A former NYPD officer pleaded guilty this week to helping international drug traffickers distribute cocaine for years in the New York metro area and the Dominican Republic, according to federal prosecutors.
Amaury Abreu, 37, at Brooklyn federal court Wednesday admitted to one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute. The Long Island resident faces up to 20 years in prison at sentencing.
Between January 2016 and October 2020, Abreu assisted an unidentified multinational drug trafficking organization by feeding its members confidential law enforcement information and checking for arrest warrants on members, court documents say. He also received cocaine from the organization on at least one occasion.
The traffickers are accused of sending drug couriers on flights to the U.S. and concealing narcotics in mail and tractor trucks from Mexico as well as produce shipments. Federal prosecutors say law enforcement agents have seized more than 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the trafficking ring over the past seven years.
Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said Abreu’s involvement in the ring was a betrayal of his duties as a police officer.
“That was a disgraceful breach of public trust,” Peace said in a statement Wednesday. “Today’s plea should send the message that police officers who betray the shield and violate the law will be held to account.”
Abreu’s attorney John LoTurco didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon. According to Newsday, LoTurco has described his client as a “devoted family man” who hopes the judge in the case will consider his “three-year unblemished record on pretrial supervision, his acceptance of responsibility and his minimal role in the charged conspiracy” when deciding Abreu’s sentence.
Several law enforcement agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and NYPD, carried out the investigation, per Peace’s office.