Detective Stole Newport Cigarettes
Late last month, a longtime Bronx detective showed up at a home in Fordham Heights around midnight, wearing a New York Police Department jacket and flashing a badge and a piece of paper he said was a search warrant, according to a criminal complaint.
Once inside the home, the detective, Kyron Collins, searched widely, forcing a closet open with a knife and upturning a mattress, which revealed some $7,000 in cash, according to the complaint. Detective Collins took not only the money, but also several bags full of cartons of Newport cigarettes, according to the complaint.
The criminal complaint accuses the two men and Detective Collins, who is 39 and a 16-year veteran of the force, of a robbery conspiracy that began in October and was aimed at vendors who sell black-market cigarettes.
Around the time the conspiracy began, the Police Department began to see evidence of a larger pattern of crime against such vendors, according to the complaint. In some instances, a group of people pretended to want to buy contraband cigarettes, only to then rob the sellers. But in more than one instance, the robbers “pretended to have a search warrant for the victims’ residences,” according to the complaint.
New York is home to a thriving black market of untaxed cigarettes, which street vendors sell for about $7 a pack, half of what a properly taxed pack may cost at a newsstand.
Detective Collins was released on a bond. The two other men arrested, Juan Carlos Arvelo and Ammar Alkamel, were also released on bond.
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