Former NYPD Officer Charged in Armed Robbery Scheme
NOV 07 -- JOHN P. GILBRIDE, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA") and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced today that former New York City Police Department ("NYPD") Officer JORGE ARBAJE-DIAZ was charged with conspiring to commit an August 2008 armed robbery of a drug dealer on 183rd Street in Manhattan. ARBAJE-DIAZ was arrested last week on charges filed in the Eastern District of New York, after which he resigned from the NYPD. Five co-defendants -- MIGUEL NUNEZ, DIONICIO URENA, ALEX TIRADO, LUIS MINAYA, and HENRY MINAYA -- were arrested on November 5, 2008, and LEONARDO DELGADO is in New York State custody on unrelated charges.
DEA Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride stated, “These charges demonstrate that Abaje-Diaz is not an example of a police officer turned criminal, but rather a criminal who became a police officer. Abaje-Diaz is not worthy to stand among the ranks of the good men and women who wear their badges with pride in order to protect the citizens of New York City.” SAC Gilbride praised the tireless effort of the Drug Enforcement Task Force’s REDRUM unit which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, NYPD and New York State Police(NYSP).
According to the Complaint unsealed yesterday in Manhattan federal court:
ARBAJE-DIAZ, a three-year veteran of the NYPD, was most recently assigned to the NYPD’s Transit District 11, in the Bronx. ARBAJE-DIAZ and six other defendants are charged with conspiring to rob a suspected narcotics trafficker (the "Victim")in an apartment building on 183rd Street in Manhattan. ARBAJEDIAZ and other defendants were recorded on a surveillance video in the building lobby as they entered and exited the building of the suspected narcotics dealer whom they believed had in the apartment $25,000, and cocaine and other drugs. Members of the robbery crew planned to show law enforcement credentials to gain entry into the apartment but realized that the Victim was not there and decided to use a hydraulic pump instead to open the door. However, when members of the crew entered the building, the Victim arrived and opened his apartment door with a key, after which members of the crew forced their way in and “hog tied” him on the apartment floor. While members of the crew, including ARBAJE-DIAZ, searched the apartment for drugs and/or drug proceeds, others drove around the surrounding area looking out for law enforcement.
The members of the crew searching the Victim's apartment did not find drugs or drug proceeds, but ARBAJE-DIAZ can be seen on the surveillance video carrying a laptop computer as he leaves the apartment building.
NUNEZ, URENA, TIRADO, LUIS MINAYA, and HENRY MINAYA were presented late yesterday, and ARBAJE-DIAZ and DELGADO are expected to appear on a date yet to be determined, in Manhattan federal court. The defendants each are charged with one count of Hobbs Act robbery and each face a maximum sentence of twenty years of imprisonment.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative work of the Drug Enforcement Task Force's REDRUM unit. Mr. GARCIA added that the investigation is continuing.
Assistant United States Attorney ZACHERY FEINGOLD is in charge of the prosecution. The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit.