A 17-year veteran of the New York City Police Department pleaded not guilty in a federal court in Brooklyn Thursday to charges he was involved with a crew that robbed drug dealers while posing as officers.
Officer Jose Tejada will remain behind bars after being remanded without bail.
Tejada is accused of participating in at least three robberies and attempted robberies in 2006 and 2007.
The crew allegedly committed more than 100 armed robberies since 2001, walking away with more than 250 kilograms of cocaine and $1 million over a seven-year span.
According to the court papers, Tejada was on active duty and in uniform during at least one of the alleged incidents.
The court papers allege that Tejada provided NYPD information and materials to the gang.
Officials say Tejada was arrested at Kennedy Airport Tuesday by federal drug enforcement agents and NYPD internal affairs investigators.
The court papers say that Tejada was assigned to the 28th Precinct in Harlem at the time of the alleged incidents.
Tejada was assigned to the 28th precinct in Harlem at the time of the incidents, but now works out of the NYPD Housing Bureau in the Bronx.
He has been suspended without pay.
Tejada's attorney, Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, disagreed with the judge's decision to deny his client bail.
"He's been out for four years since this investigation began. There's no reason to think that anything has changed over that. One day, he's a police officer for the New York City Police Department, protecting public safety, and the next day, he's public enemy number one," Margulis-Ohnuma said. "They're serious charges, but he has presumption of innocence. He adamantly denies them. He'll be vehemently challenging them.
Tejada is charged with a Hobbs Act robbery conspiracy. According to the U.S. Department of Justice's website, the Hobbs Act "prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce."
He is also charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, MDMA and marijuana, as well as using and carrying a firearm in relation to the robbery and drug charges.
Twenty-one members of the robbery crew, including a second NYPD officer and an auxiliary NYPD officer, have previously been convicted in the case.