A veteran NYPD officer was arrested and charged yesterday for his role in a gang that robbed drug dealers for product and money. 45-year-old Officer Jose Tejada allegedly participated in three robberies or attempted robberies in 2006 and 2007 while stationed in Harlem. The 17-year veteran was in uniform during the crimes. Tejada also reportedly provided the crew with police uniforms and other accesories. 

Tejada is the second NYPD officer to be charged in over 100 robberies of drug dealers that have taken place since 2001. These robberies seized over 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million worth of drug money. He was suspended by the department following his arrest.

Last May, Emmanuel Tavarez (second image) was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his involvement in the crew. Tavarez, 33, joined the NYPD in 2002. Twenty-one members of the crew and an auxiliary officer have also been arrested in connection to the crimes. 

According to prosecutors, Tejada used his position as a law enforcement agent to access a Bronx residence that he thought was home to drug dealers and their stash. However, a family of three actually lived in the home, and they called the police after being held at gunpoint while Tejada and accomplices searched the home.

Tejada's arrest was part of an “ongoing Internal Affairs Bureau investigation," and spokesmen from the department refuse to reveal additional information.

[via New York Times]

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