As reported by NorthJersey.com:
N.Y. cops charged in N.J. home invasion
Sunday, May 20, 2007
By ALLISON PRIES
Authorities said Saturday they anticipated more arrests after taking two off-duty New York City police officers into custody following an alleged shakedown attempt in Rutherford.
Hector Alvarez of Brooklyn and Miguel Castillo of the Bronx, both 28, were pulled over Friday morning on Route 495 as the result of what the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office described as a home invasion that was thwarted by an inquisitive neighbor. They were being held Saturday in the Bergen County Jail on $1 million bail, with no 10 percent option.
The neighbor became suspicious when he saw Alvarez and Castillo -- dressed in business suits -- fighting with a resident about 7:50 a.m. Friday. As the officers tried to leave, the neighbor asked them to identify themselves, according to a statement from the Prosecutor's Office. Alvarez and Castillo said they were police officers on "official business" conducting an investigation related to "terrorism," the statement said.
The neighbor, however, was skeptical of the explanation and asked them to stay so local police could verify it, the statement said. Instead, they allegedly fled.
When they were stopped by Rutherford detectives on Route 495, Alvarez and Castillo were "extremely nervous," failed to identify themselves as police officers and gave conflicting stories about why they were in Rutherford, authorities said. The detectives said they found a new crowbar, a sledgehammer and bullet-resistant vests in the car.
They were taken to Rutherford Police Headquarters, where detectives accused them of conspiring to commit an armed robbery and home invasion on a resident they allegedly thought was involved in money laundering and drug distribution. Both were charged with attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, armed burglary, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, possession of burglar tools, unlawful use of a bullet-resistant vest and several conspiracy-related offenses.
The prosecutor's statement said additional arrests were expected, but Chief of Detectives Mike Mordaga declined to elaborate.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said both officers were suspended immediately after their arrests and resigned later Saturday. The two had entered the police academy in 2005, and were still on probationary status. Alvarez was assigned to the 84th precinct in Brooklyn, while Castillo was assigned to the central booking unit in Manhattan.
The Prosecutor's Office and the Rutherford Police Department were continuing their investigation, aided by the NYPD.
The story can be found at; http://northjersey.com/page.php?qstr...ZxZWVFRXl5Mg==