FORMER WESTCHESTER COUNTY POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO MORE THAN THREE YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR TAKING BRIBES
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL BRADY, 36, of New York, a former police officer with the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to 37 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for accepting cash payments in exchange for facilitating the transportation of narcotics trafficking proceeds through Westchester County Airport without detection.
“This defendant, while a sworn law enforcement officer, took cash from an individual he barely knew in exchange for aiding his passage through airport security,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “This kind of illegal activity is a violation of his oath of office and endangers our national security. I commend the DEA Task Force for shutting down a pipeline of highly-addictive prescription pills from Florida to Connecticut and for bringing to justice this and other corrupt officers who facilitated the illegal scheme. I also want to thank the Westchester County Department of Public Safety for its assistance during the investigation.”
This matter stems from “Operation Blue Coast,” an investigation headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force into the large-scale trafficking of oxycodone pills from Florida to Connecticut. The investigation revealed that an individual regularly purchased oxycodone from suppliers in Florida, transported the oxycodone to Connecticut by commercial airline or automobile, and sold the pills to various Connecticut-based narcotics dealers. The narcotics trafficker purchased oxycodone pills in Florida for approximately $5.00 per pill, and traveled from Florida to Connecticut several times a week carrying up to 8,000 oxycodone pills per trip. He then used drivers to transport him to and from narcotics transactions during which he would sell the pills to Connecticut-based dealers for between $10.50 and $13.00 per pill. After exchanging low-denomination currency for larger notes, he transported the proceeds of his oxycodone sales from Connecticut to Florida, either by having a courier drive the money or by using commercial airline flights. The Connecticut-based dealers sold the pills to lower-level dealers and drug customers for between $23.00 and $30.00 per pill.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BRADY was a Westchester County Police Officer who was often assigned to the Westchester County Airport. From approximately December 2010 to April 2011, BRADY received approximately $20,000 in cash payments from the oxycodone trafficker to ensure that he could carry large quantities of cash, the proceeds of his drug trafficking, through airport security at the Westchester Airport.
In December 2010, the drug trafficker called BRADY at the Westchester Airport and told him that he had been placed into a TSA secondary search due to approximately $100,000 in cash that he was carrying. Within minutes, BRADY arrived and tried to convince the searching TSA officer and his supervisor that the trafficker was a legitimate businessman and that any money on his person was legitimate. BRADY also asked the TSA officers to refrain from searching the trafficker and added that they were making him miss his flight. BRADY remained at the scene during the entire secondary screening process. After the trafficker was allowed to pass through security, BRADY told him, “that is what I’m here for.”
As part of his sentence, BRADY was ordered to forfeit $20,000.
BRADY was arrested on September 13, 2011. BRADY resigned from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety in November 2011. On February 16, 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of extortion under color of right and one count of receipt of a bribe by a public official.
Twenty individuals have been charged as a result of this investigation. Three TSA officers and a Florida State Trooper have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Bridgeport High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, which includes personnel from the Connecticut State Police and the Bridgeport, Milford, Norwalk, Stamford and Westport Police Departments; the Drug Enforcement Administration in Florida and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General. In addition, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Greenwich, Monroe, Danbury and Waterbury Police Departments have assisted the investigation.
U.S. Attorney Fein also acknowledged the cooperation of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety and the Florida Highway Patrol, and the substantial assistance provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
This case is being prosecuted in the District of Connecticut by Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Kale and Tracy Lee Dayton.
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