A retired police officer who served in White Plains was arrested on Monday after authorities reportedly found four male bodies on a property that was linked to him. Nicholas Tartaglione is suspected to have killed the men during a drug deal gone wrong earlier this year.
Tartaglione was reportedly taken into custody, where he was charged with several counts of murder and conspiracy to distribute five kilograms of cocaine, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, according to AP News. "While all murders tear at the fabric of our communities, when the alleged perpetrator of a gangland-style, quadruple homicide is a former police officer, that strikes at the heart of civilized society," Bharara said.
The deceased have been identified as Martin Luna, Urbano Santiago, Miguel Luna, and Hector Gutierrez. Prosecutors believe Tartaglione killed the four men back in April 2016 around a bar called Likquid Lounge in upstate New York, while conspiring to sell cocaine obtained during the drug deal, AP reports. It's unclear whether all of the men were involved in drug incident, although police Chief Peter Graziano confirmed that two of the victims had been involved in drug activity in the past.
"These four men had not been seen or heard from since the day of their alleged murder," Bharara said. She hoped that the new development, would serve as "some measure of comfort to the victims' families and loved ones." Tartaglione previously worked for Briarcliff Manor Police Department. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.