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Queens DA: Officers Accused Of Taking Bribes ‘Tarnished Their NYPD Badges’

2 Officers Accused Of Selling Official Accident Reports
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A police car is seen in Times Square - New York, NY - May 26, 2004 - Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Police car (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Two off-duty NYPD police officers have been arrested and charged with taking bribes.

Police say both officers were charged with public servant receiving bribe and official misconduct.

They were identified as 44-year-old Roberto Espinal, assigned to the 110 Precinct, and 36-year-old Danny Cano, who works out of the 115 Precinct.

Espinal was additionally charged with receiving reward for official misconduct.

The men are accused of taking bribes ranging from $40 to $1,500 from so-called ‘runners’ for copies of official NYPD accident reports.

According to prosecutors, the accident reports are used to find accident victims and bring them to particular medical clinics and physicians as part of a scheme to maximize cases involving insurance providers.

NYPD officers are not authorized to sell or accept personal payment for official police documents.

“The defendants are alleged to have been operating independently of each other in this accident victim solicitation scheme. However, what they allegedly did have in common was that they both tarnished their NYPD badges by exploiting the misfortune of others to unjustly enrich themselves,” Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement.

According to authorities, Cano sold 13 documents between March and August for a total of $6,200. Espinal allegedly accepted $1,500 in bribes between May and August, prosecutors said.

Espinal and Cano were arraigned Wednesday night in Queens Criminal Court, according to prosecutors.

“I commend the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for initiating this investigation and for its unrelenting dedication to rooting out corruption and cases of misconduct,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said in a statement.

Police say Internal Affairs is continuing its investigation.

Both men face up to 7 years in prison if convicted. They are both due back in court on Oct. 9.

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