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Corrupt NYPD cop brought down after NJ robbery

In the past two years, the New York Police Department has been under a spotlight. Prosecutors have charged officers with corruption that included planting evidence in drug crime investigations, illegal gun running, holding up drug dealers, and fixing traffic tickets on a routine basis. The department has been under scrutiny for its out-of-town surveillance of mosques as part of its anti-terrorism, with critics charging that these operations constituted civil rights violations.

Several cases have spilled over into New Jersey. A former New York City intelligence unit officer, now in prison, asserted that he had permission to obtain a New Jersey driver's license under his undercover alias. Department officials have been silent on how Kelvin Jones became an undercover officer. However, former unnamed police officials who spoke to reporters said that eventually Jones became more of a liability than an asset to the department's operations. He was alleged to have given protection to drug dealers, receiving narcotics or cash payments in return.

His lifestyle, flashy for someone on a police officer's salary, included a BMW, expensive clothes, owned a condo and paid for his girlfriend's studies. Jones was ultimately demoted to ordinary patrol duties. Although a demotion, his new status still gave him access to NYPD databases and information. And he used what he had learned as an undercover cop to enrich himself.

He was finally brought down by his partners in a scheme to rob a Carlstadt, New Jersey, warehouse that stored high-end perfumes and toiletries. Although Jones employed the strategies he had learned as an undercover cop, such as using burner phones, aliases and out-of-state license plates, his partners rented moving trucks in their own names and used their own credit cards as payment. Moreover, Jones only paid them $2,000 each, half of the amount originally promised. In any event, they testified against him at his 2010 Newark trial.

Jones met the officers, who already had scams underway to rob prostitutes and street dealers, once he was demoted to patrol. Jones believed that street level robbery was not worth the risk - he wanted something big. He eventually brought several current and former officers into his operation, beginning with the successful robbery of a Brooklyn warehouse that stored counterfeit designer clothing. The New Jersey warehouse robbery occurred several months later. Jones is serving a 16-year prison sentence.

Source: ABC News, "Corruption Case Shines Light on NYPD," by Tom Hays, Apr. 22, 2012.

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