An indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Amaury Abreu, an NYPD Police Officer, and two co-defendants, Julio Bautista and Gustavo Valerio, with conspiring to import and distribute cocaine. Between at least January 2016 and October 2020, Abreu, Bautista and Valerio were allegedly members of a multinational drug trafficking organization (DTO) with distributors in the New York-metropolitan area and the Dominican Republic. The indictment also charges Bautista and a fourth defendant, Cesar Diaz-Bautista, with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. A fifth defendant, Junior Ortiz, is charged in a complaint with cocaine importation conspiracy. Abreu, Julio Bautista, Cesar Diaz-Bautista, Valerio and Ortiz were arrested this morning and are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara.
Seth D. DuCharme, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Peter C. Fitzhugh, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York (HSI), William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Madeline Singas, Nassau County District Attorney, and Dermot F. Shea, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the arrests and charges.
“As alleged, Police Officer Abreu conspired with drug traffickers who distributed large quantities of cocaine in the Eastern District of New York. By joining forces with his co-conspirators, Abreu has allegedly committed serious crimes, disgraced his NYPD badge and betrayed the public trust as well as fellow members of law enforcement who put their lives on the line to interdict drugs that endanger our communities,” stated Acting United States Attorney DuCharme. Mr. DuCharme thanked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Field Division, HSI Office of Inspector General, the New York City Police Department’s Internal Affair Bureau and the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York for their assistance with the investigation.
“Abreu is a sworn law enforcement officer who abused his badge and brought shame to his brothers and sisters in blue with his alleged involvement in a drug trafficking organization. There is no such thing as being above the law and we will stop anyone who exploits their position in public trust to conduct illicit acts. Dismantling this dangerous criminal organization is critical to protecting the homeland and our communities and HSI, working with its law enforcement partners, remains committed to making sure that Abreu, along with his co-conspirators, will face the consequences of their actions,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Fitzhugh.
“Officer Abreu and his co-conspirators served as a direct pipeline for the importation and distribution of cocaine in our city, as we allege today. While Abreu’s principal role in the DTO was more behind the scenes than out on the street, his double-dealing method of providing information and guidance to those who were on the front line of the illegal enterprise put the lives and safety of both the citizens of this city and his fellow NYPD officers at risk. The law enforcement community has no tolerance for imposters like Abreu, and we’ll be the first to show them the door when they engage in illegal activity of this magnitude,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.
“This criminal network allegedly trafficked more than 350 kilos of cocaine and was assisted by an NYPD officer, who used his knowledge and access to help them stay one step ahead of the law,” stated District Attorney Singas. “I am grateful we were able to assist our partners at the Eastern District of New York, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations in unraveling this complex narcotics ring, which flooded New York with illicit drugs.”
“There is no place for corruption in the NYPD and it will always be prosecuted fully. We commend our IAB investigators and law enforcement partners in this case,” stated NYPD Commissioner Shea.
As set forth in the indictment and other court filings, the DTO imported multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine into the United States through a variety of means, including by sending drug couriers on flights to the United States, concealing narcotics in mail and tractor trucks that entered the United States from Mexico, and concealing narcotics in produce shipments that were imported into the United States. Since 2016, law enforcement agents have seized more than 350 kilograms of cocaine belonging to the DTO.
As alleged, Abreu, Bautista and Valerio played key roles in the DTO. Specifically, Bautista and Valerio were high-ranking members of the DTO based in New York, and were responsible for distributing and overseeing the distribution of cocaine once it arrived in New York. Abreu used his position as a police officer to protect his co-conspirators by providing information to the DTO about law enforcement procedures, performing warrant checks on DTO members on the NYPD arrest database and, on at least one occasion, distributing cocaine for the DTO. For example, in January 2016, Abreu messaged the DTO’s leadership, stating: “Today I’m going to find out the thing I couldn’t yesterday because there were too many people at the office.” One day later, Abreu messaged the DTO’s leadership that an associate of the DTO was “fine, because here in New York you don’t see information from another state when we run a license from another state only if they’re wanted so if they stop him tell him to say he lives in Pennsylvania and not in New York and it’s cool . . . .” On March 11, 2016, the DTO’s leadership sent Abreu a message containing defendant Valerio’s full name, date of birth and social security number. An audit of the NYPD’s arrest database revealed on that same day, Abreu searched for Valerio’s name in the warrants database despite having no legitimate law enforcement purpose for doing so. Ortiz allegedly operated a produce importation business that accepted shipments of cocaine from the DTO.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants each face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment and a maximum of life imprisonment on each of the charges.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section. Assistant United States Attorney Erin Reid is in charge of the prosecution.
Hauppauge, New York
Roosevelt, New York
Roosevelt, New York
South Ozone Park, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 20-CR-433 (RRM)
Uniondale, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 20-MJ-243