Two police detectives are facing perjury and other charges for allegedly arresting a man in South Jamaica on false drug possession charges, prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Detectives Kevin Desormeau and Sasha Neve, both of whom are 33-year-old residents of Long Island, were assigned to NYPD Gang Unit on the night of Aug. 28, 2014, when they arrested a man whom they claimed to have observed selling drugs to a woman in the area of 108th Avenue and Guy R. Brewer Boulevard.
The man, whose identity was not disclosed, wound up spending 51 days on Rikers Island as a result of the false charges against him, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. He was released after a security video surfaced which refuted the detectives’ reports and testimony.
In an affidavit, Brown said, Desormeau stated that he allegedly observed the man make a hand-to-hand exchange with an unapprehended woman, and that crack cocaine was found in the man’s waistband at the time of his arrest. Prosecutors said Desormeau made similar statements in testifying before a grand jury on Jan. 16, 2015 and at a Nov. 5, 2015 court hearing.
However, the Queens District Attorney’s office was provided by the arrested man’s attorney with security camera video that proved Desormeau’s testimony to be false. The video, taken at the time of the man’s arrest, showed the individual playing pool inside a bar and restaurant on Guy R. Brewer Boulevard. It also showed Desormeau and Neve entering the location, then escorting the man outside.
Upon further investigation, Brown dropped all of the charges against the man. Desormeau and Neve were arrested as a result of a probe conducted by the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.
Desormeau was indicted on charges including first-degree perjury, offering a false instrument for filing, official misconduct and making a punishable false written statement; he faces up to 7 years in prison if convicted. Neve was indicted on charges of official misconduct and offering a false instrument for filing, and if convicted, could serve up to four years behind bars.
The two detectives, each of whom has been with the NYPD for 10 years, have been suspended pending the results of the ongoing investigation, police said.