NYPD narcotics unit shaken up
Jan 23,2008 00:00 by UPI

NEW YORK - New York Police Department officers on the graveyard shift in a narcotics unit are under suspicion of stealing cash and drugs and taking sexual favors.

The New York Daily News reported that 15 Brooklyn South officers have been put on desk duty, four arrested and one suspended. The newspaper, citing sources, said four top narcotics commanders, including Deputy Chief James O'Neill, commander of narcotics citywide, and Inspector James O'Connell, head of Brooklyn South Narcotics, have been transferred.

The investigation began last fall when a detective, Sean Johnstone, not realizing his wire was still active, allegedly bragged on tape about seizing 28 bags of cocaine in a buy-and-bust operation and turning in 17. Johnstone and another detective were charged in December.

Sources told the News that supervising officers must have known of the corruption or been "incredibly sleepy and lax."

"You have a handful of guys basically shaking down drug dealers," one said. "Given that these officers were not the smartest bulbs in the box, how secret could it have been? Where were the bosses? Asleep? Complicit? Intimidated?"

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