Former Hempstead Police Officer Convicted Of Armed Robbery And Firearms Charges
Defendant Displayed Police Badge, Terrorized Women And Young Children With A Gun During Attempted Robbery
Earlier today, a federal jury returned a guilty verdict against Brian Jones, a former Hempstead Village police officer, on charges of Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy and brandishing a firearm during the robbery conspiracy. The charges arose from an April 6, 2008 incident in which the defendant and two accomplices attempted to rob a cocaine dealer in Far Rockaway, New York. At the time of the attempted robbery, the defendant was employed as a police officer in Hempstead Village.
The verdict followed a two-week trial at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. The defendant’s sentencing is scheduled for February 26, 2014, at which time he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment for the robbery conspiracy and a mandatory consecutive sentence of seven years to life for the firearms charge, as well as a criminal fine.
The verdict was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Raymond W. Kelly, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), and Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
“We trust our hard-working and dedicated law enforcement officers to protect our community. In violation of his sworn duty, Brian Jones betrayed his badge and disgraced his profession in an attempt to enrich himself at the expense of innocent victims. Jones crossed the line and became that which he had sworn to guard against,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “The people of this district will not tolerate law enforcement officers who abuse their authority and violate the law.” Ms. Lynch expressed her thanks to the ATF and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Division, Police Impersonation Investigation Unit, which led the investigation.
The evidence at trial established that in early 2008, the defendant and two accomplices plotted to rob a cocaine dealer, who they believed kept large quantities of drugs and cash at his apartment in Far Rockaway, New York. Prior to the robbery, the defendant abused his authority as a Hempstead Village police officer to identify the victim’s home address by running a search in a law enforcement database. On April 6, 2008, the defendant and his accomplices carried out the attempted robbery at an apartment building in Far Rockaway, armed with guns, the defendant’s police badge, and handcuffs. After using a ruse to enter an apartment by pretending to sell chocolate to raise money for the defendant’s daughter’s school, the defendant and his accomplices handcuffed a woman and her husband, while the couple’s two young children watched in horror, and then ransacked the apartment. After finding no cocaine or money, the defendant and his accomplices realized they were in the wrong apartment. Undeterred, they entered a second apartment, occupied by another woman and her two young children. They attempted to handcuff that woman as well, but she was able to flee into a bedroom with her children and call 9-1-1. The defendant and his accomplices then fled.
The trial was held before United States District Judge Joseph F. Bianco. All three individuals involved in the attempted robbery have now been convicted of crimes relating to that robbery.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lara Treinis Gatz.
Hempstead, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 13-CR-207 (JFB)