Federal authorities in New York have charged five people, including a former NYPD police officer, with operating a drug ring in Manhattan and the Westchester County area. Three of the defendants were taken into custody on Feb. 18, and another individual is already in state custody on unrelated charges. The former cop remains at large.
According to court documents filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, all five defendants conspired to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine from around 2017 until February 2020. Four of the defendants are also accused of conspiring to distribute date-rape drug gamma-butyrolactone, known on the street as GBL, over the same period of time.
Four of the defendants, who range in age from 22 to 48, are from New York. The fifth defendant, age 37, is from New Jersey. All five have been charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. If convicted, they could face up to life in prison. Four of the defendants have been additionally charged with conspiring to distribute GBL. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. In a statement, the FBI assistant director singled out the former police officer, a 38-year-old man from Bronxville, calling his actions “egregious.”
If convicted, individuals charged with federal crimes such as drug distribution and drug importation could face serious penalties. However, every defendant is innocent until proven guilty and has the right to mount a vigorous defense against the accusations. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, it might be possible to successfully challenge the prosecution’s case and get the charges dismissed. Alternatively, it may be possible for the attorney to negotiate a plea deal that allows the defendant to plead guilty to reduced charges, which might lead to a lighter sentence.