By TOM HAYS
11:17 AM EDT, October 25, 2011
Federal authorities say five New York Police Department officers transported firearms as part of a gun-smuggling scheme exposed in a sting operation.
The charges are detailed in a criminal complaint unsealed in Tuesday. It says some of the serial numbers on the guns had been removed.
The defendants are the five current NYPD officers, three retired officers, a New Jersey corrections officer and three civilians.
The complaint accuses the officers of transporting weapons, slot machines and cigarettes over state lines, believing the merchandise was stolen.
Four of the officers allegedly participated in the theft of more $500,000 in cigarettes.
The case comes amid speculation that the Bronx prosecutor is close to bringing charges in a ticket-fixing case that could result in about a dozen officers' arrests.