Queens NYPD officer arrested for role in cocaine smuggling operation: Feds

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An NYPD officer who served in the 113th Precinct has been arrested for allegedly playing a leading role in a drug trafficking operation that saw the import of hundreds of kilograms of cocaine into New York City from January 2016 until October 2020.

Amaury Abreu, a 34-year-old police officer from Long Island, was arrested on Monday, Nov. 9, along with three other men, for their connection to the drug trafficking operation, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Seth DuCharme.

Abreu was one of several men in law enforcement to aid the scheme to import and sell cocaine in New York, according to the authorities.

Beginning in January 2016, members of the drug trafficking operation, including Abreu, Julio Bautista and Cesar Diaz-Bautista, of Roosevelt, New York, Gustavo Valerio, of South Ozone Park, and Junior Ortiz, of Uniondale, New York, sent a series of drug couriers on flights from the Dominican Republic to JFK Airport, according to the feds.

Once the couriers arrived in Queens, they were escorted through customs and baggage claim by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent officer who was part of the trafficking ring. The couriers would then be taken to a safe house to be paid.

Abreu allegedly worked as an inside man, feeding his co-conspirators information on how law enforcement works and whether or not the group was being investigated, according to DuCharme.

On March 11, 2016, leaders of the operation sent Abreu a message with Valerio’s full name, date of birth and social security number, according to the authorities. The cop allegedly then searched Valerio’s name in the NYPD’s arrest database and told the group that he hadn’t found anything, the criminal complaint said.

Valerio traveled to the Dominican Republic a few days later, the feds said.

As he did with Valerio, Abreu allegedly searched NYPD databases for information that might aid the group’s import activity, the U.S. Attorney said. He also allegedly had daily contact with the group’s leaders from 2018 until Nov. 3, 2020.

But Abreu’s help didn’t always get the group too far.

Between January 2016 and February 2017, law enforcement agents arrested five couriers, the CBP agent and a driver all connected to the scheme, according to the feds. During the arrests, law enforcement seized around 50 kilograms of cocaine and around $3,600 from the couriers.

Law enforcement additionally seized over 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the group during two separate incidents in May 2018 and July 2019.

Serving in the NYPD for nine years, Abreu has been suspended without pay, according to a department spokesperson.

“There is no place for corruption in the NYPD and it will always be prosecuted fully. We commend our IAB investigators and law enforcement partners in this case,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

Abreu, who was scheduled to appear in federal court on Monday afternoon, faces a minimum of 10 years in prison, and up to life in prison, if convicted.