News Release
Date: May 10, 2012
Contact: Erin McKenzie-Mulvey
Number: 212-337-2906

25 Years for Former NYC Police Officer on Drug Robbery, Firearm, Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking Charges
--Was Member of Violent Criminal Crew Responsible for Over 100 Robberies--

May 10 - (Brooklyn, NY) Emmanuel Tavarez, a former member of the New York City Police Department, was sentenced yesterday to 25 years of imprisonment by United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn. On April 25, 2012, Tavarez pleaded guilty to robbery conspiracy, cocaine and heroin trafficking conspiracy, and firearm charges. The sentence was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Tavarez was a member of a violent robbery crew responsible for more than 100 robberies of narcotics traffickers in the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere that netted more than 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million in drug proceeds. Beginning in approximately January 2001, crew members posed as law enforcement officers staged fake arrests of the traffickers and then forcibly seized the traffickers’ contraband. Members of the crew restrained victims with handcuffs, rope or duct tape and often brandished firearms and physically assaulted victims. Crew members sold the stolen drugs and divided the proceeds amongst themselves. Tavarez participated in at least eight separate robberies and attempted robberies while employed as an NYPD police officer. During these robberies and attempted robberies, Tavarez acted as a lookout and, on at least one occasion, entered a private residence with other members of the robbery crew where he brandished a firearm.

Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force which is comprised of agents and officers of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City Police Department and New York State Police; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation – and thanked the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance.

The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen J. Meyer, Sylvia S. Shweder and Alexander A. Solomon.

The Defendant:
Age: 33