NYPD Officers Convicted for Theft and Misconduct

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

By Mathew Seibert and Emma Kantor

MANHATTAN, NY – Two New York Police Dept. officers were convicted last week by Manhattan juries for stealing cash from an undercover police officer during an “integrity test.”

District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg announced the trial convictions Thursday of NYPD Officers Joseph Stokes and Jose Aracena.

Scheduled to be sentenced May 4, Aracena, who separately stole $220, was convicted of larceny and official misconduct. Stokes, who is scheduled to be sentenced on April 13, stole $4,800 and was convicted of grand larceny in the third degree and official misconduct.

DA Bragg said, “New Yorkers must be able to trust that law enforcement officials are held to the same standards of justice as everyone else.”

According to the press release, on Oct. 29, 2019, the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau conducted an integrity test at approximately 1:45 a.m.

Stokes and Aracena pulled over an alleged intoxicated driver, who was an undercover officer, at a traffic stop on Stanton and Orchard Streets on the Lower East Side.

The two police officers arrested the undercover officer and brought him to the NYPD’s Seventh Precinct for processing.

During the processing, each of the officers separately searched the undercover officer’s car.

Upon Stokes’ search, he found several containers of hidden money disguised as fruit punch and soda. Surveillance video captured the officer hiding two of them under his own car. These hidden disguised money containers held approximately $4,800.

The undercover officer informed Stokes that these containers had money inside of them, to which Stokes claimed he threw them out in a passing garbage truck.

But, later that day, members of the Internal Affairs Bureau found the two containers under Stokes’ car.

During Aracena’s search for registration and paperwork in the glove compartment, hidden cameras in the undercover officer’s car captured Aracena taking $120 from inside the compartment and another $100 from the center console.

Aracena told Stokes that upon his search he did not find any money in the car, and this money was never vouchered.

DA Bragg expressed gratitude toward the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for its assistance with the investigation and hoped to make it clear that if “you serve the public and break the law, my office can and will pursue a full measure of justice and hold you accountable.”

About The Author

Mathew is a student enrolled at California State University of Long Beach. I also grew up here in Long Beach California. He aspires to join the military right after he graduates. After his service, he is interested in a career in federal law enforcement or the fire department.

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