A corrupt NYPD officer was caught delivering drugs, stealing evidence from an NYPD precinct and offering to get a criminal case dismissed — all for a few thousand bucks and a bottle of good Scotch, prosecutors said Monday.
Johnny Diaz, a veteran NYPD officer working in Inwood’s 34th Precinct, had been suspected of taking cash to “throw criminal cases” for the people he arrested for years, prosecutors said. In May, he offered his services to a drug dealer he busted — except the dealer turned out to be an undercover cop conducting a sting operation, according to prosecutors.
“I can do life for this,” the 48-year-old cop was recorded saying at a Manhattan nightclub, prosecutors allege. “I should know better. I’m a cop.”
Diaz was indicted Monday on first-degree drug possession charges, accused of helping shuttle a kilo of cocaine from the Bronx to Manhattan for $4,000, and Assistant District Attorney Emily Farber said more charges are likely coming.
“He’s been a police officer for 23 years. There have been allegations about his conduct going back years,” Farber said.
Diaz arrested someone he thought was a drug dealer on May 23. The dealer was actually an undercover cop investigating Diaz, and the bent officer took the bait, prosecutors said.
Diaz seized a half a kilo of cocaine and $18,000 from the dealer, but only put $17,000 into evidence.
“After the arrest, he befriended the undercover and began spending time with the undercover,” Farber said.
They used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to each other, and at one point Diaz stole the undercover’s cell phone from the 34th Precinct’s evidence room and returned it, Farber said. He received a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch as thanks, Farber said.
“Additionally, he accepted $7,500 from the undercover with agreement that he would help get the undercover’s case dismissed. He was told that if he got it dismissed he would get extra cash,” Farber said.
He helped move a kilo of cocaine from the Bronx to the corner of W. 125th St. and Broadway — following the undercover officer with his own car and warning the officer to drive below 30 mph and stay off the phone to avoid getting pulled over.
When confronted by investigators, he said he knew the undercover officer was a cop, but took the scotch and money anyway because it was offered to him, according to court documents. He also denied transporting the drugs, saying the cocaine was never in his car.
Diaz could face between eight and 40 years behind bars on the drug charge alone, Farber said.
His lawyer, Raymond Loving, asked for a low bail and argued he wasn’t a flight risk.
“He lives in Yonkers with his wife and two kids. They’ve lived there for 12 years. His parents live in New York City,” Loving said.
Supreme Court Justice James Burke ordered him held without bail.
The NYPD would not answer questions on how long Diaz has been suspected of offering to throw criminal cases, or how many cases he’s believed to have gotten dismissed.