NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Several members of the NYPD were arrested Wednesday for their involvement in a prostitution and gambling ring operating in the city, law enforcement sources told CBS2.
Sources said the Internal Affairs investigation stemmed from a 2015 tip from another officer, and resulted in the arrest of seven cops from precincts in Brooklyn and Queens.
In a statement sent to CBS2, NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said the accused cops “swore an oath and then betrayed it.”
“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,” O’Neill continued. “I thank Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick for the thorough investigation performed by the Internal Affairs Bureau, in partnership with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, in rooting out this illicit activity. His unit initiated this probe and in doing so has sent a clear message: there is no place in the NYPD for criminal or unethical behavior.”
Sources say the officers were providing protection, including information about ongoing investigations, for illegal prostitution and gambling locations in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens.
The suspects have been identified as Sergeants Carlos Cruz, 41; Louis Failla, 49; Cliff Nieves, 37; Officers Steven Nieves, 32; Giancarlo Raspanti, 43; and Detectives Giovanny Acosta-Rojas, 40; and Rene Samaniego, 43.
Charges include promoting prostitution and enterprise corruption.
Sources say two additional uniformed officers have been placed on modified desk duty and stripped of their guns and badges as they face internal charges for their alleged roles.
40 civilians are also being sought for their alleged participation in the illegal activities, among them a retired NYPD detective who sources say was a “major player” in the case.
The Queens County District Attorney will handle the prosecution of the case. More details are expected to be announced at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Please stay with CBS2 and CBSNewYork.com for more on this developing story.