Statement as Delivered by Special Agent in Charge Diego Rodriguez on This Morning’s Arrests

Early this morning, FBI agents and detectives from the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau effected the arrests of 12 men, all but two of whom are current or former law enforcement officers. The arrests are the culmination of a long-term FBI undercover investigation.

The criminal complaint lays out a scheme of brazen misconduct that include the illegal transportation of stolen cigarettes and stolen slot machines, the illegal transportation firearms, and the illegal transportation of defaced firearms.

The weapons included three M-16 rifles, one shotgun, and 16 handguns.

All of these crimes were seemingly committed for one simple reason: money. For their participation in the various schemes—cigarettes, slot machines, guns—the defendants were paid handsomely.

What they didn’t know was that two of the key members of the conspiracy were an FBI informant and an undercover operative introduced by the informant.

It goes without saying that crimes of this sort are reprehensible—particularly conspiring to import untraceable guns and assault rifles into New York.

When sworn public servants of any stripe—but especially sworn law enforcement officers—abuse their positions and commit crimes, it undermines public confidence in all of us.

Law enforcement officers are rightly held to a higher standard of conduct than the public at large. We accept that and embrace it. It is fundamental to the work we do.

At a very minimum, the public has the right to expect that those sworn to enforce the law will themselves abide by the law.

I want to thank the U.S. Attorney and his staff. And I want to emphasize the strong partnership with the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau, Chief Campesi, and Commissioner Kelly. And I want to commend the work of FBI case agents Kenneth Hosey and William Inzerillo and supervisors Robert Hennigan and Gavin Shea.