It started with an unrelated drug case. A person arrested recently said 25th District cops were mixed up in the narcotics trade. Word got to Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey via the Attorney General’s Bureau of Narcotics Investigations, so he personally called District Attorney Seth Williams. A sting was arranged.
On Monday night, police officers Sean Alivera and Christopher Luciano were arrested for allegedly attempting to rob someone they thought was a drug dealer who turned out to be an undercover city cop. Investigators said the officers intended to have an unnamed dealer they knew resell 20 pounds of marijuana they took.
Williams said some of the stolen $3,000 was in the officers’ pockets when they were arrested, in uniform, at the 25th District precinct. The undercover officer was still being held there.
“People think it’s OK to rob a drug dealer or to rape a prostitute because they won’t report it to police,” Williams said. “It’s not. For a police officer to do so is appalling.”
Ramsey said Alivera, 31, and Luciano, 23, “were not on our radar” before the investigation was initiated. Internal Affairs will investigate the partners’ previous arrests for any wrongdoing. “I can’t stand here and rule that out,” said Ramsey, noting the department will dismiss the officers and remove their badges from future service. “Losing a job is the least of their worries right now.”
The officers face robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment and other charges.
Asked about similarities between this case and three officers — including one from the 25th — arrested in July for allegedly shaking down a heroin dealer who turned out to be an undercover DEA agent, Ramsey said his anti-corruption push “could get worse before it gets better. We wouldn’t have to clean house if it wasn’t dirty in the first place.”