New York police officer Jose Tejada was arrested Wednesday on multiple robbery, drug dealing and weapons charges for his alleged role in providing high-quality NYPD equipment to a gang of crooks that would pose as police officers and rob known drug dealers. Tejada, 45, is also facing charges for letting the crew work out of his Manhattan apartment and participating in the robberies himself.
According to court documents, the robbers would use fake warrants to bust drug traffickers and then relieve them of their stashes of cash, cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana and heroin. It is believed that the group, which numbered at least 22 including Tejada, participated in more than 100 armed robberies in New York City since 2001, CNN reports.
Tejada is looking at a minimum of 17 years in prison if convicted. Ironically enough, that is the same amount of time he has been a member of the NYPD. Prosecutors believe that since he is looking at such a long prison sentence, Tejada is a pretty big flight risk. Authorities are going to argue that Tejada is dangerous and that he should not be allowed to get bail.
"The defendant poses a substantial risk of flight," court documents read. "The defendant has strong family ties to the Dominican Republic, owns property in the Dominican Republic, and has traveled to the Dominican Republic at least ten times in the past ten years."
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It is not known if Tejada has retained a lawyer. An arraignment in the case is scheduled for Thursday afternoon
Police may have first become interested in Tejada after his gang of robbers went to the wrong house while attempting to rob a Bronx drug dealer. According to court documents: "The crew mistakenly believed the residents to be drug dealers. In fact, the residents were a family of three, including a teenager, who had no involvement in drug dealing." After the crew departed, the family called 911.