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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Former New York City Police Officer Merlin Alston Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Drug Trafficking And Firearms Offenses

Joon Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Former New York City Police Officer MERLIN ALSTON, was sentenced this afternoon in Manhattan federal court to a prison term of 20 years for participating in a long-running conspiracy to distribute large quantities of cocaine in the Bronx while he was an active-duty police officer, as well as for using firearms to protect members of that conspiracy. ALSTON was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who presided over a two-week jury trial last year at which ALSTON was convicted on all counts.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim stated: “Merlin Alston betrayed his city and his shield. Instead of serving and protecting the citizens of New York City, as he swore an oath to do, Alston served and protected drug dealers, participating in a long-running conspiracy to distribute cocaine in the Bronx. For his criminal betrayal that included sharing confidential police information with drug dealers, Alston was convicted by a jury and now sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.”

According to court papers and evidence admitted at trial:

From 2010 to 2014, ALSTON, who at the time was an active NYPD police officer, conspired with others to distribute large quantities of narcotics. ALSTON personally delivered approximately 40 kilograms of cocaine during that time, and in total members of his conspiracy delivered approximately 200 kilograms of cocaine. In addition, ALSTON provided armed security to a cocaine trafficker, using a shotgun and his NYPD service weapon to do so. ALSTON also provided confidential information about law enforcement operations, including arrests and surveillance, to several Bronx drug dealers.

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In addition to his prison sentence, ALSTON, 34, of the Bronx, was sentenced to five years of supervised release.

Mr. Kim praised the DEA, the FBI, the NYPD, and the New York State Police for their outstanding work in this investigation. He also thanked the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York for its invaluable assistance.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Narcotics Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared Lenow and Thomas McKay are in charge of the prosecution.

Press Release Number: 
Updated July 27, 2017