Two Queens police officers charged with bribery

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Two police officers, both stationed in Queens, have been charged with accepting cash payments ranging from $40 to $1,500 for copies of official police accident reports, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.

“The defendants are alleged to have been operating independently of each other in this accident victim solicitation scheme,” said Brown, who made the announcement jointly with Kelly Thursday.

“However, what they allegedly did have in common was that they both tarnished their NYPD badges by exploiting the misfortune of others to unjustly enrich themselves.”

Brown said the defendants were Danny Cano, 36, who is assigned to the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights and Roberto Espinal, 44, of the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst.

Both were arraigned Thursday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Gene Lopez.

Cano is charged with nine counts of third-degree bribe receiving and one count of official misconduct. Espinal is charged with two counts of third-degree bribe receiving, five counts of second-degree bribe receiving and one count of official misconduct.

The defendants each face up to seven years in prison if convicted. Both were ordered to return to court Oct.9.

“I commend the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for initiating this investigation and for its unrelenting dedication to rooting out corruption and cases of misconduct,” said Kelley.

Brown thanked the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and New York Central Mutual Co. for assistance in the investigation.

Updated 1:30 pm, September 20, 2013
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