Everyone likes NYPD swag,
especially drug dealers. A 39-year-old retired NYPD officer has been charged with providing a Brooklyn cocaine ring with "two NYPD raid jackets and a holster for a 9mm. semi-automatic handgun," the Daily News reports. John Avvento, who is free on bail, allegedly received "cash, cocaine, and Vicodin" in exchange for the outfits so that drug dealers could "raid" and rob a competitor. While Avvento supposedly backed out of his initial promise to go on the raid himself, he is also accused of chaperoning the drug dealers' cars out on business "to ensure they would not be arrested."
Three witnesses who are cooperating with authorities in their investigation of the drug ring identified Avvento as their man on the inside, but his lawyer stated that Avvento, who is receiving a disability pension from the NYPD, "vehemently denies the accusations and looks forward to a complete vindication." The case is similar to that of Emmanuel Tavarez, who pleaded guilty last month to falsifying search warrants and using NYPD raid jackets to steal drugs and cash in operations that netted him and his cohorts $1 million in a decade. After Tavarez's plea, his attorney called his client's behavior an "aberration." Tavarez faces life in prison for his crimes.