Stories of shakedowns, brutality, kidnapping, and theft have dogged a group of the city’s Narcotics Field Unit officers for nearly a decade. But despite multiple investigations, cases against them never stuck.
Federal prosecutors set out to change that Wednesday, laying out a sprawling racketeering case against six of the unit’s former members. The charges paint them as rogue cops running roughshod over the rights of their targets, confident that few would believe anyone who dared complain.
As the years went on, the 26-count indictment suggests, Officers Thomas Liciardello, Brian Reynolds, Michael Spicer, Perry Betts, Linwood Norman, and John Speiser became only more brazen.
Between February 2006 and November 2012, it states, they stole more than $500,000 in cash, drugs, and personal property – all while using extreme force, and falsifying police reports to downplay their takes.