NEW YORK – An NYPD housing officer and her boyfriend were arrested Tuesday for reportedly participating in a heroin trafficking ring that spanned from Mexico to New York.
Prosecutors say a months-long investigation led them to Yessenia Jimenez, 31, and the boyfriend, Luis Soto, 33. According to federal authorities they are part of a much larger organization, reported Daily News.
“The defendant’s own apartment was being used as a stash house,” Manhattan Assistant U.S. Attorney Thane Rehn said.
A Drug Enforcement Agency official said an agent arrested Jimenez with $25,000 and her NYPD service weapon carried in her purse, and another $25,000 in another bag, the New York Post reported, citing federal authorities.
It is alleged that Jimenez conspired with another person to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin, according to a new Manhattan federal court complaint.
As a result, she was charged with drug trafficking and weapons possession.
The couple popped up on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s radar in January, after finding Soto’s phone number on the cell phone of a narcotics trafficking suspect from Queens.
Soto made a trip to Massachusetts on Sunday, and headed back to New York at about 10:30 p.m., authorities said.
At 2 a.m. on Tuesday, a joint DEA, NYPD and state police task force stopped Soto’s car outside their Boynton Ave. apartment in Soundview, after he started unloading bags from his trunk.
Jimenez was sitting in the passenger seat, the purse at her feet, with the handle of her NYPD-issued Glock 9mm handgun sticking out.
Soto was carrying another $25,000 in a black plastic grocery bag, and he admitted he picked up all the cash from Massachusetts, according to court filings.
A search of their apartment revealed about 250 grams of heroin in a closet, prosecutors said.
Her Facebook page shows her wearing NYPD t-shirts and hats, and sharing several pro-police messages.
The officer, who joined the NYPD in 2015, has been suspended without pay. NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement that the arrest and allegations were troubling.
Mark Gombiner, Jimenez’s attorney, has challenged the weapons-possession charges against her.
“This is her service weapon,” Gombiner said. “Given that she’s a police officer she’s kind of mandated (to have) her service weapon with her.”
Jimenez was being held on $75,000 bond. She declined to comment.
Soto has agreed to be held without bail.