New York cop to serve 15 years for stealing police guns and selling them to dealer
Manhattan, NY, United States (4E) – A 32-year-old former New York City police officer who admitted stealing his colleagues’ guns and selling them to a drug dealer, agreed to serve more than 15 years in prison as part of a plea bargain Monday.
Authorities reported that Nicholas Mina, who was so deep in debt to his 25-year-old drug dealer, Ivan Chavez, took at least four loaded service weapons and a bulletproof vest from the lockers of his fellow officers in the 9th Precint in the East Village and sold them to support his addiction to pain medication.
Mina, a Long Island native who has four years on the job, avoided the 20 year maximum sentence for being part of a large drug and gun ring.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance said that “as a New York City police officer, Nicholas Mina had the duty to protect citizens, but instead, he put their lives, and the lives of his fellow officers, at risk,”
Vance added that despite the continued serious problem of gun violence in the city, the defendant gave criminals easy access to dangerous weapons.
The four weapons and the bulletproof vest were reported missing between February and April when Mina was assigned at the front desk of the Manhattan police station.
Prosecutors said that he also sold an unregistered Glock that he owned.
The dealer then sold the fully-loaded guns he purchased from Mina, together with department issue ammunition, to undercover detectives appointed to the Firearms Investigation Unit in Queens.
Once the investigators confirmed that the guns were taken from the same the station house, they immediately confronted Mina, who worked the night shift and was often unsupervised.
Mina was arrested in July along with four other defendants.
Chavez, who became a police informant, pleaded guilty earlier this month for his role in the ring and was sentenced to 20 years.
Marcos Echevarria, 22, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Charges are pending against 64-year-old Meryl Leibowitz and 38-year-old Jennifer Sultan who has been accused of trying to sell an inoperable gun and has also been charged with attempting to sell Adderall and other prescription drugs on Craigslist.
Mina pleaded guilty to nine felony counts, including criminal sale of a firearm, criminal sale of a controlled substance, conspiracy and grand larceny. He will be formally sentenced to 15 ½ years in prison on November 7.