enterprise, an official said.
The probe into the alleged ring began in April 2015 after another officer tipped off Internal Affairs. The officers worked in units based in Queens and Brooklyn, including a vice squad investigating prostitution in South Brooklyn, an official said. One of the civilians who was arrested is a retired vice detective who was “heavily involved” in the alleged ring, an official said.
“Today, those who swore an oath and then betrayed it have felt the consequences of that infidelity,” NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement. “The people of this Department are rightly held to the highest standard, and should they fail to meet it, the penalty will be swift and severe.”
The Queens District Attorney’s Office is handling the case, according to the commissioner’s statement. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment.
The investigation included multiple wiretaps as well as undercover work, an official said.
“It is deeply disturbing to learn about the allegations of a prostitution and gambling ring involving NYPD detectives, sergeants and officers,” said New York City Councilman Donovan Richards, who chairs the council’s Committee on Public Safety. “Wearing the NYPD badge is an honor and anyone who uses that badge to wrongfully exert their power over the powerless should be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”
In May 2017, a retired NYPD officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison for running a multimillion-dollar online escort service. Another former NYPD officer was sentenced to 66 months in prison in September of that year for conspiring to engage in sex trafficking of a minor.
And in October 2017, two New York City detectives were charged with kidnapping and raping an 18-year-old woman in Brooklyn. Both have pleaded not guilty and their lawyers have vowed to fight the charges.