Nov. 10, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
A Queens-based NYPD officer has been busted for being part of an international drug trafficking organization that smuggled large quantities of cocaine into the United States from the Dominican Republic.
Amaury Abreu, 34, who is assigned to the NYPD113th precinct that covers much of south east Queens, allegedly provided the traffickers with police information and personally distributed drugs for the traffickers on at least one occasion, according to an indictment unsealed at a Brooklyn federal court Monday.
Abreu, a Long Island resident, was arrested and charged yesterday with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine over a near four year period, the Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Seth DuCharme said. Four others were nabbed on drug-related charges as part of the bust.
“By joining forces with his coconspirators, Abreu has allegedly committed serious crimes, disgraced his NYPD badge and betrayed the public trust as well as fellow members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line to interdict drugs that endanger our communities,” DuCharme said.
From January 2016 to October 2020, law enforcement agents seized more than 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the group, prosecutors said.
The drug organization concealed drugs in mail, tractors and produce shipments into the US.
The traffickers also recruited people to smuggle the drugs–as couriers–on flights into JFK airport. When the couriers landed in JFK, they were escorted through customs and baggage claim by a corrupt Customs and Border Patrol officer.
Two high-ranking members of the drug organization, Julio Bautista, 35, and Gustavo Valerio, 38, were responsible for overseeing the distribution of cocaine once it arrived in New York.
Abreu would then use his position as a police officer to protect the traffickers from being recognized by law enforcement.
He provided information to the traffickers about law enforcement procedures and carried out warrant checks on the organization’s members on the NYPD arrest database.
For example on March 11, 2016, several members of the organization sent Abreu a message containing Valerio’s full name, date of birth and social security number.
Abreu searched for Valerio’s name in the warrants database on the same day, despite having no legitimate law enforcement purpose for doing so.
Then, a few days later Valerio traveled to the Dominican Republic, “presumably after learning that his warrant check was clear,” according to the indictment.
Abreu, who has been on the force for nine years, faces a minimum of 10 years to life in prison if convicted. He has been suspended from the NYPD without pay.
He pleaded guilty on all counts and was released on a $1 million bail.
Bautista and Valerio were also charged with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine.
Two other members of the trafficking organization, Cesar Diaz-Bautista, 43 and Junior Ortiz, 29 are also facing criminal drug charges.