A former narcotics detective admitted to routinely faking drug charges in order to help officers meet department quotas.
Stephen Anderson testified under a cooperation deal with prosecutors that it was common for officers to frame innocent people on drug busts, a practice known as "flaking." According to The Daily News, Anderson's testimony is the first public account highlighting the alleged illicit behavior among Brooklyn South and Queens narcotics teams.
Anderson's shocking admission comes after he and Officer Henry Tavarez were arrested after conducting a fabricated buy-and-bust operation at a Queens bar in 2008. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that four of the men in the bar were wrongly incriminated for selling cocaine to the officers.
Anderson said in Brooklyn Supreme Court that he had witnessed similar conduct by other officers "multiple times." When the judge asked if he had ever contemplated the illegal nature of his actions, Anderson answered:
It was something I was seeing a lot of, whether it was from supervisors or undercovers and even investigators. It's almost like you have no emotion with it, that they attach the bodies to it, they're going to be out of jail tomorrow anyway; nothing is going to happen to them anyway.
The scandal has led to the arrest of eight officers and Anderson's deal incorporates testifying against former narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny who allegedly tampered with public records.