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NYPD Members Charged In Alleged Prostitution Ring Face Arraignment « CBS New York

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Seven members of the NYPD are expected to be arraigned Thursday on charges stemming from a prostitution and gambling ring, law enforcement sources told CBS2.

Sources said the Internal Affairs Bureau investigation began in 2015 following a tip from another officer. Since then, sources said investigators have collected thousands of hours of surveillance, including wiretaps, of the officers allegedly involved.

They’re accused of providing protection, including information about ongoing investigations, for illegal prostitution and gambling locations in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens.

The suspects have been identified as Sergeants Carlos Cruz, 41; Louis Failla, 49; Cliff Nieves, 37; Officers Steven Nieves, 32; Giancarlo Raspanti, 43; and Detectives Giovanny Acosta-Rojas, 40; and Rene Samaniego, 43.

The charges against them include promoting prostitution and enterprise corruption.

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in a statement the accused cops “swore an oath and then betrayed it.”

“The people of this Department are rightly held to the highest standard, and should they fail to meet it, the penalty will be swift and severe,” he continued. “I thank Deputy Commissioner Joseph Reznick for the thorough investigation performed by the Internal Affairs Bureau, in partnership with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, in rooting out this illicit activity. His unit initiated this probe and in doing so has sent a clear message: there is no place in the NYPD for criminal or unethical behavior.”

Sources said a retired NYPD detective was arrested as a “major player” in the case.

Two other uniformed officers were put on modified desk duty and stripped of their guns and badges, including a detective from the 72nd Precinct who is being investigated but not charged.

Sources said more than 40 civilians were also being sought for their alleged participation in the illegal activities.

The Queens County District Attorney will handle the prosecution of the case. More details are expected to be announced at a press conference Thursday afternoon.



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