Police officer busted for buying stolen iPhone

IPhone illustration 
By: Anika Rao 

(Scroll down for video) A high ranking New York City Police Department officer, couldn’t contain himself after being offered a stolen iPhone for just $15 - according to police reports.

The police sergeant in New York, on the lookout to root out bad cops, has been charged for buying the stolen iPhone in a sting operation created by his peers.

Internal Affairs Sgt. Victor Leandry, was picked up in the sting in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, after buying an Apple device for just $15 from a plainclothes police officer on the street. His lawyer said that he should not be charged because they never told him the phone was stolen.

"Tourists flock to this city every day from other countries to participate in the product shopping experience on the streets of New York," the lawyer, John D'Alessandro, said. "There is nothing criminal about it."

Police in recent months, have focused on bodegas and other small businesses, which pay teens to steal handheld electronic devices, especially Apple products, so they can be sold on the black market.

In the sting operation, the police started selling stolen devices to merchants in Washington Heights, D'Alessandro said.

Instead, he said, a woman approached Leandry near Broadway and West 161 Street, and harassed him until he agreed to buy the phone for $15, the only money he had on him.

"He absolutely denies being offered the phone as stolen property," the lawyer said. "It was a poorly planned operation. There is no video, and this ended with a sergeant who has his reputation dragged through the mud."

Leandry, 38, was charged with possession of stolen property and issued a desk appearance ticket. He is expected in court soon.