A Brooklyn federal court judge has delayed the sentencing of a former 109th Precinct officer who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in December after new evidence surfaced that he and other officers allegedly planted drugs at crime scenes in order to make arrests, according to court papers.
Judge Sandra Townes delayed the sentencing of Dennis Kim, originally scheduled for Friday, after the prosecution said a cooperating witness revealed the new information.
Kim, 31, pleaded guilty Dec. 27 to conspiracy to commit extortion while serving as a police officer for the 109th Precinct after prosecutors accused him of taking part in a scheme in which he and his partner gave protection to a Flushing brothel in exchange for cash and information that helped them raid and close several of its competitors, according to court papers.
In a letter to Townes ahead of Friday's scheduled sentencing, however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Monica Ryan said a cooperating witness had revealed that Kim and other members of the 109th's Conditions Unit occasionally engaged in a practice known as "flaking."
"The [cooperating witness] explained that when officers stopped an individual whom they suspected of drug possession, but upon whom no drugs were found, the officers on occasion planted a small amount of drugs on that individual (or "flaked" him) so they could effect an arrest," Ryan wrote.
In the letter, Ryan also said the witness told prosecutors that members of the same unit allegedly pocketed as much as $3,000 during illegal gambling raids.
"The [cooperating witness] reported that the defendant and other members of the Conditions Unit never took money in front of new team members or in front of a particular sergeant who was known to be "by the book" when it came to vouchering money," Ryan wrote.
Kim was arrested along with his partner, Jerry Svoronos, in March 2006 as part of an investigation that led to the breakup of an international prostitution ring that spanned several states along the eastern seaboard.
Svoronos also pleaded guilty and has been cooperating with authorities, but it was not immediately known if he had provided the new information.
According to court papers, Kim admitted in December to cultivating a relationship with Geeho Chae, who owned several brothels with his partner, former Flushing resident Gina Kim, including one at 57-24 164th St. Gina Kim is not related to the officer.
Kim said that during the course of his undercover police work, Chae paid several of his bar bills and gave him money that he used to buy gifts for his family, the court papers said. Kim said his partner also received sexual services from the prostitutes employed at Chae's brothel, the court papers said.
Under federal guidelines, Kim would likely have been sentenced to between 12 and 18 months in prison, but Townes may now opt to increase his sentence.
Townes has not yet set a new date for Kim's sentencing.
Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@
©2008 Community News Group
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