A 17-year veteran of the NYPD was busted Wednesday for using his badge to lead a ruthless stickup crew — dressed up like New York’s Finest — to rob drug dealers of cash and narcotics, law enforcement officials said.
Officer Jose Tejada, 45, is accused of supplying his bandit buddies with NYPD uniforms, handcuffs and other police swag so they could pose as cops in more than 100 robberies, court documents allege.
The crooked cop is the latest to be arrested in the federal probe that began five years ago. Twenty-one members of the gang, including disgraced NYPD Emmanuel Tavarez, have been convicted throughout the ongoing investigation.
Tavarez, a former eight-year veteran and onetime major league baseball prospect, was sentenced to 25 years in prison last May.
Tejada’s extreme lawlessness even saw him donning his police blues, using an NYPD vehicle and brandishing his service weapon in at least three violent shakedowns between 2006 and 2007, prosecutors said.
In one of those robberies, Tejada and other crew members stormed an innocent family’s home in the Bronx, having mistaken it for a drug dealer’s digs, according to court papers. While two goons tore through the home in search of narcotics, the rogue officer trained his gun on the victims, including their teenage child, prosecutors allege.
Disgraced NYPD officer Emmanuel Tavarez was allegedly part of Jose Tejada’s stickup crew.
During another heist in upper Manhattan, Tejada and crew members pulled over a vehicle, cuffed the driver and made off with 5 kilos of cocaine that were stashed in the car.
All told, the stickup gang netted more than $1 million in cash and 250 kilos in cocaine, court documents show.
Tejada, who was assigned to the 28th Precinct in Harlem at the time, is also accused of running the names of his cronies through law enforcement databases to find active warrants against them. He’d then advise crew members whether they could reenter the United States without getting busted.
The officer was working as a housing cop in the South Bronx when he was bagged at JFK Airport on Wednesday while returning from the Dominican Republic, authorities said.
He was charged with robbery conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, MDMA and marijuana and criminal possession of a firearm, and is expected to be arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court on Thursday.
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