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Three Bay Ridge cops who sidelined as gun runners will be spending the next two years in a prison cell, federal prosecutors announced last week.
A Brooklyn federal court judge sent former cops Richard Melnik and John Mahoney to 21 months and a day in prison as he handed down his sentencing on Oct. 9. A day later, co-conspirator and fellow brother-in-blue Eddie Goris was sentenced to three years behind bars.
Federal investigators nabbed eight active and retired cops from the 68th and 71st precincts and the Brooklyn South Task Force last year for smuggling more than $1-million worth of firearms — including M-16 rifles, 16 handguns, and a shotgun — as well as untaxed cigarettes and slot machines into New York. Seven of the officers arrested pleaded guilty.
Federal prosecutors said the sentences will help the city move away from the crime.
“These three sentencings are sad occasions in the history of the finest police department in the country,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bahara said in a statement.
The three convicted cops will follow 68th Precinct veterans Joseph Trischitta and Marco Venezia to prison, who were sentenced to 40 and 24 months in prison respectively over the summer.
According to court documents, Goris — an active-duty cop — shuttled weapons from New Jersey to New York between October, 2010 and October, 2011 and stole 270 cases of cigarettes during a heist in Virginia — cigarettes he later brought to New York. The court estimated that Goris was paid $30,000 for his services
Melnik, who is retired, joined Goris’s crew in Dec. 2010, bulking his pension by $10,500, federal officials claim. Melnik said he helped Goris transport the stolen cigarettes, counterfeit merchandise, and several stolen slot machines from Atlantic City to New York.
Court papers show that Mahoney was still on the job when he started helping transport the smokes and the one-armed bandits, and got a nice bonus of $4,500 for his work.
All three men will be put on supervised release when they finish their prison sentences, and will be required to pay back the money they were paid, federal officials said.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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