Police Officer Charged with Queens Cocaine Sales
Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, today announced the arrest of JOSE SIERRA, a New York City Police Officer, and LINA MARIA BEDOYA MURIEL on narcotics sale and possession charges. SIERRA was off duty at the time of the alleged criminal conduct.
Investigators from the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office (SNP), the Internal Affairs Bureau (IAB) of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and HSI New York, arrested SIERRA, a 6-year NYPD veteran assigned to NYPD Housing Bureau Patrol Service Area 7 in the Bronx, and BEDOYA MURIEL at 6pm on May 25 in front of 24-18 89 Street in Queens County. The defendants face charges of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second and Third Degrees, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree (2 Counts) and Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the Second Degree. They are expected to be arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court this evening.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by SNP, IAB, and HSI. During the investigation, an undercover SNP investigator purchased drugs from BEDOYA MURIEL and SIERRA on two occasions. Each time, SIERRA was driving a 2017 Honda Accord, while BEDOYA MURIEL was in the passenger seat. Each transaction occurred inside the car, when BEDOYA MURIEL handed packets of cocaine to the undercover officer in exchange for cash.
The pair is charged with selling 10 packets of cocaine for $160 on May 16 in the vicinity of 38th Avenue and 11 Street in Queens and 12 packets of cocaine for $200 on May 23 at the same location. Yesterday, in the vicinity of 24-18 89 Street, Queens County, SIERRA and BEDOYA MURIEL were again in the same car, with SIERRA driving and BEDOYA MURIEL in the passenger seat, when investigators from SNP, IAB and HSI executed a court authorized search warrant and recovered 18 folded packages of cocaine from BEDOYA MURIEL and 36 additional packages from a black bag in the trunk of the car.
A second search warrant, executed at the basement apartment of 24-18 89 Street, Queens County, resulted in the recovery of a shrink-wrapped package of cocaine weighing about 125 grams, a pistol registered to Sierra, three digital scales and passports in the names of SIERRA and BEDOYA MURIEL.
The total weight of the drugs recovered from the car trunk and home was greater than four ounces.
Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan thanked her office’s Investigators and Trial Division, the New York City Police Department’s (NYPD) Internal Affairs Bureau and HSI New York.
"I thank our partners in the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD and Homeland Security Investigations for their professionalism, collaboration and commitment to this investigation. We all take very seriously any allegations of crimes commitment by law enforcement officers,” said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan.
"Police officers are charged with enforcing the law. Those who break it not only violate our sworn oath, they betray the public's trust in us," said NYPD Commissioner James P. O'Neill. "The NYPD will continue to investigate the type of illegal behavior described in today's complaint with the utmost seriousness."
“Sierra has disgraced the badge and violated the oath he took as a police officer when he crossed the line to the other side and began distributing narcotics,” said Angel Melendez, special agent in charge HSI New York. “HSI will remain steadfast in its commitment to arrest all those who flood our streets with dangerous drugs.”
The charges and allegations are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.Download Press Release
Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office
New York City Police Department
Rachel Yong Yow
ICE HSI New York