Preet Bharara and Ray Kelly
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Five active and three retired officers of the New York Police Department are among 12 people charged Tuesday with conspiring to transport and distribute firearms and stolen goods…
“A group of crime fighters took to moonlighting as criminals,” Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a press conference.
The defendants are charged in an alleged conspiracy to transport and distribute untraceable firearms across state lines. and conspiracy to transport supposedly stolen and counterfeit goods including cigarettes from Virginia and slot machines from Atlantic City, New Jersey…
The current or former NYPD officers charged are William Masso, Eddie Goris, Ali Oklu, Gary Oritz, and John Mahony, all active-duty officers in Brooklyn; Joseph Trischitta and Marco Venezia, who were active-duty NYPD officers at the time of the alleged crimes but are now retired; and Richard Melnik, a retired NYPD officer. Also charged, federal authorities said, are Anthony Santiago, a New York City Department of Sanitation police officer; David Kanwisher, a New Jersey corrections officer; and Michael Gee and Eric Gomer, who court documents list as “associates” of Santiago…
Prosecutors said that while the defendants all believed the items they transported were stolen; they had in fact been provided by the FBI. The firearms were never a danger to the public, authorities said, as they had been rendered inoperable.
“These crimes are without question, reprehensible — particularly conspiring to import untraceable guns and assault rifles into New York,” said Janice K. Fedarcyk, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York division. “The public trusts the police not only to enforce the law, but to obey it. These crimes, as alleged in the complaint, do nothing but undermine public trust and confidence in law enforcement.”
You got that right.
The whole point of oversight is made in spades. This is why we have an SEC to keep an eye on Wall Street. And they failed us the last decade. This is why we have federal attorney-generals and they pretty much failed us during the 8 useless years of Bush/Cheney.
We’re fortunate to have someone like Preet Bharara operating in New York, nowadays. Seems like I get to note his name in a crime-busting case every couple of months.