FBI busts NYPD Detective for leading a robbery crew

Rafael Astacio  
By: David Ross 

(Scroll down for video) The FBI busted a New York Police Department Detective of participating in what they call a robbery crew, according to reports.

The FBI cracked down on team of brazen thieves and robbers that included the police detective in New York.

The alleged ringleader, Paul Adams, was charged by federal prosecutors for a string of stick-ups in Long Island, Queens and Connecticut, according to court documents. He is being held without bail.

Adams, 46, was acting as a lookout in a robbery at a house in Lindenhurst, Long Island, during the summer. Off Duty Detective Rafael Astacio was also caught red-handed in the act, escaping with $2,500 in jewelry, according to court documents. Astacio, who lives in Copiague, New York, was released following his arresty, but suspended from the force without pay.

The FBI and the U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta Lynch, have been building a case against the team of crime and are also investigating Astacio for his role as assistant police chief of sexual offenses unit in New York, sources said. More arrests on federal charges of conspiracy theft is expected, although it is unclear if the detective is one of those who will be charged.

A conviction for armed robbery carries a sentence of up to 20 years on each count. Adams faces three federal charges. The Mercedes-driving detective joined the force in 1995 and earned over $100,000. It is unclear how the detective joined his partners in crime. "They've been at this for a while," said the source.

Adams is also accused of robbing by home invasion a seller of counterfeit cigarettes in Maspeth, Queens. He carried a gun and tied the victims, according to court documents. He also has a previous arrest for passing a bad check and bail jumping.

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