Under the guidance of the internal affairs division, an informer told two police officers that a certain drug dealer, who always carried a large amount of cocaine, marijuana and several thousand dollars, would be at a certain location. The alleged criminal drug dealer was in fact an undercover officer who was equipped with a recording device and who was supplied with $1,780 in marked bills. While under surveillance at the given location, the two uniformed police officers approached the alleged drug dealer and patted him down. The police officer felt the plastic bag and asked about it. The police officer also asked if the alleged drug dealer is armed. Then, the alleged the drug dealer responded no and told that he has money. The two police officers arranged for the transfer of the money at another location. After the police officers received the same from the undercover, the internal affairs division moved in to make the arrest. At the time of arrest, one of the officers stated that he is dirty.
The two police officers were jointly indicted and tried for bribe receiving in the first degree. However, the officer’s did not contest the sufficiency or weight of the complainant’s evidence presented at trial. Bribery is a felony.
Based on records, the jury was instructed that if it found that the offenders had agreed to accept the money in exchange of not to arrest a person who they believed was in a cocaine possession, a verdict of guilty of first degree bribe receiving could be returned. Consequently, the jury returned a decision of guilty on the first degree count.
On appeal, the two police officers raise three points in addition to a claim that the four year sentence is excessive.
Subsequently, the three uncharged instances of bribe receiving occurred within six months of the crime. The police officer’s assert that the uncharged crimes were dissimilar to the instant crime and not probative on the issue of intent. But the testimony of the informer concerning the uncharged crimes reveals the constant purpose and intent of the offenders to utilize the power and authority of their status as police officers to unlawfully obtain money.
In the first, involving an alleged sale of contraband, the informer testified that after the police officers had seized a gun and some money from two persons, the officers suggested that they can sell it to them using the informer as the intermediary. The officers subsequently received $200 in exchange of the gun.
In the second, involving an alleged extortion, the informer also testified that on another occasion the police officers stopped a man for crack possession and gun possession, and in exchange of $2,000 they returned the narcotics.
In the third, an alleged sale of contraband, the informer again testified that on another occasion a gun was seized and $1,000 was paid to the officers in exchange of the gun.
The police officers further claim that the proof of the uncharged criminal law violation was admitted prematurely. The offenders also assert that a tape of a conversation between them and the informer, which took place one day before the crime was without merit.
Finally, the police officers argue that the trial court should have held a post verdict hearing when one of the juror reported that during deliberations the jury discussed the probable leniency to the offender’s sentence.
Consequently, the Supreme Court ordered that the jury verdict will be reverse and the police officer’s motion to set aside the jury decisions and to reduce same as to each of them from bribe receiving in the first degree to bribe receiving in the second degree is denied.
Most of us encounter financial crisis every now and then that is why a few take actions that can put them in danger. If you get yourself involved in a criminal case, you can seek legal guidance from the New York City Criminal Lawyer. You can also have the legal representation of the NYC Drug Crime Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.