Nicholas Mina, the NYPD officer accused of stealing guns, money, bulletproof vests and an iPad from his East Village precinct, was arraigned at the Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday, along with his ragtag team of alleged co-conspirators (Jennifer Sultan, Ivan Chavez, Marcos Echevarria and Meryl Lebowitz). Mina, a six-year-veteran of New York's Finest, was arrested on Thursday and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal sale of a firearm, conspiracy and grand larceny. Prosecutors say that Mina, who worked out of the 9th Precinct, was a prescription painkiller addict who used the stolen guns to pay off his drug debt to Chavez, an accused drug and weapons dealer in Queens.
Prosecutors said that illicit pills, prescription pads, heroin, counterfeit bills and false identification and credit cards were found in Chavez's home, and that Chavez had been a key player in a weapons-trafficking conspiracy that included five NYPD-issued guns, four of which had been stolen by Mina. Echevarria and Lebowitz, who are suspected of working with Chavez, were both charged with possession and sale of weapons.
The fifth defendant, Sultan, was charged with conspiracy. The 38-year-old Sultan, who lives in a swanky penthouse apartment in Manhattan, once co-owned a web streaming media company worth $70 million with her boyfriend, Adam Cohen, but prosecutors say overspending and other money problems led her to turn to drug-dealing with Chavez. She and Cohen have (shockingly) filed for bankruptcy, and they've had a couple prior tax-fraud court run-ins as well.
Mina, Chavez, Echevarria and Lebowitz are all currently being held without bail, while Sultan is being held in lieu of $150,000 bond or $45,000 cash bail. Mina has apparently confessed to the crimes; his defense attorney, David Fisher, says his prior clean record warrants his release on bail.