By Joe Parziale, DNAinfo Reporter/Produce
NEW YORK CITY — A former New York City cop was sentenced to 46 months in prison for plotting to transport firearms and other contraband across state lines, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced Thursday.
While an active officer in the NYPD's Brooklyn South Task Force, Ali Oklu hatched a scheme to illegally transport three M-16 rifles, one shotgun and 16 handguns across state lines between September 2010 and October 2011, according to court filings and statements made in court. He also helped transport slot machines from Atlantic City and thousands of cartons of cigarettes from Virginia, all of which he believed to be stolen, according to the filings.
Oklu, 36, of Sunnyside, Queens, was paid $35,000 for his role in smuggling the goods, which carried a street value of about $1 million, according to court documents.
Oklu and his co-conspirators, including other police officers, used their law enforcement credentials to help expedite the crimes, authorities said. In a March 2011 meeting with the scheme’s alleged ringleader, officer William Masso, the two conspired to carry their badges and tell anyone that questioned them that they were officers carrying items to be sold at police auction, according to the filings.
Oklu pleaded guilty in December to working with Masso and 11 other co-conspirators to carry out the scheme, court documents show.
“Ali Oklu betrayed the NYPD and the fine men and women who serve there so honorably, even going so far as to conspire to bring firearms into New York where his brother and sister officers — as far as he knew — might have been potentially in the firing line,” Bharara said in a statement. “With his sentence today, he will now be punished for his crimes.”
In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley also imposed three years supervised release, a $7,500 fine and a $200 special assessment fee, as well as a forfeiture of the $35,000 Oklu made in committing the crimes.