PROSTITUTION RING BUSTED: POLICE ARRESTED

September 18, 2018 at 4:45 am

A prostitution and gambling ring was busted in Brooklyn and Queens. The three-year investigation resulted in the arrest of seven NYPD officers. Two other officers were stripped of their guns and shields. We have the details on the case rocking 1 Police Plaza.

Aired on September 17, 2018. 

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>>> SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN POLICE
OFFICERS WHO ARE SWORN TO UPHOLD
THE LAW ALLEGEDLY BREAK IT?
LAST WEEK, SEVEN NYPD OFFICERS
WERE ARRESTED AS A RESULT OF A
THREE-YEAR INVESTIGATION INTO A
MULTIMILLION DOLLAR PROSTITUTION
AND GAMBLING RING.
THE OPERATION RAN THROUGH
BROOKLYN, QUEENS, AND LONG
ISLAND.
ACCORDING TO INVESTIGATORS, WAS
MASTERMINDED BY ONE MAN, RETIRED
NYPD VICE DETECTIVE LUDWIG PAZ.
A 20-YEAR VETERAN OF THE NYPD,
ALONG WITH HIS WIFE.
HERE WITH THE DETILES IS "NEW
YORK TIMES" MICHAEL WILSON.
NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.
>> THANK YOU.
>> BEFORE WE GET TO THE
PERSONALITIES INVOLVED, LET'S
START OFF WITH HOW THIS
INVESTIGATION GOT STARTED.
>> THIS CASE BEGINS WITH A TIP
FROM WITHIN THE POLICE
DEPARTMENT.
A POLICE OFFICER CALLED THE
INTERNAL AFFAIRS BUREAU AND
REPORTED THIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITY
GOING ON.
AND THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS SET UP
AN INVESTIGATION.
THERE WAS SURVEILLANCE, A LOT OF
WIRETAPS, THOUSANDS AND
THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF WIRETAPS,
AND THEY FOLLOWED THE PEOPLE
AROUND, JUST TO FIGURE OUT WHO
IS DOING WHAT, WHAT IS THE
STRUCTURE AND SCOPE AND SCALE OF
THIS THING.
AND THREE YEARS LATER, THEY
RAIDED SIMULTANEOUSLY SEVEN OR
EIGHT BROTHELS IN THREE
COUNTIES, BROOKLYN, QUEENS, AND
NASSAU.
>> GIVE US A SENSE OF THE
CONTOURS OF THE PROSTITUTION
RINGS AND THE GAMBLING RINGS.
>> THE MAJOR OPERATION WAS THE
PROSTITUTION.
THAT'S WHERE THEY TOOK IN $2
MILLION IN THE COURSE OF A YEAR
LAST YEAR.
THE GAMBLING WAS KIND OF A
TRADITIONAL NUMBERS OPERATION,
WHERE YOU ARE TAKING BETS FROM
THE COMMUNITY.
IT'S A MONEY MAKER, BUT NOT LIKE
THE PROSTITUTION.
AND IT'S ALL MASTERMINDED,
ALLEGEDLY, BY A RETIRED
DETECTIVE.
>> TALK ABOUT HIM.
>> LUDWIG PAZ DID HIS 20 AND
OUT, WHICH IS AS SOME OFFICERS
DO.
HE RETIRED IN 2010.
AND THE POLICE SAY THAT STARTING
THEN, OR EVEN SOONER, HE WAS
INVOLVED IN THIS PROSTITUTION
BUSINESS.
NOW, HE WAS A VICE OFFICER, SO
THAT WAS HIS ENTREE,
INTRODUCTION INTO THIS WORLD.
>> SO HE KNOWS THE LANDSCAPE.
>> HE KNOWS THE LANDSCAPE.
HE KNOWS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED.
HE KNOWS THE OTHER SIDE.
HE KNOWS HOW POLICE INVESTIGATE
THESE.
AND THEY COULD USE THAT
KNOWLEDGE TO AVOID DETECTION,
WHICH HE DID FOR MULTIPLE YEARS.
>> HOW ABOUT THE OTHER POLICE
OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED,
WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST
THEM AND WHAT WERE THEIR ROLES
IN THIS OPERATION?
>> THEY VARIED.
ALL THE WAY FROM DOORMEN,
ACCEPTING CASH OUTSIDE AN
APARTMENT BUILDING WHERE THERE
WAS A BROTHEL INSIDE, TO
ARRESTING COMPETING PROSTITUTION
OPERATIONS.
THESE GUYS WOULD BREAK UP THE
COMPETITION, LOCK THEM UP.
TO MOST NOTORIOUSLY, TIPPING OFF
PAZ TO A POLICE INVESTIGATION
COMING THEIR WAY, UP TO AND
INCLUDING CALLING HIM AND
DESCRIBING, AND THIS IS BEYOND
TABU IN LAW ENFORCEMENT CIRCLES,
PHYSICALLY DESCRIBING AN
UNDERCOVER OFFICER WHO IS COMING
TO A BROTHEL IN THE COURSE OF AN
INVESTIGATION.
YOU ARE NOW OUT THING GUY.
NO ONE WAS HURT OR INJURED IN
THAT REGARD, BUT THAT REALLY
SEEMED TO PERSONALLY OFFEND A
LOT OF THE POLICE OFFICERS.
>> SOME OF THE METHODS THAT ARE
ALLEGED HERE THAT THE RINGLEADER
USED TO PROTECT AGAINST
UNDERCOVER OPERATIVES COMING
INTO THE SITUATION, JUST GIVE ME
A SENSE OF SOME OF THE THINGS
THEY ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN
DOING.
>> THE ONE THAT IS THE MOST
COLORFUL AND GRAPHIC.
POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT ALLOWED
TO EXPOS THEMSELVES WHILE
INTERACTING WITH A PROSTITUTE.
>> WHILE UNDERCOVER.
>> YEAH.
SO FORMER DETECTIVE PAZ KNEW
THIS, SO HE SET UP THE FIRST
THING YOU HAD TO DO AS A
CUSTOMER AT ONE OF HIS PLACES,
WAS EXPOSE YOURSELF.
>> THAT WAS HIS LITMUS TEST.
>> EXACTLY.
>> SO A DETECTIVE MIGHT SAY, I
DON'T WANT TO DO THAT, THAT'S
WEIRD.
AND HE WOULD SAY, OUT.
>> HOW HAS THE TOP LEVEL OF THE
NYPD RESPONDED TO THESE
ALLEGATIONS?
>> COMMISSIONER O'NEIL WAS
OPENLY ANGRY AT HIS PRESS
APPEARANCES THE OTHER DAY WHEN
THESE CHARGES WERE ANNOUNCED.
HE SAID EVERY MEMBER OF THIS
POLICE DEPARTMENT, YOUR BADGE
HAS BEEN TARNISHED BY THESE
INDIVIDUALS, AND YOU HAVE A
RIGHT TO BE ANGRY, AS WELL.
TO THEIR CREDIT, A LOT OF THESE
TIMES, A LOT OF THESE KINDS OF
CORRUPTION CASES COME FROM THE
OUTSIDE.
LIKE A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION.
THIS CAME FROM WITHIN.
STARTING WITH THAT TIPSTER, THE
POLICE OFFICER WHO BLEW THE
WHISTLE.
THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS
REMINDING US THAT WE SOLVED OUR
OWN PROBLEM FROM WITHIN.
>> AND SOMETIMES THE ALLEGATION
AGAINST THE POLICE DEPARTMENT
HAS BEEN, YOU CAN'T POLICE
WITHIN YOUR OWN WALLS.
BUT THIS SEEMS TO BE A SITUATION
WHERE THE NYPD SAYS WE ARE
POLICING WITHIN OUR OWN WALLS
ARE.
THEY ANTICIPATING ANY ADDITIONAL
ARRESTS TO BE MADE, ESPECIALLY
ANY OTHER POLICE OFFICERS?
>> WE'RE TOLD THEY'RE NOT
ANTICIPATING ARRESTING ANY OTHER
POLICE OFFICERS AT THIS TIME.
THEY ALWAYS SAY THAT COULD
CHANGE BASED ON NEW INFORMATION.
BUT THEY HAVE THE SEVEN ACTIVE
OFFICERS AND THE RETIRED PAZ.
MORE CIVILIANS I THINK ARE IN
THE LINEUP FOR BEING ARRESTED.
I'M NOT SURE.
>> MIKE, A FASCINATING STORY.
EXTRAORDINARY INVESTIGATION,
GREAT REPORTING BY YOU AND YOUR
COLLEAGUES AT "THE NEW YORK
TIMES."
WE'LL TALK AGAIN.

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Funders

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