NYPD Confidential - An Inside Look at the New York Police Department
Home Page
All Columns
Contact Leonard Levitt
Search this site
Printable versionSend to a friendEmail Leonard Levitt

Probe of drug payoffs widens: Busted cop gives names of 3 others

December 9, 2003

A retired detective charged along with his onetime partner with ripping off a drug dealer has implicated three other officers in a widening corruption probe, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

One of the newly named officers is a retired detective from the Manhattan North narcotics division and the other two are detectives from a drug-enforcement task force, also believed to be in Manhattan North, according to officials who did not wish to be named.

Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for the office of U.S. Attorney Roslyn Mauskopf, which is prosecuting the retired detective, Thomas Rachko, and former Det. Julio Vasquez declined to comment.

Authorities said Rachko and Vasquez were arrested last month after they were caught on video by an undercover task force as they took $169,000 from a drug courier in Astoria. The two were wearing NYPD raid jackets, according to the federal criminal complaint. The money has not been recovered, officials say.

Rachko, who retired last year, had been Vasquez's partner in Manhattan North narcotics. Vasquez, an 18-year veteran who was working for the department's Firearms Investigation Unit when he was arrested, has resigned from the force.

David Goldstein, attorney for Rachko, declined to comment on whether Rachko has implicated other officers.

Chief Charles Campisi, who heads the Internal Affairs Division, declined to comment.

Phil Karasyk, an attorney representing Vasquez, said he expects Vasquez to hire another lawyer. Law enforcement sources said prosecutors had raised the possibility of a conflict of interest for Karasyk's firm, which also represents the Detectives Endowment Association union.

The sources said the government feared a repeat of the conflict that involved Stephen Worth, an attorney for the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, who represented former Officer Chuck Schwarz, one of the officers convicted of sodomizing Abner Louima. A federal appeals panel cited Worth's conflict as one of the reasons it ordered a new trial for Schwarz, who eventually pleaded guilty.

« Back to top

© 2003 Newsday, Inc. Reprinted with permission.