Disgraced cop Emmanuel Tavarez pleads guilty to robbing drug dealers; faces 30 years in prison
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, April 25th 2011, 6:40 PM
Emmanuel Tavarez's wife wept in the courtroom as the 8-year-veteran of the force admitted he sold out his badge.
"I participated in the robberies of drug dealers," Tavarez said. "I was a lookout."
Tavarez, 31, copped to the crimes that could put him away until he's a senior citizen on the eve of jury selection for his trial in Brooklyn Federal Court.
Defense lawyer Raymond Colon said Tavarez made the decision based on the "crushing weight" of the evidence. The cop has no plea deal with the government.
"It's a tragic situation for the Tavarez family," Colon told The Daily News. "This was a young man with a lot of promise."
Tavarez was a promising professional baseball prospect before he joined the NYPD. When he was arrested last May he was only days away from being approved for a tax-free pension for a line-of-duty injury that would have been worth well over $1 million over his lifetime.
But the cop's greed led him to associate with criminals who used Tavarez's status as a cop to carry out the armed robberies. The stolen drugs were later sold and the profits split.
Tavarez said he personally participated in stickups in Connecticut and Long Island.
Prosecutors said Tavarez used his badge to falsify search warrants, provided NYPD raid jackets and other paraphrenalia to the crew and restrained one victim with handcuffs.
Tavarez denied that he loaned his service gun to a crew member.
He faces 30 to 40 years in prison when he's sentenced in July by Federal Judge Sandra Townes.
Members of the NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau informed the lawyer that Tavarez was terminated from the force as a result of his guilty plea.