A Bronx cop faces a life sentence for using his status as a police officer to help his friend run a cocaine ring. Officer Juan Acosta is accused of aiding his longtime buddy Yorick Rafael Corneil-Perez in distributing drugs by stealing cash from a rival drug courier while pretending to be on police business, providing tips about which streets would be lightly patrolled by officers, and transporting what he believed to be 22 pounds of cocaine from Long Island to the Bronx.

Investigators say that in 2005, the nine-year veteran was in uniform, driving a marked patrol car, and carrying his service weapon when he heisted hundreds of thousands of dollars from a drug runner in what appeared to be a sting — but that cash was never turned over to the NYPD. In October, Acosta met with a government informant posing as a Colombian narcotics trafficker and agreed to transport 10 kilos of cocaine into the city. Two days later, investigators say he was paid $15,000 for smuggling the drugs, which were actually fake narcotics.

Acosta has pleaded not guilty, and the Times notes that he has since resigned from the force. He and Corneil-Perez — both 34 — are being held without bail. Corniel-Perez's girlfriend told the Daily News the two men became friends in the Dominican Republic and stayed close when they moved to New York and opened an East Harlem barbershop together. "They were partners in everything," the woman said. "They were like brothers. They took care of each other…He's a good father and a good partner. I never knew him to be involved in anything like this."