Stephen Anderson, seen in 2009, says he first filed phony paperwork on March 15, 2005 – his ‘training day’ as an undercover narcotics detective on the streets of Sunset Park, Brooklyn. (Willie Anderson/Daily News)
BY JOHN MARZULLI, ROCCO PARASCANDOLA AND LARRY MCSHANE
A corrupt ex-undercover cop says NYPD supervisors paid detectives extra overtime for hard-drug busts, creating a covert reward system for cocaine and heroin arrests.
Undercovers taking down smack or crack suspects routinely got two or three hours of overtime as payback, ex-cop Stephen Anderson testified in a Brooklyn courtroom.
“So giving you overtime for a crack cocaine arrest is a reward for the nature of the crime … would that be a fair statement?” asked Justice Gustin Reichbach.
“Yes, that’s fair to say,” Anderson testified last week at the corruption trial of Brooklyn South narcotics Detective Jason Arbeeny.
The defendant is accused of conspiring with others in “flaking” suspects – cop talk for planting cocaine on innocent victims.
Although Anderson didn’t say so directly, the system provided rogue cops with a financial incentive to fabricate cocaine and heroin busts.
The OT had nothing to do with the amount of casework, he said.
Anderson said he first filed phony paperwork on March 15, 2005 – his “training day” as an undercover narcotics detective on the streets of Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Paired with another allegedly corrupt cop, Anderson filled out paperwork taking credit for a drug buy made by his partner.
He also provided multiple accounts of lying to grand juries, falsifying police reports and fabricating the circumstances of drug busts in Brooklyn and Queens.
Anderson said he never questioned the culture of corruption because he feared ruining his career.
“I didn’t want to get, as I said, blacklisted from other undercovers, where I wouldn’t be able to go out with my teams, or other undercovers wouldn’t want to work with me,” he said.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne declined to comment.
The one-time Brooklyn South detective’s testimony offered an insider’s look at a spate of false drug busts that produced the arrests of eight cops and a huge NYPD shakeup.
Anderson said undercover cops also routinely swiped police funds used for drug buys. A typical scam involved taking $100, spending just $50 and pocketing the rest, he said.
Under cross-examination, Anderson provided a glimpse into his casual approach to law enforcement.
Defense lawyer Michael Elbaz asked Anderson about the oath he took to uphold the law when he was sworn in to the NYPD.
“Well, it’s something I was supposed to live up to and keep in mind,” the ex-cop acknowledged. “That’s what I was supposed to kind of follow.”