A New York Police Department officer is now in jail after she was caught running a massive cross-country heroin trafficking ring, all while using her badge as a cover to keep police away from the operations.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating NYPD Officer Yessenia Jimenez, 31, in January after they found the phone number of her boyfriend, Luis Soto, 33, on the cell phone of a narcotics trafficking suspect.
The investigation concluded that Jimenez and Soto were conducting a heroin trafficking operation that stemmed Mexico to New York. The New York Daily News reported that the pair was arrested this week after they made a trip to Massachusetts to meet with a heroin trafficker.
DEA, NYPD, and state police task force officers confronted Soto around 2 a.m. on Tuesday after he returned from the trip and was seen unloading bags from the trunk of his car, outside of the couple’s apartment building in the Soundview neighborhood in Bronx, New York.
Jimenez was sitting in the passenger seat of the car with a purse as her feet that contained $25,000 in cash and the Glock 9-mm gun issued to her from the NYPD—and paid for by taxpayers.
The couple was arrested, and the officers found another $25,000 in cash in a black plastic grocery bag in the car, which Soto claimed he obtained during the trip to Massachusetts. Upon searching the couple’s apartment, the officers found at least 250 grams of heroin, according to reports.
Jimenez and Soto are now facing drug trafficking and weapons charges, and while Jimenez's lawyer, Mark Gombiner, did not comment on the drug trafficking, he did criticize the illegal weapons possession charge.
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“This is her service weapon,” Gombiner said. “Given that she's a police officer she's kind of mandated [to have] her service weapon with her.”
The Associated Press reported that Jimenez has been suspended without pay from the New York Police Department, and in response to the news of her second job, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill called the allegations “troubling.”
Jimenez joined the NYPD in 2015, and her Facebook page features several photos promoting the saying “Police Lives Matter” with a blue horizontal line across the photo. She also posted photos of herself in NYPD t-shirts, and her intro states, “I PROUDLY SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT ????."
As The Free Thought Project has reported, this is not the first time a police officer has been caught using their power to cover up their involvement in drug or sex trafficking. Several officers and a lead prosecutor in Las Vegas were recently charged for working with sex traffickers in exchange for money, drugs, and access to prostitutes.
Las Vegas Now reported that the FBI began investigating the allegations in 2014 after they raided the Las Vegas home of music producer and escort service kingpin Jamal Rashid, who is known as Mally Mall. A motion filed in court alleged that officers worked with Rashid to target his competitors in the Las Vegas sex industry.
A man was also caught on video buying a bag of meth from a group of men and then leaving their house in the same police car that dropped him off. While the cameraman appeared to be one of the residents of the house who provided the drugs, he appeared shocked by the presence of the police car.
“He’s going out into a f—ing police car. Is that supposed to be one of our friends?” the man said, later remarking, “Yes, you really did just see that. That’s some f—ed up shit.”
In the case of former NYPD officer Yessenia Jimenez, she is being held on $75,000 bond, and Luis Soto is being held without bail. It is unclear how long Jimenez has been involved in trafficking drugs, and the full extent of the taxpayer-funded resources she abused during her time with the NYPD has not been made public.