New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly has condemned the actions of the group of police officers charged with smuggling arms and cigarettes.
Speaking to the press, Irish American Kelly called their actions “a betrayal of the highest order of an officer’s oath.”
Brooklyn cop William Masso put together an “army” of NYPD cops to smuggle guns, cigarettes, and slot machines illegally into New York. The group was arrested by the FBI, breaking up the $1 million smuggling ring after a two-year sting operation.
Masso was recorded saying to an FBI informant, “You want a guy who beats the s--t out of somebody who bothers him, we got that. We got cops with vests and guns…I’m setting up a good army here. A good f--kin’ army.”
Kelly, speaking to the press this week, said, “I want to commend the U.S. Attorney and the FBI who, together with the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, today arrested a dozen individuals, five of them police officers, who believed they were helping to transport stolen goods, as well as firearms.”
The firearms the dirty cops had being trading in had been made unusable by the FBI agents involved.
The Commissioner continued “The fact that the goods really weren’t stolen and the guns didn’t work doesn’t lessen culpability, especially for those who had sworn an oath to uphold the law.
The most disturbing aspect of this sting was that, according to the Complaint, William Masso actually saw what he must have certainly believed were functioning guns. He had no way of knowing that the guns to be transported had been rendered inoperable. It was a betrayal of the highest order of an officer’s oath."
The smuggling network included Masso, an 18-year veteran, four other active Brooklyn cops as well as three retired officers, a former city Sanitation cop, a New Jersey correction officer, and two other men.
Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara described them as, “A group of crime fighters who took to moonlighting as criminals…A group of police officers who should have been keeping guns off the street instead smuggled 20 firearms into the city.”
Bharara said the men could go to jail for up to a decade.