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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 30, 2017

NYPD Officer Charged With Narcotics, Weapons, Fraud, Identity Theft, And Counterfeit Currency Offenses

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and James P. O’Neill, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging REYNALDO LOPEZ with attempting to traffic narcotics and using a firearm in furtherance of that offense, access device fraud, conspiracy to commit access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and passing counterfeit obligations.  LOPEZ is a police officer with the NYPD, assigned to the Anti-Terrorism Unit in the Transit Bureau.  LOPEZ was presented yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Debra Freeman.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “Reynaldo Lopez, a police officer sworn to serve and protect his community, instead allegedly engaged in a shocking crime spree.  Lopez allegedly attempted to traffic nearly three kilograms of heroin, stole people’s identities to create and use credit cards for his own use, and knowingly used counterfeit money.  Police officers who violate their oath and break the laws betray not only the public, but their fellow officers who have nobly committed themselves serving and protecting our communities.”

 

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “The list of allegations Officer Lopez faces is troubling on many levels. Not only is Lopez accused of participating in a fraudulent credit card operation and a counterfeit money scheme, he’s also accused of misusing his position as a police officer to engage in the trafficking into our city of what he believed to be heroin.  The NYPD works diligently day in and day out to protect the public from those who engage in these types of crimes. As evidenced by the charges today, nobody is exempt from that practice.”

 

NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill said:  “Police officers are sworn to protect and serve the public.  As alleged, the defendant violated our oath, breaking the law, repeatedly, to traffic narcotics or steal others' identities.  Today he finds himself under arrest and charged criminally in federal court after eroding the trust we work on building every day with the public.”

According to the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

 

LOPEZ is an NYPD police officer assigned to the Transit Bureau’s Anti-Terrorism Unit. 

 

On November 29, 2017, LOPEZ attempted to traffic approximately three kilograms of heroin from a location in New Jersey to the Bronx, New York.  LOPEZ agreed with another undercover police officer (“UC-2”) to transport what LOPEZ believed were three kilograms of heroin to a drug dealer located in the Bronx, New York, under LOPEZ’s protection as an NYPD police officer, and was arrested when he attempted to make the delivery.  LOPEZ also possessed a firearm in furtherance of this attempted narcotics trafficking.

 

From May 2017 to the present, LOPEZ engaged in a scheme to create and utilize fraudulent credit cards, including by using identity information stolen from his victims.  He was part of a counterfeit credit card operation whose participants used stolen or otherwise illicitly obtained personal identifying information to create fraudulent credit cards, and then used the fraudulent credit cards to purchase merchandise for themselves.  As part of his participation in these crimes, LOPEZ also possessed and used a device that applies electronic data to blank physical credit cards.

From October 2017 to the present, LOPEZ possessed, passed, and used counterfeit United States currency.  In multiple recorded conversations with an undercover NYPD officer (“UC-1”), LOPEZ discussed his possession of counterfeit money, stating that he previously had successfully used some of the counterfeit currency.  LOPEZ also showed UC-1 a stack of currency that LOPEZ claimed was counterfeit, and provided UC-1 with a counterfeit $100 bill.

 

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LOPEZ, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, was arrested yesterday in the Bronx, New York.  LOPEZ is charged with one count of access device fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison; one count of conspiracy to commit access device fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory sentence of two years in prison; one count of passing counterfeit obligations, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; attempted possession of one kilogram and more of mixtures and substances containing heroin, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison; and firearms use, carrying, and possession in connection with a narcotics trafficking offense, which carries a mandatory sentence of five years in prison.

 

The statutory minimum, maximum, and mandatory penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant would be determined by the judge.

 

Mr. Kim praised the FBI and the NYPD for their outstanding work on the investigation.  He added that the investigation is continuing.

 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alex Rossmiller and Jessica Lonergan are in charge of the prosecution.

 

[1] The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and LOPEZ is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
17-380
Updated November 30, 2017