Federal authorities believe this SUV was part of an elaborate gang of seven men who posed as police officers and robbed drug dealers on Long Island.
Instead, they ended up in some very real cuffs. As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reports exclusively, the FBI said they had an inside man.
The informant posing as a robber was dropped off at a diner, where he sounded the all clear to his partners in crime waiting on nearby Roselle Street in Mineola. At 4:26 a.m.
they exited their vehicles, quickly sneaking toward the bounty — a warehouse filled with cocaine.
“[At] 4:30 in the morning my wife and I were awoken to what sounded like gunshots,” homeowner Carlos Valderrama said.
Valderrama said 50 FBI agents had jumped out of vans they were hiding in right in front of his house and wrestled thugs to the ground. Witnesses said the suspects were all impersonating cops
“I think the worst part about it … these men posing as police officers are conducting criminal activities,” Valderrama said.
Court documents obtained by CBS 2 said the seven-man group had allegedly been running the ruse and posing as law enforcement as far back as 2010, tying up drug dealers in order to rob them of narcotics.
The warehouse on Roselle Street was empty. There was no cocaine inside. Agents said the suspects left behind damaging evidence — their SUV with New Jersey plates.
“It’s been here since Friday and it’s getting tickets, and there’s an FBI paper in there, because I walked by,” body shop owner David Martins said.
On the driver’s seat, in clear view, the FBI outlined what it had confiscated — knives, packing tape, work gloves, cell phones and BlackBerrys.
“Right there I live. I slept through the whole thing. Oh my god! What’s wrong with people?” homeowner Elizabeth White said.
No one was hurt in the raid. The SUV remained on the street as investigators waited to see who might dare claim it.
The seven suspected fake cop drug robbers are all behind bars, and will have a date in federal court later this week.