NEW YORK – A New York City police officer addicted to painkillers stole guns out of police lockers at his precinct to pay for his habit, prosecutors said Friday.
Nicholas Mina, 31, his suspected dealer and three accomplices were charged Friday with crimes including conspiracy and selling drugs and guns.
The officer developed the Oxycodone habit and became a "daily customer," eventually owing his dealer so much money that he turned to stealing guns, and also re-selling drugs he bought, according to Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Christopher Prevost.
Wearing a white, oversized T-shirt with a Fender guitar logo, Mina hung his head low during the court appearance. He was arrested Thursday night and confessed, prosecutors said. Mina was suspended from the force pending the outcome of the charges.
Mina has been with the department for 4 ½ years and worked in the 9th Precinct located in the trendy East Village of Manhattan. His attorney David Fisher said his client split his time living on Long Island with his parents and in Queens with his girlfriend.
"He's 31 years old. He's never been in trouble," he said.
Mina's suspected dealer, Ivan Chavez, 24, and three others were being held.
According to the indictment, Mina stole four guns, including Glock and Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols from his colleagues, and also hawked his own gun that was not registered to the New York Police Department. He was also accused of stealing a bullet-resistant vest. The weapons were sold to Chavez or funneled onto the black market through others in the ring, prosecutors said.
They were also accused of selling drugs.
"Guns, drugs, and corruption are a dangerous combination," said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. "This defendant endangered the very public he took an oath to protect, at a time when gun violence is destroying lives every day."