A sting operation resulted in the arrest today of five New York Police Department officers on charges that they smuggled firearms, cigarettes, and slot machines they thought were stolen, federal authorities said. The officers were among 12 people charged in a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court in Manhattan. Three retired NYPD officers and a New Jersey corrections officer are among the other defendants.
The arrests stem from an FBI-NYPD investigation that began in 2009 when an informant tipped off authorities that an NYPD officer was interested in making money by transporting stolen goods. The informant and an undercover officer began supplying the defendants and others cigarettes, purportedly stolen out of state, for resale, the criminal complaint says. Later in the alleged conspiracy, the defendants agreed to transport 20 weapons from New Jersey to New York using rented mini-vans, the complaint says. It's not the only NYPD scandal in the news. (Read more NYPD stories.)