RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Three Nassau County police officers are suspended after being accused of multiple crimes.
One allegedly plotted to carry out a casino heist, while the other two face charges in a drug ring, authorities said.
Surveillance video shows Officer Bruce Moeller flashing his shield for privileged access to Jake’s 58 casino in Islandia, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
Suffolk County investigators said he planned to commit multiple armed robberies.
“The first was a conspiracy to rob a high roller, a patron, at the casino. And the second was a conspiracy to rob an armored truck, which contained cash from the casino,” Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini announced Wednesday.
The district attorney said it was an inside job. Officer Moeller’s wife, Christina, worked in the casino’s money room.
In coded text messages, the couple allegedly called the high roller – a man who had won $50,000 – “cupcake.” When Officer Moeller, couldn’t find him, they turned their interest to Rapid Armour guards carrying out cash, authorities said.
That’s when undercover officers moved in to thwart the crime.
“This was simply a case of taking the investigation wherever it led, without bias,” said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart.
Authorities said they were led to the casino investigating a police-friendly gym rat, Daniel Caceres, who was indicted in a narcotics distribution ring and pleaded not guilty.
He has high school ties to some men and women in blue, McLogan reported.
“Erik Skoglund and Karen Ernst, who are both Nassau County police officers,” Sini said.
Those officers were slapped with drug conspiracy charges in the so-called Caceres Ring. Nine others were linked to selling steroids out of a Port Jefferson station gym, authorities said.
More intercepted text messages said things like “when crime calls we come,” “on the same team” and “shh-lol.”
“Well the ‘shh’ didn’t really work in this case,” said Sini.
Attorneys for Officer Moeller, a war hero in the Marines, and his wife, who started working at the casino when her father died last year, said they plan to vigorously fight the heist and robbery charges.
Lawyers for Officer Skoglund and Ernst called the drug charges bogus.
Jake’s 58 said it is fully cooperating with the investigation.