Former NYPD Detective Sentenced to 15 Years' Imprisonment
Earlier today, Luis M. Batista, a former New York City Police Department detective, was sentenced by United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn to 15 years of imprisonment for his convictions, following trial, of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and obstruction of justice.
The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, George Venizelos, Acting Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department.
Batista joined the NYPD in 1997 and worked in Manhattan as an undercover narcotics officer and later as a precinct detective in the 90th Precinct in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. The evidence at trial established that not long after beginning employment with the NYPD, Batista befriended Virgilio “Checo” Hiciano, the operator of a large-scale cocaine and crack enterprise that controlled the block that included its primary sales location at 441 Wilson Avenue. Batista assisted the enterprise by, among other things, warning Hiciano of impending police actions and providing him with information from law enforcement databases. Hiciano testified against Batista at trial after pleading guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement, to narcotics, firearms, and bail jumping charges. Hiciano has not yet been sentenced.
In 2006, after members of the enterprise were arrested, Batista suspected that he himself might be under investigation. Batista confirmed that suspicion after corruptly persuading a member of the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau to access a secure IAB database and provide the substance of a report detailing information about Batista and Hiciano’s relationship. Batista then obstructed justice by falsely reporting that Hiciano was his confidential source, attempting to persuade his supervisor to corroborate that false report, and attempting to intimidate a member of the enterprise whom Batista suspected was cooperating with the government.
The evidence at trial also established that Batista forged documents that enabled his brother to obtain a $382,500 mortgage from Metropolitan Credit Union for a residence located in Nassau County.
In addition to Batista and Hiciano, the government has obtained narcotics convictions against eight other members of the enterprise.
In announcing the sentence, Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the FBI and NYPD, the agencies responsible for conducting the government’s investigation.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lee J. Freedman, Cristina M. Posa, and Anthony M. Capozzolo.
LUIS M. BATISTA
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