Detective Who Framed Innocent Couple Begs Judge Not to Send Him to Jail
JAY STREET — A Brooklyn NYPD officer who was convicted of planting crack cocaine on an innocent couple begged the judge to not send him to prison. And Kings County Supreme Court Justice Gustin Reichbach agreed.
Former Det. Jason Arbeeny, a 14-year veteran formerly assigned to the Brooklyn South Narcotics Squad, told Justice Reichbach that he couldn’t even look at himself in the mirror anymore.
He then said to the judge, “Please sir, I’m begging you, don’t send me to jail.” He also apologized to the woman and her boyfriend whom he had planted the drugs on.
Hon. Reichbach said he came to court last week thinking the crime required a sentence of jail time.
But he said Arbeeny’s pleas got to him. He sentenced the former cop to five years’ probation and 300 hours of community service.
Three months ago, Arbeeny was found guilty of planting a small bag of crack cocaine in the couple’s vehicle. As is often the case when police officers are charged with crimes, the defendant opted for a bench trial.
After nearly a month-long trial, Justice Reichbach deliberated over a weekend, finding Arbeeny guilty of numerous crimes.
Reichbach bashed the department after the Arbeeny trial exposed corruption and talk of downgrading crime at police precincts.
“I thought I was not naive regarding the reality of narcotics enforcement, but even this court was shocked, not only by the seeming pervasive scope of misconduct, but even more distressingly by the seeming casualness by which such conduct is deployed,” Reichbach said.
Arbeeny was convicted of offering a false instrument for filing, official misconduct and falsifying business records in relation to the January 2007 incident. He was acquitted of evidence tampering. Conspiracy charges were dismissed earlier in the trial.
Victims Yvelisse Deleon and her boyfriend Juan Figueroa, of Coney Island, testified that they had just driven up to their apartment building on Neptune Avenue when they saw two plain-clothes police officers, one of whom was Det. Arbeeny, approach them.
They testified that their vehicle was searched and Det. Arbeeny then presented them with a bag of powder, which he said was crack cocaine.
“He brought out his pocket,” Deleon, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, reportedly testified. “He said, ‘Look what I find.’”
Deleon and Figueroa were both arrested. They later settled separate civil lawsuits with the city for $75,000 over their wrongful arrests.
The crimes were painted as part of a larger pattern of alleged police misconduct by several witnesses not directly connected to this case.
One former NYPD detective in Queens testified about “flaking,” the practice by NYPD officers planting narcotics on innocent people so that officers can meet their quotas for arrests or get overtime hours. Another witness, a woman who was a drug addict, testified that she had performed sex acts with other Brooklyn South Narcotics Squad police officers in exchange for drugs.
Reportedly, the city has paid out $1.2 million in settlements of civil lawsuits related to “flaking.”
—The Associated Press,
and Ryan Thompson and Samuel Newhouse of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle