A Sergeant from the Internal Affairs Bureau of the New York Police Department, (you know, the guys in charge of rooting out bad cops), has been charged with buying a stolen iPhone. He was arrested in a sting set up by fellow officers.
Internal Affairs Bureau Sgt. Victor Leandry was scooped up in a Dec. 3 sting in Washington Heights after buying a $15 Apple device from a plainclothes cop on the street — but his lawyer said he can’t be charged because he was never told the phone was hot.
“Tourists flock to this city every day from other countries to engage in the experience of buying goods on the streets of New York City,” said the lawyer, John D’Alessandro. “There is nothing criminal about it.”
Police have been focusing in recent months on small businesses suspected of paying teens to steal handheld devices — especially Apple devices — to be sold on the black market.
In the sting Sgt. Leandry was caught in, police set out to sell “stolen” devices to merchants in Washington Heights, D’Alessandro said. The lawyer says instead, a female police officer approached Leandry and badgered him until he agreed to buy the phone for $15. That was all Leandry had on him, according to the lawyer. (Good thing cops usually eat lunch for free.)
Leandry denies that the device was ever offered as stolen property, according to D’Alessandro, adding, “It was a poorly planned operation. There’s no video … and we end up with a sergeant who has his reputation dragged through the mud.”
Leandry was charged with possession of stolen property. He is due in court January 15th.