Skip to main content
Press Release

Former DEA Task Force Officer Pleads Guilty To Unlawfully Assaulting Individual During Arrest

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ryan T. Geach, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (“DOJ-OIG”), announced today that DUSTIN GENCO, a former Task Force Officer with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) employed by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, pled guilty to depriving an individual (the “Victim”) of his constitutional right to be free from excessive force.  On October 20, 2022, GENCO assaulted the Victim while the Victim was restrained in handcuffs.  GENCO pled guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.  The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Arun Subramanian.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As he admitted today, Dustin Genco, a former DEA Task Force Officer, violated the constitutional rights of an individual by using excessive force during that person’s arrest.  This officer violated his oath and abused his power to deprive the victim of his rights protected by the U.S. Constitution.  He now faces the serious consequences of his actions.”

DOJ-OIG Special Agent in Charge Ryan T. Geach said: “No law enforcement officer should ever use excessive force.  These charges send a clear message that the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General will aggressively pursue allegations of excessive force by DOJ law enforcement and its Task Force Officers.”

According to the Information that was filed today in Manhattan federal court as well as other public statements made in court:

On or about October 20, 2022, GENCO was employed as a Task Force Officer with the DEA.  GENCO was assigned to assist with the arrest of the Victim.  During the arrest, GENCO assaulted the Victim by forcefully kicking the Victim in the chest and stomach area while the Victim was restrained in handcuffs, resulting in injury to the Victim.  After the assault, GENCO intentionally misled a federal law enforcement agent about the assault, claiming that the Victim had continued to resist arrest after he was handcuffed.  GENCO also failed to truthfully disclose that he had kicked the Victim in the chest and stomach area while the Victim was restrained in handcuffs.  As a condition of his guilty plea, GENCO agreed, among other things, to permanently cease and refrain from seeking or obtaining law enforcement employment on behalf of any federal, state, or local entity.

*                *                *

GENCO, 51, of Seaford, New York, pled guilty to deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the DOJ-OIG.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Civil Rights Unit in the Criminal Division.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mitzi Steiner is in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated August 2, 2023

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-274