Jorge Arbaje-Diaz, the former NYPD officer who plead guilty to more than 100 robberies stealing from drug dealers has been sentenced to 20 years in jail.
According to prosecutors, Arbaje-Diaz used his status as a police officer to gain access to narcotics traffickers' houses. Once inside, crew members bound and tortured some of their victims, demanding to know where drugs and money were kept, prosecutors said.
Working since 2003, the crew made off with $4 million in drug profits and more than 750 kilograms of cocaine, prosecutors said.
Arbaje-Diaz was arrested in 2008 with 14 other members of a violent crew that posed as police officers to rob narcotics dealers. Only one other member of the gang was a real police officer.
When brought before the Brooklyn Federal Court to plead guilty to one count each of robbery conspiracy and narcotics-trafficking conspiracy., Arbaje-Diaz admitted in a barely audible voice, "When I committed this criminal conduct, I was an officer of the New York City Police Department. At times, I committed these robberies while I was wearing my police uniform and badge...At times, I also would brandish my off-duty revolver and use my New York Police Department handcuffs to restrain victims".
According to the New York Daily News, Arbaje-Diaz's lawyer, Priya Chaudhry , tried to win sympathy for his client in sentencing papers that put blame on the paltry pay city cops take home, writing,"Jorge was shocked to see that this house his family loved quickly became something he could not afford on his NYPD salary, There seemed no way out until one day the Devil appeared on his shoulder in a barbershop".
It was an excuse Judge Nicholas Garaufis wasn't buying, telling the court, "The idea that he was motivated by a variable-rate mortgage puts us in the world of the absurd," adding, "Mr. Arbaje-Diaz, you are the poster boy for a sentence that will deter others from doing the acts you engaged in."
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