Used NYPD equipment to rip off drug dealers, others
By Charisma L. Miller, Esq.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The trial of a New York City police officer, who allegedly was an active member of a violent robbery gang, began in Brooklyn’s federal court Monday. Officer Jose Tejada has been charged with several counts of robbery, drug trafficking, illegal firearms possession and obstruction of justice
Tejada, a 16-year veteran of the force, allegedly assisted a robbery crew known for earning money by ripping off drug dealers.
The charging papers assert that Tejada and members of his crew would pose as police officers equipped with fake arrest and search warrants, then forcibly take drugs and money from the drug traffickers.
While Tejada’s supposed primary role was to provide the crew with NYPD paraphernalia and equipment -- including, in one instance, the use of an NYPD squad car -- Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents allege that Tejada participated in a number of the armed robberies while on duty and wearing his NYPD uniform.
One particular incident involved the illegal search of a private residence in the Bronx. According to DEA agents, Tejada displayed his service weapon to the occupants of the home, a family of three with no connection to drug dealing, while members of the crew unsuccessfully searched the residence for drugs.
Tejada further assisted his crew, the agents assert, by accessing NYPD and other law enforcement databases to ascertain information about active warrants out on crew members and thereafter advised his crew about police movements.
Tejada was arrested on April 3. He joins the ranks of 23 members of the crew who have been previously arrested in connection with the larger case.
“There is clear and convincing evidence that Tejada presents a danger to the community, assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander A. Solomon and Douglas M. Pravda, wrote in a letter to the court requesting permanent detention of Tejada pending trial.
“Tejada’s repeated use of his status as an NYPD police officer, while on active duty, to act in concert with other members of a violent drug robbery crew to take targets by force or threat of force makes his crimes particularly insidious,” the letter continued.
If convicted, Tejada faces a minimum of 17 years in prison.