Feds Charge Queens Cop With Aiding Drug Dealer
A federal grand jury recently handed down an eight-count indictment charging a Queens police officer with supplying confidential NYPD information to a Jamaica, Queens drug dealer.
Police Officer Devon Daniels, 30, who was assigned to the 111th Precinct in Bayside, was indicted on August 10 on federal charges including four counts of making false statements to federal agents and four counts of accessing a computer database without permission, a criminal complaint states.
Daniels is accused of allegedly providing police information on license plates and narcotics probes in Jamaica, Queens, to local heroin dealer Guy Curtis, head of the “Pov City” drug organization, prosecutors said.
Daniels was arrested in May, after a wiretap established by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration revealed he was providing Curtis with police information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NYPD databases, prosecutors said.
Daniels pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to deal heroin in January 2012, authorities said. He was released on bail after his arraignment on the charges and suspended without pay by the NYPD. Daniels is also facing department sanctions, including possible termination, regardless of the outcome of the federal case.
A criminal complaint obtained by federal prosecutors outlined several incidents in which Daniels responded promptly to calls from Curtis and other members of the drug ring, authorities said.
Daniels is accused of helping Curtis skirt the law by running license plate information off an NYPD database, providing Daniels with an official NYPD parking placard and tipping him off with information on narcotics investigations, the complaint states.
Court documents revealed that Curtis had corresponded with Daniels on numerous occasions to seek his advice on sensitive police information regarding his associates. In one instance, Curtis asked Daniels “how to get gunshot residue off our hands”.
The two men communicated on a regular basis through a series of cellphone conversations and by sending text messages, the complaint states. On one occasion, Curtis sent a text message to Daniels that read, “Yo do them plates real quick,” and Curtis replied, “What u need I got it,” the complaint states.
The complaint alleges that Daniels asked Curtis for personal favors, including borrowing cash—and Curtis’ vehicles. The federal wiretap revealed one conversation where Daniels asked Curtis to help him acquire “any working revolver”, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said Daniels went to great lengths to assist Curtis, including one incident in which the cop drove Curtis’ vehicle to a crime scene where a drug associate had been arrested.
Daniels identified himself as an NYPD officer to police at the scene and requested information from the arresting officer—and then passed the information to Curtis, the complaint states.
The investigation also revealed that Daniels had conspired with Curtis, allowing him to use his bank account to transfer funds between suspected Kansas drug dealer Jermaine Ward and Curtis.
On one occasion, Ward wired $3,500 to Daniels’ bank account—funds the cop later withdrew and turned over to Curtis, prosecutors said.
The complaint alleges that Daniels often ran criminal background checks for Curtis on an NYPD database to gather license plate information, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement officials did not specify how, or when Daniels and Curtis were first acquainted and did not provide a motive for the cop’s illegal actions. But police sources said the two men “had been good friends for a lot of years”.
Federal investigators kicked off their probe of Pov City’s connection with the Kansas heroin trafficking organization in October 2009, the complaint states. The feds partnered with the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service in their investigation, a move that ultimately led agents to Curtis and revealed Daniels’ illegal activities.