Posts tagged Jose Colon

Gangsters in Blue (#2)

Here is what the gangsters in blue do when you mess with their game:

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — A Queens bar owner claims the NYPD is trying to run him out of business because he helped prove his patrons were framed in a fake drug-dealing sting.

Eduardo Espinoza, 36, of Elmhurst, was hit with more than a dozen violations from the 110th Precinct — including two for failing to have liquid soap and paper towels in his bar bathroom — after handing over a videotape suggesting undercover officers made up a buy-and-bust deal in his club in January.

I been harassed so much, I’m selling my business, said Espinoza, owner of Delicias de Mi Tierra on 91st Place in Elmhurst.

Every two to three weeks, there’s cops in here, searching the bar. If there’s no violation, they’ll make it up. I lost all my clients — everybody’s scared to come in my place right now.

Espinoza was working in his bar about 1:40 a.m. on Jan. 5 when undercover officers busted brothers Jose and Maximo Colon and friends Raul Duchimasa and Luis Rodriguez for allegedly peddling $100 worth of cocaine.

Queens prosecutors dropped those charges last week because of Espinoza’s security video showing that the undercover officers had no contact with them in the bar, Colon’s lawyer said.

Prosecutors and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau are investigating whether to bring charges against the officers. Investigators are also poring over the officers’ prior cases for signs of misconduct, sources said.

An NYPD spokesman said the department would look into the matter. But sources blamed the frequent police visits on community complaints.

Espinoza said he thinks police are retaliating against him because of a strange phone call he received shortly before the harassment began.

A man who identified himself as the officer who made the drug arrest in his club demanded to know if Espinoza had taped the events of that night.

I said I already gave it to the defendants, Espinoza said, He said, Oh s—t. He hung up.

Espinoza, who has owned the bar for 2-1/2 years, said he’d gotten only two summonses before this year.

Most of his summonses have been tossed — including one for having an 8-foot neon sign without a permit, he said.

He’s still fighting a $2,500 fine from the Buildings Department for being overcapacity and a summons for ignoring police orders when he tried to park outside the 110th Precinct stationhouse last month.

I knew they were innocent from the first moment, Espinoza said of the framed men. I felt so bad, I put myself in their shoes. Now [the cops] keep harassing me.

— Nicole Bode, New York Daily News (2008-07-01): Bar owner: Cops harassing me after fake bust

(Via Bad Cop News 2008-07-04, via Drug War Chronicle 2008-07-11.)