A former NYPD officer pleaded guilty yesterday to being part of a stickup crew that dressed up as cops and made more than 100 robberies stealing from drug dealers. Jorge "Shorty" Arbaje-Diaz, 31, a three-year veteran of the force, admitted to stealing more than $4 million in cash and 1,650 pounds of cocaine from his drug dealers. He faces between a mandatory minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 22 years when he is sentenced in the fall.

Arbaje-Diaz even admitted to leaving his post patrolling the transit system to carry out one robbery in full uniform. "When I committed this criminal conduct, I was an officer of the New York City Police Department. At times, I committed these robberies while I was wearing my police uniform and badge...At times, I also would brandish my off-duty revolver and use my New York Police Department handcuffs to restrain victims," he said in Brooklyn federal court yesterday, in a manner the Times described as "tentative...his words barely audible."

Another transit cop, Emmanuel Tavarez, was also accused of similar wrong doings completely unconnected with Arbaje-Diaz. Tavarez, who is still a cop, allegedly supplied a stickup group with police equipment, including badges, handcuffs, NYPD raid jackets, and on at least one occasion, his own gun, to carry out their robberies, one such allegedly netted more than $100 million in drug cash.