NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Harlem police officer Jose Tejada, 45, a veteran of 17 years on the NYPD, was arraigned Thursday for allegedly being part of a violent robbery crew made up of actual and phony cops.
Tejada was ordered held without bail after pleading not guilty, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.
They’re alleged to have preyed on narcotics traffickers.
His defense attorney told the judge that Tejada has not robbed a drug dealer in the past four years, but the prosecution argued that Tejada was talking up the possibility of doing just that long after he knew he was under investigation.
A source with knowledge of the investigation told 1010 WINS that Tejada allegedly belonged to a robbery crew that in 2006 and 2007 was linked to numerous home invasions, among other crimes.
Officer Tejada also allegedly provided the crew with “information and paraphernalia” from the Police Department, 1010 WINS reported.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Tejada told a cooperating witness in the case that he was broke, needed money and was asking for tips on drug dealers he could rob.
The prosecutor labeled Tejada’s conduct as “outrageous,” Cornell reported.
Prosecutors said the defendants worked in uniform, fully supplied with police gear, carrying out more than 100 armed robberies of drug dealers, robberies which allegedly netted them 250 kilograms of cocaine and more than $1 million in drug money.
Tejada is charged with carrying out one of those robberies while on duty at the 28th Precinct.
He’s accused of brandishing his weapon to force his way into a Bronx home where the robbery crew suspected that it would find a drug stash. Instead, it allegedly found, and threatened with their weapons, an innocent family.
The Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is a multi-agency force, comprising the Drug Enforcement Agency, NYPD and New York State Police, made the arrest around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Tejada had been returning from the Dominican Republic, according to published reports.
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