A veteran NYPD officer was indicted yesterday for allegedly helping to transport a kilogram of cocaine in exchange for $4,000 and for stealing evidence from his own precinct. Officer Johnny Diaz, who worked at the NYPD’s 34th Precinct’s Anti-Crime Unit, was the target of an internal investigation accusing him of accepting payoffs from people he arrested, in exchange for help getting their charges dismissed.
On May 23rd, Diaz, 48, arrested an undercover cop posing as a drug dealer. While Diaz seized a half-kilo of cocaine and $18,000 from the undercover officer, he only logged $17,000 in his receipt, allegedly keeping a grand for himself.
After Diaz communicated with the undercover officer on WhatsApp, prosecutors say he removed his cell phone from the 34th Street station evidence room, accepting a gift of Johnny Walker Blue for his efforts. Diaz allegedly offered to get the case dismissed, for $20,000, and accepted $7,500 as a down payment. Then on June 15th, prosecutors say Diaz helped the undercover officer move a kilo of cocaine from the Bronx to 125th Street and Broadway. He allegedly warned the undercover cop to drive slowly, not talk on his phone, and let Diaz, who was following behind him, do the talking if any cops pulled him over.
"I can do life for this... I should know better. I'm a cop," Diaz was allegedly recorded saying as they drove to a nightclub in Northern Manhattan afterwards.
Assistant District Attorney Emily Farber has said that the DA plans to bring more charges against Diaz, according to the Daily News. “He’s been a police officer for 23 years. There have been allegations about his conduct going back years," Farber told the tabloid.
If convicted on this drug charge alone, he could face between 8 to 40 years in prison, said Farber. Supreme Court Justice James Burke ordered him held without bail.