Earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, Emmanuel Tavarez pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine, and the use of a firearm in relation to these crimes for his participation in multiple armed robberies of narcotics traffickers in the New York City metropolitan area and elsewhere while he was employed as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. The guilty plea proceeding was held before United States Magistrate Judge Viktor V. Pohorelsky. When sentenced by United States District Judge Sandra L. Townes, Tavarez faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The conviction was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

As alleged in the indictment and other court filings by the government, Tavarez participated in a violent robbery crew responsible for more than 100 armed robberies of narcotics traffickers that netted more than 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million in drug proceeds. Tavarez was an eight-year veteran of the NYPD, most recently assigned to the NYPD’s Housing Bureau Viper Unit in Queens.

Tavarez allegedly used his police badge and falsified search warrants to stage searches and seizures of narcotics traffickers during which he and other coconspirators stole drugs and money from the traffickers. During one of these robberies, Tavarez restrained a victim with handcuffs. He also used his status as a police officer to obtain NYPD raid jackets and other NYPD paraphernalia and equipment for the crew so that they would appear to be authentic police officers.

In announcing the guilty plea, Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the New York City Police Department – the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation – and thanked the New York State Police, the Bridgeport Police Department, and the Philadelphia Police Department for their assistance.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Stephen Meyer, Sylvia Shweder, and Alexander Solomon.

The Defendant:

Age: 31