September 19th, 2012
NYPD officer sentenced in firearms scheme
NEW YORK, NY - Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Gary Ortiz, a former New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer, was recently sentenced to one year and one day in prison for engaging in a scheme involving the illegal interstate transport of firearms and stolen goods. Ortiz was sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Justice has been served today against Gary Ortiz, who tarnished his badge, violated the laws he swore to uphold, and betrayed his fellow officers, the NYPD, and the residents of New York City he swore to protect.”
According to the court filings and statements made in the court:
From December 2010 to October 2011, Ortiz, who joined the conspiracy in February 2011, and his co-conspirators, transported firearms and stolen goods, including cigarettes and other merchandise, across state lines. Ortiz was an active duty NYPD officer at the time he committed the offenses.
Ortiz helped steal hundreds of cases of cigarettes from trucks parked outside a warehouse and then transported the stolen cigarettes from Virginia to New York. He also participated in a scheme to transport 20 firearms, including three M-16 rifles, one shotgun, and 16 handguns - the majority of which had been defaced to remove or alter the serial number, and all of which had been disabled - from New Jersey to New York.
The total street value of the goods Ortiz helped transport across state lines was approximately $1 million. In total, Ortiz was paid $18,000 for his role in the schemes.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Gardephe sentenced Ortiz, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, to two years of supervised release and ordered him to pay a $200 special assessment fee. Ortiz also has agreed to a money judgment of $18,000 representing his share of the crime proceeds, and has relinquished his interests in guns that were seized from him at the time of his arrest.
Ortiz was originally charged in a four-count complaint along with 11 co-conspirators, many of whom were fellow NYPD officers. All of the defendants have now pled guilty, except Ali Oklu, an active duty NYPD officer at the time he allegedly committed the offenses. The charges and allegations against Oklu are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption and Complex Frauds Units. Assistant United States Attorney Carrie H. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.