An NYPD cop was arrested as part of a violent robbery crew that stole 750 kilos of cocaine and $4 million from drug dealers - and then resold the dope, federal prosecutors charged Friday.
Jorge Arbaje-Diaz, on the job three years and assigned to the Bronx, was arrested at 11 p.m. Thursday for his role in at least 100 robberies along the East Coast, authorities said.
The 30-year-old officer used his job to enter the homes of some victims, and in one case participated in an armed robbery while wearing his NYPD uniform, badge, gun and handcuffs, the indictment said.
"The crimes committed by Arbaje-Diaz are a slap in the face to the vast majority of law enforcement officers who are dedicated to upholding the law," said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent John Gilbride.
"For the men and women in law enforcement, this crime is especially disgraceful." Arbaje-Diaz, known to his co-conspirators as "Shorty," was named along with Felix Rodriguez, 31, and Alfredo Antonio Acosta, 34, in the indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court.
The story of the crooked cop and the violent stick-up gang was first reported Oct. 13 in the Daily News.
Diaz and an unidentified retired NYPD officer were part of the violent gang that kidnapped and sexually tortured some of their victims, police sources said Friday.
"He sold his badge," a police source said of Diaz. "And worse, he put drugs back on the street instead of taking them off."
The earlier indictment charged the crooks wore flak jackets and flashed badges, occasionally pulling their victims' cars over in police-style traffic stops complete with lights and sirens.
A dozen members of the crew were named in earlier Brooklyn federal indictments. The gang sometimes used torture to force the drug dealers to tell where they stashed the drugs and money, court papers showed.
Most of the attacks occurred in Queens, the Bronx and upper Manhattan, although drug dealers were also targeted in Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina over the last five years.
By ALISON GENDAR and LARRY McSHANE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Updated Friday, October 31st 2008, 10:57 AM