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NYPD officers court prostitution gambling ring

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Seven NYPD cops will have to answer to the court on Thursday for charges related to a prostitution and gambling ring.

According to CBS2, the officers are accused of providing protection, including info about ongoing investigations, for illegal gambling and prostitution locations in Sunset Park, Brooklyn and Jackson Heights, Queens.

The suspects are 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. They face charges of promoting prostitution and enterprise corruption.

Sources say the Internal Affairs Bureau began investigating in 2015. They were tipped off by another officer.

Since then, sources say investigators have obtained thousands of hours of surveillance, including wiretaps of the cops allegedly involved.

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

He continued, “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. 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.”

More sources say a retired NYPD detective was arrested as a “major player” in the operation.

Two more uniformed officers were put on modified desk duty, and their guns and badges were taken away.

More than 40 civilians are also said to be wanted for their involvement in the illegal activities.

The Queens County District Attorney will lead the prosecution of the case. More info will be revealed in a press conference expected for Thursday afternoon.



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