Defendant is a New York City police officer who was arrested in a “sting operation” wherein he was made to believe that he was being hired by a drug dealer for the purpose of protecting transported drug money (the fruit of a drug crime).
A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said the Supreme Court, Queens County convicted him of bribery receiving by a public servant in the third degree, receiving reward for official misconduct in the second degree, official misconduct, and computer trespass; a number of criminal law violations.
Defendant appeals the court’s decision.
Defendant contends that the conduct of the police was “so egregious and deprivative” of his due process rights that notwithstanding his failure to establish his entrapment defense, the indictment should have been dismissed; that the People failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crimes of which he was convicted.
Is the defendant correct? Was the defendant denied of his right to due process? Was his guilt proven beyond reasonable doubt?
The court finds the contentions to be meritless.
In the case cited by the defendant, the Court of Appeals held that, in some instances, police conduct, when tested by due process standards, can be egregious and deprivative as to impose upon the court an obligation to dismiss even if the defendant fails to establish the defense of entrapment.
A determination of whether the conduct of the police rose to the aforesaid level of impropriety involves consideration of the following factors: (1) whether the police manufactured a crime which otherwise would not likely have occurred, or merely involved themselves in an ongoing criminal activity; (2) whether the police themselves engaged in criminal or improper conduct repugnant to a sense of justice; (3) whether the defendant’s reluctance to commit the crime was overcome by persistent solicitation or other appeals; and (4) whether the police simply sought to obtain a conviction rather than to prevent further crime or protect the populace. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said consideration of these factors shows that the police conduct complained of did not rise to the level requiring dismissal of the indictment.
Here, the police commenced the “sting operation” based upon information provided by an informant, which suggested that the defendant might be involved in criminal activity. Although prior to the sting operation the police did not have any information that the defendant had engaged in criminal activity, the information provided by the informant provided a strong basis for commencing the sting operation.
Moreover, the police did not engage in criminal or improper conduct repugnant to a sense of justice. A Nassau County Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant was merely deceived into believing that he was providing protection for transported drug money and that his services would be paid for by the drug dealer. Criminal activity is such that stealth and strategy are necessary weapons in the arsenal of the police officer, and the carefully selected use of the contrived crime under appropriately compelling circumstances is not repugnant to a sense of justice.
Further, the defendant was never reluctant to use his status as a police officer to protect the transported drug money and was only afraid of being caught. A Queens Sex Crimes Lawyer said the defendant was not tempted with the prospect of exorbitant gain, since he negotiated his fees with the undercover police officer who was posing as the drug dealer who needed protection. Consequently, the defendant was not denied his right to due process.
Accordingly, upon review of the records and evidence presented, the court finds that it was legally sufficient to establish the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; that the verdict of guilt was not against the weight of the evidence. The judgment is affirmed and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court, Queens County, for further proceedings.
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